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Katy Independent School District

Tech Blog

Jan 14
Student Grades

Katy ISD endorses the Home Access Center for students to view their grades and the mobile app, Katy OnThe Go. There are numerous applications that students may use on their devices but Katy ISD does not endorse the use of these.  Students are using this application to calculate current and future grade point averages. Do not rely on other applications that Katy ISD does not endorse.

Jan 10
Digital Citizenship Week

Throughout the week of January 27th, students at all campuses will be reflecting on the amount of time they spend using computers, tablets, video games, television and other devices as part of this year’s Digital Citizenship Week.

 “Media Balance: Time for a Digital Checkup” is the theme for this year’s event. Students will be challenged each day with an activity to take the place of using technology, such as talking face to face with friends instead of texting, or having a device-free lunch or dinner. 

Technology offers so many educational and entertaining opportunities for kids, but as with most things, too much can be harmful. Students still need time to play, do chores, and have face to face communication with their family and friends. 

There is an increasing number of studies showing the effects of screen time on our sleep, vision, outlook and attitudes. Together with parents and families, it’s important for schools to help students understand the choices they make with digital media and that a healthy balance is important. 

The posters below are displayed at each school and encourage students to dress in a certain color each day that corresponds with the daily media balance challenge. When elementary students have completed a challenge, they can submit a paper “tweet” to their teacher about it and be entered for a prize. Junior and Senior High students can do the same, but will complete an online form to be entered for a prize.

For more information about media use, please consider these two articles from Common Sense Media and The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Elementary Poster

Elem media balance poster.PNG

Secondary Poster

Secondary Media Balance Poster.PNG

Jan 08
Katy Virtual School Registration Opens February 1

Katy Virtual School.pngRegistration for Katy Virtual School (KVS) courses begins online February 1, 2020 at KVS Registration.   Students can register for high school credit courses for summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021. KVS courses are developed by KISD staff and taught online by KISD teachers.  The Katy ISD Virtual School's primary objective is to expand the learning opportunities for our students by offering choice and flexibility for challenging online courses developed by Katy ISD.  Information, course lists and frequently asked questions are located at Katy Virtual School . 

Jan 08
Parent Help Desk

Parents, we want to make sure you have access to everything you and/or your student needs to be successful. For questions about Canvas, Online Textbooks, students' username & passwords and other related items fill out the Parent Help Form.

Dec 04
Sora eBook/Audiobooks - New for Students

Sora-300x250-1.pngSora is an app and website that allows students to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from Katy ISD libraries.  Inspired by educator and student feedback, Sora was created to excite kids about reading and remove distractions to promote a focus on learning. It empowers students to discover and enjoy ebooks and audiobooks for both leisure and class-assigned reading. With Sora, students can get free ebooks and audiobooks.  Some highlights of Sora include:Sora

  • Easy to use, one tap to get inside a book

  • Teachers can assign titles and track individual student reading progress

  • Exportable notes, highlights for collaborative learning

  • Personalized with book recommendations and learning tools like dyslexic font, enlarged text, Read-Alongs and audiobooks

Directions for accessing Sora:

Step 1

Install the Sora app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or go to

Step 2

In Sora, find your school, then sign in.  Username is and password is student’s Katy ISD password.

Step 3

Browse the Explore tab and borrow a book. Your book will open so you can start reading right away.


Step 4

Close the book and go to shelf to see all your books (including assignments). From there, you can:

  • Select Open book or Open audiobook to read or listen to the book.

Select Options to renew or return the book, see your notes and highlights, and more.

Dec 04
Parent/Guardian Observers in Canvas

Parents and Guardians can log in to Canvas to view student courses that teachers have published. Parent and Guardians use the same log in credentials (user name and password) that they use for the Home Access Center (HAC).  For assistance with your log in, contact your campus registrar.  To learn more about the Observer role refer to:

Katy ISD Observer information
Canvas Complete Observer Guide

Dec 04
Hour of Code

​The Hour of Code is a nationwide initiative established to enhance student participation in computer science related activities. This highly engaging and creative initiative is intended to demonstrate that anyone, any age can learn the basics of computer science and programming.  hoc2019_social.png

Campuses will be highlingting Hour of Code activites the week of December 9th 2019.   Below are several links that your student can access to explore Hour of Code activities.

Elementary Activities

Junior High Activities

High School Activities 

Dec 04
Microsoft Office at Home

Students at Katy ISD have access to Office 365 which also gives them the ability to download and install Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint onto computers at home. For more information, and instructions on how to access the download, click HERE.

Nov 16
Parents Guide to YouTube

​Kids LOVE YouTube! From entertaining antics and video game cheats to makeup tips and everything in between, kids' curiosity and interests are fed in this popular platform. As we know, not all YouTube content is appropriate and it’s not always easy for kids and parents to know what is quality material. There are a few things that parents can do to rest easier regarding the videos their children are watching.

4481461680_4273d06822_b.jpgThe first tip is to create a shared account in Google. Use this account when signing in to Youtube so you can see what your child is watching, uploading and sharing. Once this account is created, the next step is to make sure YouTube restrictions are turned on. Click on your profile icon and scroll to the bottom and toggle Restricted Mode, on. This will help hide mature content from appearing during searches and from within the suggested videos. Keep in mind that restricted mode is only applied to that particular browser and you must be logged in for it to work. You can also check your child’s viewing history by selecting History on the left navigation bar. On a mobile device, click on your profile picture and select settings.

Subscribing to channels is another great way to keep kids in areas of YouTube that you are comfortable with. When you find a video or Youtuber that you enjoy, subscribe to their channel so your child spends more time on that familiar content rather searching around.

When it comes to your child wanting to be the next famous Youtuber, start them out by uploading and designating the video to be either private or unlisted rather than public. This way they can share it with family and friends and not the whole world quite yet. Also remind them to click on the Advanced tab and check the box to disable comments or require approval by you before they are posted. 

Nov 09
Microsoft Learning Tools - Immersive Reader

Microsoft Immersive reader is part of the Microsoft Learning Tools. This tool improves reading and writing for learners regardless of their age or ability. The immersive reader is a full-screen reading experience to increase the readability of content. It was designed to support students with dyslexia and dysgraphia in the classroom, but it can help anyone who wants to increase their fluency or needs help decoding more complex texts. It can also aid writers in studying the craft of writing since it provides a tool for analyzing the more technical aspects of a piece of writing. 

Currently, the immersive reader is supported in Word Online, OneNote, Outlook, and PowerPoint. You can also use Office Lens to scan a printed text and place it in OneNote — the program will use text recognition to launch the immersive reader. There is also an extension that can be downloaded to use the tool offline.  Click on the link to watch a video to see it in action.  Immersive Tool Video

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