Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top Five Canvas Uses

Greetings, I can't believe it has been nearly a year since this site has seen a post. Maybe some of you thought it had gone away. Haha, no such luck.

The following is an account of social studies 6 top five Canvas LMS applications that we use every day. As we move closer to a 1:1 Chromebook student environment you may find these interesting. Do you have your own list? Post it to the comments below.

1. Announcements: You may not want to make an announcement (blog post) every day but we post what we did in class, assignments absent students should do, and as we near a test - Test Tips. We can post links to videos, documents, or web pages as needed. Anything you can create or post to Canvas you can post to the announcement rich text editor.

2. Modules: This is the place we post all curriculum assignments, videos, links to web pages and documents. We exclusively use Google Drive to create documents that we want students to copy and complete. Some are instructional and some we create as tables, sentence starters, images, etc. When working in groups we post the document and have each group leader make a copy and send it out to the individuals in the group via student email. In this way, each group can work collaboratively on the same document. This technique has some drawbacks as some students make "group" related errors to the document but as the year goes on group work gets smoother and there are "undo" functions. A well-chosen leader can go a long way towards success.

3. Grades and Speed Grader: After we have made an assignment or quiz that we want students to submit, the Grades function works well. Assuming you have "cross-listed" your classes we can select an individual class or all students in one list. As we troubleshoot late assignments we can quickly scroll to the student in question or collect scores to transfer later to HAC. Speed Grader is used to see each student submission or look through quiz results to troubleshoot any results.

4. Notifications: We use the notifications function to determine which student responses we want to be sent our phones or emails. This may be too much for some, but I like to know when one of my students has a question. I can choose when or if to respond.

5. Link to the online textbook: We have posted a link to the student subscription log in. In this way, students can remain "close to the learning" and don't have to open up another tab.

6:00 Video
Canvas Top 5

Your Discovery Literacy Team

Friday, March 28, 2014

Canvas Anyone?

In thinking about our last Thinking Thursday outing, it is apparent that our focus needs to be on the individual user. In other words, because everyone is on such a different level that the focus should be more one-on-one support. After saying that the fact is that Canvas has so many levels and so many places to "hide" nuggets of useful tools, here is one location that may be of interest. Check it out.  You may also want to check out the Canvas Instructor Orientation located on the banner at the top under COURSES. I have made more use of the first one. Happy hunting.

Your Discovery Literacy Team

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Next Thinking Thursdays Event

Hey all. We are finally ready to deliver on our next Thinking Thursday Event. With the approaching deadlines for snow make up day E-learning we thought we would demonstrate some Canvas techniques. Thursday, March 20, will be our first event of the year (Sorry, too late for social studies.). We will demo the basics for starting a Canvas build of which you may choose (or not) to host your snow makeup lesson. Jennifer Cobb and I will be hosting (with support from any other Canvas users) and we will hold the event before school and after. You can attend both, one, or neither. It is your call. Hope to see you there.

Here is a link for a rather long 32 minute screencast featuring the following for Canvas:

Logging on
Starting a module
Putting in component pages
     Placing Internet links
     Installing a video
     Setting up a "write on the page" turn in assignment with rubric
     Setting up a turn in assignment for file submission with rubric

Canvas Snow Day Build Demo 31:54

We will go through these in as much detail as you want on Thursday. Even less, if you like. Our goal is to assist in setting up a short simple module that you can use, if you choose.

Remember, you can always post your lesson plan to your blog or push it out to Google Drive. My choice by a long shot is to use Canvas. I believe the benefits to be in the grading and accountability for students and the ease of access for me.

Your Discovery Literacy Team

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Google Drive

Hey all. This blog page has been silent for quite some time but remains alive! Jennifer Cobb picked up a great resource from Twitter so I thought I would post it especially if people are wanting a "how to guide" on some aspect of Google Drive.

So, if you are wondering how to do something in Drive and don't want to ask someone, this site is great with written tutorials on most anything you might need.

Why would you want to learn Google Drive if you will some day be employing Canvas? Because, Google Drive is a great compliment to Canvas and a good way to give any document or even video a URL. A URL may be posted to Canvas or your blog page of choice as well as be shared directly from Drive.

Note: Files may be uploaded directly to Canvas without a URL.

Your Discovery Literacy Leaders

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Google Drive (Docs) in the Writing Classroom

Hey all,
Hope you've all had a wonderful break and as you may be thinking about getting back at it you might want to consider some ideas on writing instruction. This post may especially interest language arts teachers but as a social studies teacher I have been drawn to Google Drive (formerly Google Docs). You really don't want to hear from me so I have linked to a Fractus Learning article about the advantages of working in the Google Drive environment vs Microsoft Word or like platforms. The requirement here is access to a computer lab and internet connectivity. Sixth grade social studies has been using Google Drive and its sharing capabilities to write, comment, and turn in essay responses. If this is an interest area for upcoming Thinking Thursdays, that may be arranged.

Have a great one,
Your Discovery Literacy Leaders

Google Drive Article

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PLC Post

Hey, all you acronym lovers. You have successfully arrived at the PLC post from this morning's staff meeting.  Please click on the survey link below.

Thank you in advance for participating.

PLC Staff Survey

Thank you,
Your Discovery Literacy Leaders

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tech Resources (You Tube)

Hey all. We are nearly ready to get Thinking Thursdays off to its initial post in the 2013-2014 season. I came across this collection of YouTube resources on an A.A.E. website that may be of interest to you. They are specific channels with focus. Check them out on these links. You may find a new one that just hits the spot for your classroom.

Khan Academy – Belongs at the top of every list, covers nearly every topic at every level, and is informative and entertaining - a ‘must’ for flipped classrooms!
Discovery Channel – Science, nature, and history clips from their mainstream television channel.
Biography Channel – Mini bios and ‘on this day’ for a short intro to a social studies topic.
Smithsonian Channel – Engaging and informing short videos on science and history, as well as videos that take you behind the scenes of Smithsonian institutions.
Library of Congress – A little something for everyone, from long talks about different books to illustrated books and videos about library and information science.
National Geographic Channel - Features clips from their geography, history, and science themed cable channel.
Channel One News - Features clips from their daily TV show offered free to schools across the country.  Clips often focus on current events or broadening students’ awareness of social, political, and world issues.
Periodic Table of Videos - Science videos any chemistry teacher will love.
Schmoop - Hundreds of humorous and informative videos, designed with students in mind and on covering every topic imaginable.
Crash Course - Like Schmoop, this channel covers every topic imaginable in an attempt to explain the complicated in short, easy to understand videos.
Your Discovery Literacy Leaders