WyoCourses 2.0 October Newsletter

Update from the Wyoming Department of Education  |  view online |  website

WyoCourses Logo

Adoption Consultant Update

September roadshow map

This month, there are a number of initiatives I was able to work on, from re-launching our monthly Statewide Video Meetings on all things Canvas (see the sections below for more details), to starting the process of creating formalized Adoption Plans with district-specific data. I will contact each district I have been working with over the past year to open discussions on how to best capture the Adoption work and plans we have informally created, as well as create a plan of action to continue that work through this school year and into the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

My month ended with a short three-day trip to Wyoming where I first stopped into Albany County School District #1, which I feature in the District Spotlight this month. My next day was spent in Fremont County School District #25 training their administrative team, showing them how the back-end of Canvas operates. The district is now working on internal workflows for overall Canvas responsibilities, which is a necessary step to consider before moving Canvas into the middle school, and eventually to the elementary school. I ended with a visit to Douglas, to work with the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. The leaders of the academy are excited to start using standards-based grading and assessment to better help train their cadets to serve and protect the peace and safety of the residents of Wyoming. 

As always, feel free to contact me to help bring Canvas to your school, teachers, and students.

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

As the level of Canvas knowledge and adoption continues to increase within Wyoming, it is important to understand how the Canvas Platform enables collaboration. One of the unique features of Canvas is the Canvas Community, a vibrant online community that consists of Canvas experts and Canvas users who seek to both learn and share about how Canvas has affected course design and student outcomes. To date, some 60,000 pieces of content have been created by the registered members of the Canvas Community. This content varies from feature request ideas, to official documentation, to Community created discussions and blog posts. To join this collaborative community use this Canvas Guide along with your Canvas credentials to create an account. 

Once you have an account in the Canvas Community, you can create your own personalized activity streams, which aggregate posts from topics that are important to you. On the main Community Page, select on “Browse” in the top navigation bar, and then “News.” Once there, you can create your own news streams to follow people, topics, and/or keywords. Add a term in the search bar, and the screen will populate with users, places, and tags you can add to your customized news stream. As updates are added to content within your news stream, you will receive a notification under your community profile. This is a great way to see the latest Community content, and to give you more tools to use in creating amazing Canvas content. If you have more questions about how to personalize your activity streams in the Canvas Community, make sure to check out this official Canvas Guide: How do I manage my Activity stream in the Canvas Community?

District Spotlight

Albany County School District #1 - Moving to Canvas

Over the summer, Wyoming added its 29th Canvas district, Albany County School District #1 in Laramie. Albany County has taken a proactive and pragmatic approach to their Canvas implementation timeline. David (your Wyoming Canvas Adoption Consultant) has already been on-site in Laramie a couple of times, delivering an introduction to Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) to district and building leaders, and most recently to the teachers of Laramie middle and high schools. As part of the district and building-level adoption process, we will create targeted and specific communication plans to help reduce the friction created by transition. 

During a professional development day in late September for both Laramie middle and high schools, David presented a high-level overview of Canvas as an optional one-hour session. The time was spent highlighting the support the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE)  gives all Canvas districts, including enhanced, Tier 1 technical support for all teachers and administrators, Adoption Consulting services, as well as the unique features of the Canvas platform. During the meeting, the teachers were highly engaged, and asked specific questions about how the Canvas platform would integrate with their current classes, and even how Canvas would be an improvement over their current LMS. 

While this was the beginning of the Canvas education in Albany County School District #1, it illustrates an important point about transparent communication during any large-scale change. During the adoption consulting process, we believe in holding discussions about planning and communication, before any large-scale training begins. 

Statewide Adoption Consulting Meeting

Since Adoption Consultant David Stokowski started in October of 2018, he has held monthly meetings with district leaders, technology directors, principals, and anyone else interested. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss the state of adoption consulting in Wyoming, and also to demonstrate new Canvas features. For the 2019-20 school year, there will be an adoption consulting meeting starting at 10 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Expect to see your October invite coming soon after the newsletter. As always, if you want to be a part of these meetings, email David to get added to the list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on October 29, 2019 (NEW DATE DUE TO TRAVEL)

Statewide Canvas User Groups 

Meeting Again in October

If you want to be on the list for any of the upcoming Statewide Canvas User Group meetings, email David

Here is the information about the current groups: 

  • Canvas for Elementary - Let's collaborate and see how Canvas can aid in the elementary classroom. Each month, we will devote time to learning about new successes the group members have seen, as well as provide a space to brainstorm future ideas to implement in their elementary classes. 
  • Canvas for Professional Development - District leaders, principals, curriculum designers, or other users interested in creating professional development in Canvas will find this group useful. Each month, we will discuss how Canvas is being used for professional development around the state, celebrating successes and discussing how to bring effective and creative professional development to all staff members.
  • Creating Engaging Canvas Courses (Formerly Canvas for Secondary/Online Classes) - Canvas has rich tools that can help to create exciting and engaging online courses for any age student. During our monthly meetings we will discuss best practices and share wisdom learned from our experiences teaching both online and in traditional classrooms using Canvas.

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calenderly 

Phone: 307-777-5315