Digital Teaching and Learning

October 14, 2020

IMPORTANT: itslearning Rich Text Editor

Teachers may experience a grey overlay when adding content in the rich content editor of itslearning. A solution is to zoom out in the browser to 50-25%, and the greyed-out content should display.

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Chromebook Video Series

Support videos have been created for students using HCPS Chromebooks. Videos are intended to support student use and are also available for teachers to view. View the playlist of videos.

Teams Updates

Mute All Enhancement

Presenters can mute all attendees in a meeting. In the Participant list, a Presenter can Mute All. New: the Presenter can also allow/not allow attendees to unmute.

Attendees will see their microphone greyed out if they were muted and prevented from unmuting.

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Spotlight Feature

In a Teams meeting, the Presenter can use the Spotlight feature to focus attention on a specific meeting participant. View How to use Spotlight Feature in Microsoft Teams Meetings for more information.

What strategies can I use to troubleshoot inconsistencies with my Virtual Teams Instruction?

Examples: Attendance list not available, seeing no students in lobby, some students do not see Chat button, etc.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Teacher: If your last class meeting has ended, delete the old link and create a new link. This should reset the Teams meeting to capture the most recent changes Microsoft has made, as they are continually applying enhancements or fixes to this application.
  • Student: Clear the Internet browser's cache, history, and any saved passwords:
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Breakout Room Preview in Teams

There have been many reported errors about Breakout rooms. Break out rooms is “in development” (MS roadmap), and HCPS accepted the early release option. Early release means that a product may experience inconsistencies and performance errors. Once Microsoft identifies a product as “Launched,” inconsistencies and problems are minimal. Break rooms may not be 100% reliable in the early release. Microsoft continues to work on breakout room performance, as they are making changes for the development of this feature. Please use breakout rooms with this information in mind.

Note: Creating new meeting links seems to give teachers a clean slate with the most updated experience.

Please send error reports to Microsoft Education Support: (When prompted, login with your organization 365 account, which is

itslearning Updates

itslearning has made several updates to ensure a better user experience. Key updates that impact teachers and students include:

Up-to-date Office Editor with Office for the Web

Word Online: You will now be able to track changes and use Immersive Reader.

PowerPoint Online: More than 25 additional slide transitions. You can now insert icons and online media.

Excel Online: You now have the option to quickly remove duplicate values and to style cells based on their values

Rich Text Editor Improvements

Easier to position and resize images added in the text editor:

  • Use the drag icon (top left of image) to move the image. A horizontal line will appear to indicate where the image will be placed when dropped.
  • Resize the image using the black square below the image.
  • It is possible to add a caption to images, making content more accessible e.g. for screen readers.

Auto-formatting on the computer makes it faster and easier to create content. This includes:

  • Pasting a URL followed by clicking the space bar will automatically turn the URL into a link.
  • Quickly start bullet or number lists.
  • Easily enter special characters.

You can undo an autocorrect with the Undo action. This action can be found in the toolbar, but you can also use the keyboard shortcut (e.g. CTRL-Z). Note: This is not enabled for mobiles or tablets.

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Quick Distribution of Assignments

Teachers often need to set separate work or exercises for students for differentiation. Now they can easily assign an assignment to specific students and/or groups:

  • By default, the assignment will be given to all students. If the teacher has many students in their course, they can easily search for specific students and groups.
  • In the sidebar, teachers can see the number of participants assigned to this task. Students’ name will never be listed in the sidebar, but if you only have selected one group, the name of the group will show.
  • If the teacher selects multiple groups, the number of groups will be listed.
  • This feature is also available when adding tasks.

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How do I move a lesson row in Plans to another Plan (another Week)?

Teachers can move a lesson row in Plans to another Plan (example, teacher needs to move the Plan to future week).

1. Select the pull-down arrow next to the Critical Content Topic Title

2. Select Move to a different week and pick the week

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Instructional Technology Updates and FAQ

The Instructional Technology Team has developed a resource of updates and answers to frequently asked questions. The 2020-2021 Instructional Technology Updates and FAQ document will continue to be updated throughout the 2020-2021 school year.


Any questions related to the information in this newsletter may be directed to