WyoCourses 2.0 November Newsletter

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

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Adoption Consultant Update

Davids November Map trip. See below in text for description.

A lot of my October time was spent looking at Canvas usage data for various districts around the state. This effort is in support of creating documented Adoption Plans for all of our Canvas districts. I have met with one district so far, and will continue to contact districts as the data is processed to develop each district’s customized Canvas Adoption Plan.

I had one major travel event this month: Roadshow XII, which encompassed mostly western Wyoming. My time started with a visit to Teton #1, one of Wyoming’s most experienced Canvas districts. We spent time discussing strategies related to Canvas Outcomes, as well as best practices for student use. After Jackson, I went to Rawlins with Carbon #1, where I met with their Tech Staff and went to Rawlins Elementary School for teacher visits. The next day, I met directly with a few teachers in Lincoln #1, highlighting the use of a few apps for classroom use. One of my conversations was with a science teacher, and we discussed how the OneNote Class Notebook app can be used to distribute digital notes to students. This works very well for math and science teachers trying to convert their written equations into digitally stored content. If you are a Microsoft district, I highly recommend getting this app installed for all of your teachers. My trip ended in Pinedale where we delivered three training sessions at a combined professional development day with Sublette #1 and #9. It was great to engage with teachers at every level of Canvas experience.

As always, feel free to contact me if there is any way I can help bring Canvas to your school, teachers, and students. 

David Signature

Statewide Adoption Consulting Meeting

The purpose of these meetings is to discuss the state of adoption consulting in Wyoming, and to demonstrate new Canvas features. For the 2019-20 school year, there will be a meeting starting at 10 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Expect to see your November invite coming soon after the newsletter. Email David to get added to the list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on November 26, 2019 

Statewide Canvas User Groups 

Continuing our meetings

To sign up for monthly Statewide Canvas User Group meetings, email David

    • Canvas for Elementary - Time will be devoted 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. 
        • Next meeting date: 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2019
        • Meeting link
    • Canvas for Professional Development - Discuss how Canvas is being used for professional development around the state, celebrate successes and discuss how to bring effective and creative professional development to all staff members.
        • Next meeting date: 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2019
        • Meeting link
    • Creating Engaging Canvas Courses (Formerly Canvas for Secondary/Online Classes) -  Share best practices and wisdom learned from our experiences teaching both online and in traditional classrooms.
        • Next meeting date: 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, November 21, 2019 
        • Meeting link

For past agendas and recordings email David.

Canvas Best Practices 

Canvas Commons

Many schools have struggled with the process of onboarding new employees, specifically teachers, who need specialized training in the software their district currently uses. "Growing with Canvas" was built using modules to shepherd users through the main features of the Canvas. Enrolling your new teachers as students will give them both the knowledge on how to use Canvas, and the experience to understand how their students will be using it.

A very recent addition to the Canvas Commons is “Passport to Canvas.” This course leads students through the main features of Canvas, including demos of how to submit assignments, send Inbox messages to their instructors, and how to maneuver through a Canvas course.  “Passport to Canvas” is designed for use with students at or above sixth grade, so the content is a perfect candidate to be added to a Homeroom-type class. 

District Spotlight

Niobrara County School District #1's logo

Niobrara County School District #1 - A First Year Snapshot

The first school visit last year was in Lusk with Niobrara #1. The visit included internal planning with district leaders, and a few remote training sessions for some of their self-selected power users. Two full onsite days were spent with their teachers, one in May with all the teachers from the district, one in August with a full-staff review, and  individual consulting with teachers.

As part of the collaborative planning time, Niobrara #1 created one main short-term goal and a longer-term goal. This short-term goal is to have teachers create and post their lesson plans to Canvas. The secondary, and more implicit goal relates to parental access. Currently principals are being added to these courses as observers. Content needs to be published for observers to see it, so publishing rates of Canvas content are quite high for a first year Canvas district. Parents will eventually be granted the same observer access within Canvas. This process will help teachers understand what parental observers will see.

As a first-year district in Canvas, the rate of usage among teachers is relatively high. The other factor that has them tracked for long-term success is they have a dedicated in-district Canvas person as a resource for teachers. In general, buildings or districts with a common point of contact for Canvas tend to see greater adoption in a shorter time frame.  

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calenderly 

Phone: 307-777-5315