Tech Help for Students & Families

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 1:54pm

Helpful tips, tricks, resources, videos, links, infographics, and updates to help us all navigate the tech seas during this challenging time. Obsessively updated. We can do this! 

Here's the Latest! Will students be provided with devices for the 2020-2021 school year?

UPDATE June 24th - Need to Return a Chromebook?

If you're moving out of the HCPSS school district or out of Maryland you will need to return your borrowed HCPSS Chromebook. Directions for that below. But, if you're staying in the district, even moving from Middle School to High School, keep it! We don't know what the fall school year will look like, so please take loving care of your Chromebook.

If it's not going to be used for a long period of time this summer, charge it up fully then shut it down. Please don't let the battery die out or store it in a hot car. (That's not a good thing) If you want to keep it plugged in and use it all summer, that's great!

TO RETURN Your Borrowed HCPSS Chromebook:

Visit the HCPSS Logistics Center.  Please bring the Chromebook and the power cords or case (if you got one). The address is 9645 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD 21044  


The schedule for the Logistics Center is:

6/24-7/10. M-F 9am-1pm except for July 3rd, we are closed

7/13-until.  M-F 9am-11am


Archived Tech Help - Just in case you need it this summer! 

Having Tech Problems? Try these things first: 

  • Make sure you're logged into your HCPSS GSuite account and not your personal Google account.  
  • Clear cache & cookies
  • Whenever possible use an updated Chrome browser
  • Close extra apps, windows, and tabs 
  • Restart your device 
  • If siblings are using the SAME CHROMEBOOK Device -- this needs to be done: 1st sibling goes to and logs OUT of GSuite and closes any open tabs including Canvas. 2nd sibling goes to and logs  into GSuite, then follow the directions for joining the meeting.   

Our #1 Main Tech Issue Right Now  is GoogleCloud / Canvas Integration --- Here are the latest FIXES for these!

Disconnecting & reconnecting the Google Drive Integration:

  1.      Navigate to your Canvas settings ( and delete Google Drive from Registered Services AND from Approved Integrations.
  2.      Log out of Canvas
  3.      Navigate to:
  4.      Under Third-Party apps with account access, click on Google Drive LTI by Canvas
  5.      Hit the Remove Access button
  6.      Click your Google initials in the corner of the screen and sign out of accounts in Google
  7.      Close and reopen your browser
  8.      Log back into Google ( with your HCPSS credentials
  9.      Log back into Canvas (,  go to Canvas settings ( and reauthorize your Google Drive under Other Services.

10. Now navigate to an assignment in Canvas that uses Google Drive and reauthorize by following the prompts.

With a recent Chrome update, we found that cookies setting were blocking 3rd party applications:

  1. Press the 3 Dot Button on your top right corner of Chrome
  2. Then proceed to press Settings 
  3. After once you’re in the Settings then I would like you to click on Privacy and Security 
  4. From there you will see something called Site Settings 
  5. Then click on Cookies and Site Data (Your first option) 
  6. If Block Third Party Cookies is enabled then this is the cause of your problems, simply Disable it and reset your pages

More Google Cloud Integration Things to Try:

Things to Try When Canvas & Google Cloud Don’t Seem to Like Each Other?


Then Try the Device Restart - Make sure to remove peripheral devices (headphones) log off all accounts and close out all apps, tabs, and then click RESTART

“Most commonly, restarting your computer can fix issues with freezing or applications that get stuck at “not responding.” If your computer is frozen and you’re unable to click on the start menu to restart it, you can manually shut it off by pressing the power button, waiting a few seconds after it shuts down, then pressing the power button again to turn it back on.” 

- from Transparent Solutions

Then try and log back in. Still not working? See below: 

Log out of all Google Accounts

To submit work on canvas choose one or all of the options below:

1 - Use this Link for step by step instructions. (Links to an external site.)

2- You can watch the video below.

Very Helpful!  Students: Watch this!  A cool YouTube Video to help upload work to Canvas (Links to an external site.)

Need More Help Authorizing Google in Canvas? 

Navigate to your settings page by clicking on "Accounts" in the global navigation menu on the left. Then, click "Settings." Click on the “Google Docs” button, located in the center of the page under Other Services. A new window will appear, asking you to authorize Canvas to access your Google Docs. 

Working with Google in Canvas ---Yet Another YouTubeVideo from our friends in Florida Students Submitting a Google Cloud Assignment in Canvas


From Mrs. Smithson 

"I am pleased to say that the vast majority of families who requested HCPSS devices, have received their devices.  If you are aware of a family who needs a device, please share the directions below. "

  1. Parents/guardians should log in to HCPSS Connect.
  2. From the left menu, last choice, select “Student Technology” then choose “Student Technology” near the top center of the screen.
  3. On the HCPSS Student Technology screen, use the drop down arrows to indicate the Technology Requested for each student. Changes are saved immediately.
  4. If a device has already been issued, it will appear in the inventory list. If a student already has a device issued, a new request will not be processed.
  5. Families will receive a confirmation email with necessary information, including pickup location, date and time.

Hey there! Here's a super overview from Ms. Svoboda of how our COL is going to run - I found this very helpful! 

  1. Teachers will post their work for the week by 9 am each Monday morning (Related Arts teachers will post every other week).
  2. You have all week to complete work. Work should be submitted by Friday at 10 am.
  3. Each full-year class will have 1 google meet per week. 
  4. Related Arts classes will meet every other week. A day classes will meet during A weeks, B day classes will meet during B weeks.
  5. Teachers will post their class meet times on their Canvas Calendars. You will click on directions which will tell you how to connect to the class meet. Look for the info five minutes before the meet time so that you can join the meet on time. 

A/B Week Info:

April 20-24        A Week                                       June   1-5          A Week

April 27-May1   B Week                                       June    8-12       B Week

May 4-8             A Week                                       June 15-19        A Week

May 11-15         B Week                                      

May 18-22         A week

May 25-29        B Week


From Ms. Behrens & the Executive Functioning committee: 

Must be logged into school GSuite to View. If it asks for permission - log out of your personal Gmail and into your school GSuite: 


Accessing FREE Digital Content the Howard County Public Library A+ Library Card and through MackinVia

See Video Directions at the bottom of the page on the MHMS Student Resource Course 

Note:  Every student has an A+ Partnership library card from HCLS.  Students can access online databases, ebooks and eAudiobooks through MackinVia and HCLS.

NEW! View - Read/Write Quick Reference Guide

Chromebook Delivery

For those of you who replied to the Tech Survey saying you needed a ChromeBook device they should be arriving to your home doorstep ASAP via Fed Ex. UPDATE: FedEx backlogs have delayed delivery of some devices. Teachers have been informed of delays and will be flexible with students. Families who need to borrow a device may submit a new or updated request via HCPSS Connect. Details on student technology devices, including technology requirements and instructions for requesting a device, can be found online. The Murray Hill Point of Contact for student Chromebooks is  Alexia Couch | Assistant Principal |

For issues with those devices or technology in general please review the HCPSS Student Device website & more links below. 


For some Chromebook errors, students should do the Refresh Procedure.

PLEASE NOTE: Follow the RESET process step by step. When it asks for the email address for the enrollment process, make sure students type their   The system automatically populates with the and this is for a STAFF enrollment. It needs to be changed to for STUDENT enrollment. This is the crucial part. 

Don't have WiFi at Home? Directions how to connect at the bottom! 

TL: DR In a Pinch? 

FOR HARDWARE Chromebook Problems / Device / Laptop / Email / Synergy / GSuite /  Canvas:  

If all elese fails, please email Ms. Gwyneth Jones (Library Media Specialist) with your Chromebook AV Inventory Tag Number # (very important) and your contact information (phone & parent email ) During non-school hours (evenings & weekends) Email support requests to with your contact information, Chromebook Inventory Tag #, a description of the problem, and any error messages. Our talented technology professionals who are also working remotely will get back to you.

More Tech Tips: 

In order to access G Suite or Google Meet, users must first log out of any personal accounts. After logging out of personal accounts, students and staff can log in with their HCPSS credentials. Parents cannot access these platforms with their own accounts. Students must be logged in with their credentials in order to access applications through Clever, Synergy, or Canvas. Directions for using Google Meet can be found on Canvas (login required).

Passwords NEW! Students now have the ability to reset their passwords without intervention from HCPSS staff – please direct parents & students to this new resource:

Student HCPSS email address is ex:

Outlook email link can be found on at the bottom


Please NOTE: The password reset link is valid for only 1 hour.

Password will be denied (possibly without explanation) if they don't follow these requirments to the T.



    8 characters

    Meets complexity requirements, i.e. use a minimum of three (3) different character types: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and/or special characters.


EX: The3HappyZombies!

You can also use: + a special character !@#$%


Canvas Tips from Mme. Jean-Louis

To submit work on canvas choose one or all of the options below:

1 - Use this Link for step by step instructions. (Links to an external site.)

2- You can watch the video below.

Very Helpful!  Students: Watch this!  A cool YouTube Video to help upload work to Canvas (Links to an external site.)

Need More Help Authorizing Google in Canvas? 

Navigate to your settings page by clicking on "Accounts" in the global navigation menu on the left. Then, click "Settings." Click on the “Google Docs” button, located in the center of the page under Other Services. A new window will appear, asking you to authorize Canvas to access your Google Docs. 

Working with Google in Canvas ---Yet Another YouTubeVideo from our friends in Florida Students Submitting a Google Cloud Assignment in Canvas


CANVAS Help -- through Canvas: Log into Canvas and on HELP on the Left: You have the option to
"We understand that your school's needs have changed during this difficult time. While we have engaged resources throughout the company, wait times to work with an agent are still expected to be longer than usual. While you wait, we have prepared resources that are geared specifically towards remote learning and working with students while they may not be in school. Please take a look here to open our "remote learning during COVID-19" guide in a new window and see if the guide can answer any of your questions." 

 For Google Drive assignments: 

Follow the steps below:

- Before submitting Google Drive assignments make sure your file has a title on it  and your Share is set to- Or anyone with the link

-Go to the assignment on Canvas "Family Project writing"

-Click on Submit assignment

Click your option:

Google Canvas

- Media(video or audio), File Upload (only if file is from device or computer)

-Google Drive (if work is on Drive). 

-To authorize it, log out of your personal Google account and log in to the school Google account to access the work from that drive. 

-Once authorize all your files on Drive will come up. Find the one you need and submit it.  



Something Weird on Your Chromebook? Maybe you need a Refresh!

Overview: The Refresh Procedure cuts power completely to the main board and causes it to reinitialize. This typically corrects any issues with ChromeOS loading.

1. Turn off your Chromebook by pressing one of the power buttons, or by clicking into the menu in the bottom-right corner and selecting the power icon. 

2. Press and hold the Refresh button (which is located just above the 3 and 4 keys) and tap the Power button. (Do not hold down the Power button)

3. Release the refresh button when you see your Chromebook starting back up. 

For the students who do not have WiFI at home.

The parent logs into Connect and then clicks on Student Technology on the bottom left, they can choose Internet Access as a choice to be included with the Device. However, we do not have hotspots yet.  In the meantime, please take note of the below – specifically the Xfinity WiFi, as it is free. They could check to see if where they live is covered by that service.

  • Comcast has opened free access to its Xfinity WiFi network, making hotspots across the country available to anyone, including non-subscribers, at no cost. Search by zip code or city to find a hotspot near you at Comcast is also providing low cost internet access to eligible families through its Internet Essentials program.