Weekly Lessons Learned 11/13/20

Welcome to the Technology Design Team Weekly Lessons Learned! This will be a recurring feature on Friday afternoons where the Technology Design Team will share top of mind resources and learning. Each week, we will post a few key things we hope you may find useful. We look forward to sharing our learning with you.
Some of the content may be specific to the realities of Austin ISD though, we hope, much will be useful to viewers worldwide.

How do I set and/or change due dates in BLEND, and why is this important?

  • Setting due dates on assignments, discussions, and quizzes can help students see when something is due on their calendar and to do list. It also helps a teacher see work in the proper grading period as well as target missing or late work from the gradebook. It’s a win-win!
  • Watch the screencast BLEND Canvas Tip – How and Why to Set Due Dates to learn more about adding due dates to items in BLEND. 

If you’d like a more detailed look at due dates and availability, view this Canvas guide: What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?


What new Playposit learnings have arisen this week?

  • Teachers are getting BLEND content with PlayPosit bulb preview links being shared with students. Teachers can fix this using this step set on fixing PlayPosit preview links.
  • Students who have been concluded in the BLEND course are still showing up in the PlayPosit bulb roster for that course.
    • A concluded student will not be able to access PlayPosit bulbs in the course. They can see pages, but the bulb will say, “Looks like something is wrong.” Even though a student’s name is in the PlayPosit roster, they do not have access to bulbs after being concluded in the course.
  • A Playposit error that says, “Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner” can be solved in several ways.

How do I set BLEND notifications at the course level?


A site I need to use with students is showing up as “BLOCKED.” Is there a way to unblock websites for students?

  • Unblocking websites requires a ServiceNow ticket.
  • Include the URL.
  • Include the academic reason for unblocking.
  • If possible, include a screenshot of the block message with block category.

My 3rd-5th-grade blueprint has content linking out to MackinVIA and/or Ebsco that my students cannot access. How can I help them?
Some upcoming independent reading assignments within Weeks 9 and 10 for 3rd-5th grade ESL Blueprints have links to books within the Mackinvia/Ebsco system. We have found that some users had difficulty accessing these links.
Here is a student-facing screencast with steps on how to authenticate within Mackinvia/Ebsco in order for students to access the book links.


Students are doing a lot of scrolling within one BLEND page. How can I create a link to something within a BLEND page (like a “Return to Top” link)?
Learn more using this screencast on how to link specific sections of a BLEND page by creating page anchors and linking to those page anchors.


Why should I forego Flash when designing lessons for students?Adobe Flash is going away and will not be supported by Chrome or, even, Adobe. Content in the format should be avoided.
This article from Adobe’s website explains the upcoming change.


Will Technology Design Team Virtual Office Hours still happen?

Virtual Office Hours with the Technology Design Team will happen on Mondays-Thursdays from 9:00-11:00 AM and 3:00-5:00 PM and on Fridays from 3:00-5:00 PM. Please check the Global Announcement in BLEND for the Zoom link.

Where are some of the district-pushed apps on the district-issued iPads?

Some apps moved from the home screen to the subscriptions folder during school hours. Apps located in the subscriptions folder are now either: 

  • those that need paid subscriptions outside of what the district offers OR 
  • those accessed through the portal (such as BrainPop and Imagine Learning). 

Apps moved into the Subscriptions folder include ABCMouse, Todo Math, ImagineLearning, iRead, BrainPopJr, and NearPod.

How do I know if a student’s district iPad is not syncing with district settings?

  • Quick check: Does it have the lined paper background? If not, the iPad is not syncing.
  • Make sure the student is properly connected to the iPad through the Azure webclip. Enrollment instructions for the iPads can be found within this PDF tutorial. The Azure webclip will not be visible if the student is properly rostered to the student.
  • If the student has Azure on their iPad and it’s still not updating to school settings, please contact your campus device manager or the AISD Help Desk (512-414-8324).

One way the issue may show:

  • Student says they can not access Imagine Learning. Student receives, “Safari could not open the page because the direction was invalid.”
  • After student shares screen, we see the Azure Web clip was still located on the iPad. We enrolled the student properly, all apps loaded in about 8 mins, then the student could access Imagine Learning just fine.

My students’ iPads just updated and now images are gone in BLEND!
One of our amazing campus technologists, Tracie DaSilva, created a video that addresses this issue.
See if this video addresses your image issues.

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