WyoCourses 2.0 October Newsletter

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

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Adoption Consultant Update

Adoption Consultant Map for September

With the approach of fall, It feels like most of us are settling into our school year routines. I had a number of great virtual visits - from Rock Springs, to Jackson, to Newcastle, to a number of sessions throughout Fremont County. This level of workshop activity tends to remain rather constant into October and November once district professional development days start appearing on district calendars. I have a number of Friday district-level sessions on my calendar in October, as well as the upcoming virtual Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference to be held November 5-6, 2020.

The reduction in the number of workshops to deliver, leads to an increase in time to work on statewide projects. There are two main projects I started in September, and will continue working on them into October. First is a series of videos entitled “5 for 5 in 5: An Introduction to the New Rich Content Editor.” This series will consist of five videos to be released over five days, each about five minutes in length. This series on the New Rich Content editor is timely, in that many school districts are still using the Classic Rich Content Editor, which will be turned off forever as part of the January 16, 2021, Canvas release. The second project is a yet-to-be-named Canvas professional development course which can be taken for PTSB credit; the project will be outlined in the Best Practices Section below. 

While the start of this school year already seems so far behind us, I’m excited to keep working with you and your districts on making Canvas a larger part of your students’ educational experience. Any exposure you and your students have with Canvas this year will mean a greater familiarity. The Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) vision for Canvas is that eventual college-bound students will have one less thing to worry about in their transition into post-secondary education. I will continue to be here to help answer your questions, and look forward to the next time we get to meet. Until then…

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

As part of the Wyoming Canvas adoption process, the creation of a new professional development program in Canvas is currently in progress. As of now, we anticipate this course being launched in November. There are three main goals for this course: To create a vibrant community of Canvas users in Wyoming; to allow skilled Canvas users to learn features in Canvas more deeply; and to create an opportunity for Wyoming teachers to earn PTSB credits while learning Canvas.

This new Canvas course is designed for teachers to learn more of the advanced features of Canvas, while allowing them to share their designs, experiences, and expertise with each other. The course will be delivered in seven modules, with a new module offered every month. Teachers will be enrolled in a cohort in this course in order to help build a stronger community of Canvas users. Topics each month are designed to go deeper into Canvas features than standard Adoption Consulting Workshops. As such, it is anticipated that this course can be taken for 0.5 PSTB credits. Once a teacher completes the course, they will also earn a digital badge of distinction. The process for enrolling in this course will be detailed further in the WyoCourses2.0 Newsletter to be released in November.

District Spotlight  

Goshen County School District #1

Every district took a different approach toward preparing their teachers for this fall. Goshen County School District #1 took the approach of using templated content for their teachers. Kevin Derby, Instructional Facilitator for Goshen County School District #1, mentioned that the district wanted to present a uniform starting point for all courses this fall. They created custom homepages for each school in the district, giving teachers the ability to easily personalize the page for their classes. These template pages were very well received, especially at the elementary schools throughout the district that are new to using Canvas.

The content and implementation of the pages was based off of the WDE Canvas course templates, which are available to every Canvas district in the state. Canvas Admins can find these templates in the “WDE Templates” subaccount of their Canvas instances. If users need any specific instruction on how to best implement these templates, contact David Stokowski. If anyone would like to get more information from Kevin Derby on the specifics of a template project, email him at kderby@goshen1.org.

Statewide Adoption Consulting Meeting 

These meetings are to discuss the successes, concerns, and needs of Canvas districts around Wyoming and to demonstrate new Canvas features. Consulting meetings will start at 10 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The October meeting should already be on calendars. Email David to be added to the email invite list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on October 27, 2020

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315