Vista USD Ed Tech Newsletter

September 2022

The Learning Collaborative (TLC)

Last school year, we launched The Learning Collaborative (TLC), which is made for Vista teachers by Vista teachers. ​TLC is a repository of resources and professional development. It’s a place for VUSD educators to share some of their best practices and to get ideas and support from colleagues across the district. ​If you have resources to share, please send them to Taresa McSpadden so she can add them to the TLC resource course. We want to support teachers! If you are an Elementary teacher and are interested in being recorded while teaching a lesson (any subject), please fill out this form to set up a time.

If you don’t see TLC on your dashboard, please email for access.

Technology Help Form

If you have checked with your Canvas Site Expert and still need support, you can fill out our Technology Help Form and we will assist you! The technology help form is meant for help with Canvas (deleting a course, you aren’t seeing your courses, adding a teacher/IA/sub, etc). You can also contact Canvas through their chat feature!

The IT Work order can help with technology set up (printers, monitors, etc) and account support. If you don’t have an account yet, register NOW! **Password: 4680NorthAve this password is needed at the bottom when you’re submitting the work order**

Canvas: Updates

Archived Courses

Remember that classes do not disappear at the end of the school year; they are just moved to the "past enrollments" area under "all courses." Please check out our Where did my classes go? resource for directions on how to find past enrollment courses.

How do I copy my old course to this year's course shell?

Copy Course Content into a New Sandbox: We recommend that you first copy your old course into a sandbox. This will keep your course content handy in your dashboard. Make a Sandbox and give it an appropriate title. Example: “2021-22 5th Grade Archived.” Then, Import Your Content to the new sandbox course. Once you have done this, you can "pick and choose" the content to copy into your official course shell. We DO NOT recommend copying your entire course into your official course shell, as this may result in a lot of content you do not use and can slow your Canvas.

How do I import a template from Commons?

Directions to import from Commons

**Note: An import may override certain customizations you have already made in a Canvas course. To avoid this, you may first want to import into an empty course, then add your customizations**

I teach more than one section, or a combo class. How do I combine them into one Canvas course?

A course shell is created for each section that a teacher teaches. For elementary combo teachers, a shell is created for each grade level. Cross-listing courses allows a teacher to take multiple courses, and house them as “sections” in one course. This may allow a teacher who teaches multiple periods of the same subject, to work within one course and push out the same lessons across sections. However--there are important things to consider before cross-listing. If you would like to cross-list, read the cross-listing guide. NOTE: The decision to cross-list should be made BEFORE a course is published to students. This will ensure a correct sync to Aeries.

Cross-Listing Guide

Cross-Listing Video

*If you don’t have access to cross list, please fill out the Technology Help Form so we can assist you, be sure to include the courses you’d like cross listed.*

Canvas - Panda Pros

Sign Ups

Until September 18, Panda Pros will be offering free, 45-minute coaching sessions with Instructure experts to educators interested in using any Instructure edtech tools. Experts will be available from 9 AM to 6 PM MDT Monday-Sunday, to help answer your questions. The weekend slots were the most popular last year, so they’ve added more slots on Saturdays and Sundays during the Panda Pros event this year.

August K-12 Canvas Newsletter

GradeBook Reminders for Secondary Teachers

If you plan to sync your grades between Canvas and Aeries, remember that gradebooks in Aeries SHOULD NOT be linked to each other. Linking the gradebooks in Aeries can cause syncing issues for cross-listed classes. It is best to complete all of your grading via Canvas and then sync to Aeries, rather than doing grading in both locations. If you have an assignment that is completed on paper in class, it can still be added to the Canvas gradebook by creating a “no submission” or placeholder assignment.

Please watch this video that explains how to create placeholder or no submission assignments on Canvas.

Adding a Tile in Cloud Connect

We have received a lot of requests to add a tile to Cloud Connect account. Here are steps to add a tile to your Cloud Connect under My Tiles. If it is a single sign-on program that has been purchased by your site and is district approved, you need to complete an IT Work Order under accounts.

Resetting a Student's Password

Stu Pass is available for all teachers under their Cloud Connect accounts. This is how you change a student's password for them, (passwords are created, you can't choose what it is). You can only change students' passwords if they are in your class. Here is a step by step guide!

Pear Deck

Check out the back to school landing page for Pear Deck! There is a free event coming up, the Pear Fair!


TCi is a Single-Sign on tile in your Cloud Connect. This means it is automatically rostered for you. This doc was sent out last week showing teachers how to assign product(s) to their dashboard and link their class(es). Secondary has this integrated through Canvas. If you have TCi questions, please fill out the Technology Help Form and we will assist you.

Approved Software and Proposal

Here is the website which lets everyone know the approved software(s)/program(s) for our school district. If there is a software you're interested in, fill out this proposal form to see if it can be approved for use.

Benchmark - Elementary

Here is the temporary login for Benchmark if your tile isn’t working in Cloud Connect.


  • Username: vistausd_edu

  • Password: password

Upcoming Trainings

All upcoming trainings will be listed in Vector Solutions. If you don't have a Vector Solutions account, please contact

Vector Solutions

District ID: Vistausd

Canvas for Beginners - (TK-5th grade teachers) September 1st - 3:30-5pm - VIC MPR (paid)

Canvas Digging Deeper - (TK-5th grade teachers) September 7th - 3:30-5pm - VIC Room 303 (paid)

Kami - Elementary, September 14th from 3-4pm (Zoom, Paid)

Kami - Secondary, September 15th from 4-5pm (Zoom, Paid)

Pear Deck - Elementary (COMING SOON!)

All Keenan trainings are also listed in your Vector Solutions!

Canvas Help for Teachers

Contact Us!

Canvas Support Teachers

Taresa McSpadden (Elementary)

Craig Gastauer (Secondary)

Michelle Daum (Secondary)

Contact: VUSD Technology Help Form

Past EDTech Newletters