Katy ISD Tech Survival Tips for Parents


KATY MAGAZINE l AUGUST 2019

By Anne Lee

Throughout the school year, Katy parents everywhere will be logging on to see grades, homework assignments, required textbooks, or other vital information about your Katy ISD student. Katy Magazine has highlighted some of the most common apps and sites used in Katy ISD schools by students and parents. Here's what you need to know.

Katy ISD believes that "technology is all about unleashing the human capacity to innovate, communicate, educate and transform lives." Throughout the district, teachers, students and parents can access important information that supports a positive educational experience. Here's where to start:

HOME ACCESS CENTER (HAC)

The Home Access Center (HAC) provides an online grade book where Katy parents and guardians can view helpful student information to support and guide their children through the educational process. From anywhere and at anytime, parents can access the web portal to track academic achievement. E-mail links are also available throughout the portal so parents can communicate with the school and teachers.

  • Provides parents and students with a daily summary page of student information

  • Features schedule and attendance, class work, test scores and course requests

  • Allows students to view their own records in the system to help keep them informed about their progress

  • Engages parents via an internet parental portal, connecting them with the classroom and provides them with relevant and timely information to support/direct their children

  • Helps open a consistent avenue of parent-teacher communication

  • Creates stronger connections between students, parents, teachers and administrators

  • Empowers students to actively take a role in their progress and future

CANVAS

Canvas connects all the digital tools teachers and students use and hosts them in one easy place to simplify teaching and learning​. Canvas provides a learning management system that integrates with the student information system allowing students and teachers to stay connected anytime, anywhere, with any device.

Benefits to Students

  • View upcoming assignments and access worksheets that were handed out in class

  • Submit digital assignments

  • Watch video lessons and share subject matter modules (great tool for parents trying to help with homework assignments)

  • Access information in a modular format to make accessing course activities and information easily

  • Integrates with many other tools so that students access them through Canvas

  • Collaborate with their teachers and peers on discussions

How Do Parents Use Canvas? (Note: not all courses/teachers use all features.)

  • View the course syllabus

  • View prompts but not participate in discussions

  • View but not submit assignments

  • Preview and download some files

  • View the modules page

  • View the calendar

  • Communicate with the teacher

GOOGLE

In our increasingly mobile world, teachers and students don’t have to be tied to one device to access their data. Plus, they don’t need to carry flash-drives and other portable storage devices. Google Drive acts as a cloud storage. The site allows students and teachers to access their data anytime, anywhere, from any device.

With its sharing and privacy capabilities, Google provides a digital venue for teachers and students to seamlessly create a paperless workflow. This process increases learning time by offering peer collaboration and real-time feedback from teachers.

Benefits to Students

  • Provides online storage capabilities

  • Allows students and teachers to collaborate together, using one document, in real time

  • Gives students working on group projects access to the same document and make changes together, despite working on different computers, or in different locations

  • Eliminates the need to email documents back and forth and save different versions

  • Accepts revisions immediately

  • Permits everyone collaborating on the document the ability to see the changes

MYKATY

All students in Katy ISD have access to online resources to help them with their education. Each of these district resources is located in one place called MyKaty. This web portal that provides Katy ISD staff and students with a single sign-on location to access district applications and educational resources. MyKaty is available anywhere the user has internet access. It is compatible with major operating systems such as Windows, iOS, and Android.

  • Access online databases, many of the online textbook resources

  • Contains paid educational resources, with quality information

  • Includes access to applications such as BrainPop, ABC Clio American History and Government, National Geographic Kids, Biography in Context, Britannica and World Book Encyclopedias, and many more.

  • Uses one login and password, and automatically connects to most other Katy ISD applications using the student's established credentials. (Need to install Webpass to activate. Visit their website for instructions.)

TURN IT IN

Turn It In is a high school online subscription that provides a rich collaborative environment to support the writing cycle. Turn It In also supports online discussions in a safe, secure and moderated discussion thread.

  • Students submit original digital content.

  • Teachers review the documents and provide digital feedback for editing.​

  • Turn It In allows anonymous peer review in a structured system.

KATY ISD VIRTUAL SCHOOL

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The Katy ISD Virtual School's primary objective is to expand the learning opportunities for students by offering choice and flexibility for challenging online courses developed by Katy ISD.

Online learning is an essential part of today's learning culture that can provide students with the opportunity to acquire required credit from anywhere and at any time. Online learning offers the unique experience of self-directed learning that will instill advanced learning skills and better prepare students for life and college. In today's world, this model of learning is increasingly in high demand and is a cost effective way to deliver instruction.

For more information, visit their website.

KATY OnTheGo - Mobile App

Download this Katy ISD app to view your child's grades, assignments, attendance record and cafeteria balance.

Grades and assignments are pulled from the Home Access Center (HAC) so you will need to enter your HAC login ID and password. If you don't know your HAC information, contact the campus registrar at your child’s school.

For help logging into the Katy OnTheGo app, email KatyOnTheGo@katyisd.org.

For how-to videos follow this link.

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