WyoCourses 2.0 November Newsletter

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

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Adoption Consultant Update

Adoption Consultant Travel Map for October

To open on a personal note; my family and I were able to relax and unwind by taking a week of time seeing many of the natural (and man-made) wonders in both South Dakota and Wyoming. It was a great time to recharge and relax. Since then, I have been back at it working on a few projects, and continuing to deliver workshops and live Q&A for our 34 Canvas districts around Wyoming.

Even after the two plus years I’ve now spent working with Wyoming schools on all things Canvas, there are still districts that I have not specifically worked with. I was recently able to cross Lincoln County School District #2 out in the Star Valley off that list. I had two different workshop days with them in October, the first working with Star Valley Middle School, and the second working with some of their most motivated elementary teachers. It’s always a joy to meet more of the teachers in Wyoming using Canvas, and to help them along their journey. I also had the opportunity to work with Sweetwater County School District #1 and their teachers during both Live Q&A sessions and topical workshops designed for their specific needs. As always, if your district has a need for any workshops, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get something on my schedule.

Another thing I love about Canvas is our dedication to continuously improve our software to create a more engaging and useful experience for all students and teachers. At our Statewide Adoption Consulting Meeting held in late October, I was able to demonstrate our newly available student workflow for assignment submissions. It’s always such a joy to demonstrate features that fit a real need for Canvas users in Wyoming and beyond.

Finally, I want to introduce a new program called Clever Panda, information on the program and registration details are found in the Canvas Spotlight section below. Take care, and stay safe!

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

There have been many new elementary teachers joining Canvas this year. As many of these teachers are trying to create engaging pages, one of the nicest ways to dress up a Canvas page is by replacing a weblink with a button. A button on a Canvas page is simply an image that has a weblink attached to it, so when a user clicks with their mouse on the image, it will take them to a new page. Buttons can be created to take a user to content inside of a Canvas course, or to an external website, all through the magic of linking. Here’s an example from a Canvas page:

Cool Math Games screenshot

Creating and Uploading an Image to use as a Button

Many teachers have a number of tools they use to help create graphics. The button above was created using Minded’s DaButtonFactory. If you are more creative, and like to use graphic elements, there are free tools available for image generation like Canva (not associated with Canvas!), or Google Draw

Once the image is created, use the Rich Content Editor to upload that image into the Canvas course. Look for the icon in the New Rich Content Editor, choose “Upload Image,” and bring the image into the course. Once the image is uploaded, go to the icon and link your button to something from the Canvas Course by choosing ”Course Links.” Alternatively, if the image needs to link to a website, or anything else not located in Canvas, choose “External Link” and add the desired URL. To confirm that the image is a button, select on the image to ensure both “Image Options” and “Link Options” display at the top of the image:

Cool Math Games Image and Link options screenshot

Canvas Spotlight

The Clever Panda Program

This professional development course is designed to help Canvas users take their knowledge to the next level and earn the title of Clever Panda. The Clever Panda course will be split into grade band cohorts and is designed to foster both knowledge of Canvas, and a community of learning throughout a school year. There are seven modules, each designed to take approximately two hours to complete. Each module will contain discussion activities, content to watch and read on the topics presented, and some modules will have exercises to complete in the cohort. Upon completion of the course, cohort members will receive the designation of “Clever Panda,” and one PTSB credit. To note, a Clever Panda knows:

  • Variations in Canvas Course Design.
  • How To Create & Share Engaging Content.
  • How To Use Canvas as a Communication Hub.
  • How To Differentiate Instruction Using Canvas.
  • All About Accessibility in Canvas.
  • Canvas New Quizzes, including importing, item banks, and outcomes (eventually).
  • How to be Data Driven (Data/Analytics + Quiz Reporting).

Each month we will focus on one module. Registration is now open and will close December 31, 2020. If interested parties miss this year, this course will run again during the 2021/22 school year, and be open for registration over the summer of 2021.

For help with registration, please email Robin Grandpre

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 November meeting should already be on calendars. Email David to be added to the email invite list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on November 24, 2020

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315