WyoCourses 2.0 February Newsletter

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

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Adoption Consultant Update

Map showing Roadshow XIV

The New Year got off to a quick start, catching a flight on New Year’s Day to Jackson to meet with the teachers in Teton County #1. I was a presenter at three different sessions during a day-long professional development conference. We focused on some of the more advanced Canvas features, including MasteryPaths, the Learning Mastery Gradebook, and the district’s associated outcomes, as well as an introduction to the Conferencing tool, which uses Big Blue Button. I also traveled to the Farson-Eden School to present a Canvas content building workshop with middle and high school teachers. 

The next week, I traveled to Johnson County #1 in Buffalo. We discussed the process of automating grading tasks using the Canvas quizzing tool. I also was able to spend some one-on-one time with administrators and teachers covering specific topics for each.

Towards the end of January, I went on Roadshow XIV through southern and eastern Wyoming. I started working with teachers from Albany #1 at Laramie High School in the morning, and with Laramie Middle School in the afternoon. I then spent two days with Goshen County #1, traveling to most of their schools chatting one-on-one about how Canvas is being used in the district’s classrooms. My first day was spent at Lingle-Fort Laramie School, and at Southeast School in Yoder. The second day was spent at the various schools in Torrington, working with teachers to enhance their classroom use of Canvas. We may be scheduling some recurring Zoom meetings in the coming weeks to continue the discussions and demonstrations to increase the usage and adoption of Canvas in elementary and secondary classrooms.

January 2020 started quickly, and looks to continue strong as visitations will continue throughout February and March. As always, if there is anything I can do for a district, school, or staff member, don’t hesitate to reach out.

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

The WDE wants to make sure that all Canvas users have the best possible Canvas experience. As a result, there are a number of services that the WDE has made available. First is David Stokowski, the dedicated Wyoming Canvas Adoption Consultant. Adoption Consulting is designed to help school districts with the details of adding a new learning management system (LMS), or switching from a previous LMS. This includes working with districts on concepts of change management, and how best to deploy the Canvas LMS. Expert consultation can come in the form of in-person training sessions and/or Canvas demos, remote video consultation with administrators or teachers (groups or individuals), and even a point of email contact for teachers trying to use Canvas as a pedagogical tool for delivery of student facing content. David can be reached via phone or email; both are listed at the bottom of this newsletter, as is his link to schedule a Virtual Visit using Calendly.

The WDE also provides Tier 1 Canvas support to all K-12 public school districts. This is the top level of Canvas support available, which gives teachers and administrators the ability to call a dedicated phone number and be on the phone with Canvas support within 60 seconds, or receive a call back from support within 15 minutes if call activity is high. The Chat with Canvas Support option is also available, with expected response times under 2 minutes for the initial connection to a Tech Support team member. There are also a number of self-help resources available including the NEW Training Services Portal (as mentioned in the December 2019 newsletter), and the Canvas Community and Canvas Guides.

Now the question about which service to use may seem difficult, but it is actually easy to answer. Following these basic rules of thumb, the resources will be used as intended:

  • If under time constraints, start by contacting Canvas support using the Help button in the Global Navigation menu. Feel free to contact David with the Support Case number to help with follow-up as needed.
  • If the question is about building content in a pedagogical context, or instructional design, contact David.
  • For anything else, choose the method most comfortable to use.

District Spotlight

Wyoming State Library Logo

The Wyoming State Library provides districts and schools with access to hundreds of databases through its GoWYLD.net portal. These include resources for science, health, social studies, literature, language learning, as well as test prep, career education, and even driver’s training! The Library also offers eBooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines. There is something for everyone and every age.

Best of all, some of these resources can be integrated into the Canvas platform, with more being made compatible all the time. Some of the resources that can currently be integrated are the Gale resources including: Gale In Context (Opposing Viewpoints, Global Issues, Environmental Studies, Biography, College, Science, U.S. and World History,) Gale One File collections, Kids Info Bits, and National Geographic Kids. Content assets from these resources can be directly embedded into a Canvas assignment, page, discussion, or quiz.

For answers to questions about these resources, please contact Paige Bredenkamp (paige.bredenkamp@wyo.gov.) at the Wyoming State Library. 

Call for Submissions

Use this form to nominate an innovative Canvas user, be it a teacher or administrator, or an initiative happening at a local school, to be highlighted in future newsletters. We look forward to sharing all of the amazing work our Wyoming educators are doing in Canvas.

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, adoption consulting meetings will start at 10 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Expect to see a February invite coming soon after the newsletter. Email David to get added to the list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on February 25, 2020

Statewide Canvas User Groups

Shelved for the remainder of the school year

After consultation with the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), it has been decided to stop holding the monthly Statewide Canvas User Group meetings. Attendance for any given session was low. As a result, a new strategy is being formed to help foster collaboration and sharing of Canvas content that we hope will have higher use and engagement rates. Look for information later this spring once plans are finalized.

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315