WyoCourses 2.0 December Newsletter

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

WyoCourses Logo

Adoption Consultant Update

November Canvas Adoption Consultant Map

November is typically a month of projects and work that is less focused on direct school visits and help. However, there were two major virtual visits that I was a part of this month, the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference held on November 5-6, 2020 inside Canvas, and District Professional Development day with Washakie County School District #1. By all accounts, the Innovations Conference was a great success. I had the pleasure of presenting two sessions during the Innovations Showcase, one highlighting the use of MasteryPaths as a means for differentiated instructional delivery, and one on the new Google Assignments built with the latest Learning Tools Interoperability or LTI (see below for info on this new LTI). MasteryPaths is a lesser known, but incredibly powerful feature that allows teachers to create and automatically deliver individualized content to students. Both of these sessions had in the neighborhood of 20-30 participants, a great size for demonstration and the ensuing discussion. The Professional Development day for the teachers in Worland focused on meeting the teachers at their comfort-level with Canvas and providing workshops on topics related to using Canvas to deliver both in-person and remote instruction. 

Outside of the two presentations, the rest of the month was spent getting the Clever Pandas In-Training Course off the ground. The course was opened for registration upon release of the November WyoCourses 2.0 Newsletter, with the first module beginning the following Monday. The plan is to release one module per month through the end of the school year in May. This course has been the realization of a lot of hard work from my partners at the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), and other educators on the ground around Wyoming. My greatest hope is that it will create a sense of community and desire for sharing content amongst teachers and districts throughout Wyoming. The cohort design is intentional so that participants will directly interact with each other by sharing content they create, as well as ideas that are helping them in the classroom.

As the calendar turns toward the end of 2020, it is my hope that all of you, your schools, and your communities remain safe! If there is anything I can do to support your learning initiatives in the coming year, let me know. You can always reach out and schedule time on my calendar through the information at the end of the newsletter. Stay safe this Holiday season, see you again in the New Year!

David Signature

Clever Pandas In-Training Course

Clever Panda Logo

This is a new professional development opportunity through the WDE on advanced use cases of Canvas. The course can be taken for one full PTSB credit (14 total hours of anticipated time to complete the course). The Clever Pandas In-Training Course is now live and available for registration. Registration will be open through January 31, 2021, so get your seat in the first ever cohorts, and you too can be called a Clever Panda.

Canvas Best Practices 

One of newest Canvas Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) features, Google Assignments, may have the largest impact of any LTI to date. For those using the original Instructure created Google Drive/Apps LTIs, they will be retired over the summer of 2021 in favor of the Google created Google Assignments LTI. For administrators wanting to install this in your instance, here are the instructions.

The new Google Assignments LTI is essentially an extension of Google Classroom reborn inside of Canvas. To add an assignment using a document from Google Drive, make sure you select the External Tool Assignment Type, and then find the Google Assignments LTI (1.3).

Configure External Tool Screenshot

When adding the assignment from Drive, here are some tips to make the new tool successful:

  • Match the point value and due dates in Google to the assignment in Canvas.
  • All native Google formats can be used (with the exception of Forms).
  • If students need to annotate on a document, add the document as an image to a Google Drawing, and have the students add text boxes to their Drawing. This can be done in place of editing a PDF.
  • Use the grading functions in Google Drive, as these grades will pass back into Canvas, and eventually into the SIS, if your district grade pass back enabled.
  • Navigate to Google Drive and to the “Assignments” folder to see student progress on their documents before they turn in their snapshot.

Finally, for any specific questions or support for the new Google Assignments LTI, use the question mark help icon in Google to submit any issues. Happy Holidays, and enjoy your new toys.

District Spotlight

Sheridan County School District #1 logo

It was exciting to bring five new districts with the intention of using Canvas during the 2020/21 school year into the Canvas family over the summer of 2020. One of these districts was Sheridan County School District #1. While all districts have a specific plan for rolling Canvas out to their teachers, Sheridan County School District #1 has a plan that is focused on communication and support. It’s important to note that their internal team has taken the lead on the rollout planning and delivery of content.

The current Canvas plan for Sheridan County School District #1 involves a few well defined goals created by the district’s superintendent, Pete Kilbride. The local team of Cowboy State Virtual Academy Principal Angel Sparkman, and Big Horn Middle School social studies teacher, Justin Kidneigh, has developed a workshop and support plan for the district. While David Stokowski, Canvas Adoption Consultant, is involved in the planning, Mr. Kidneigh will be acting as a resource for all teachers in the district after the initial workshop, with Mrs. Sparkman providing continued administrative support. Local building principals are also on board, allowing unified messaging regarding Canvas at all levels of the district. Because this plan has been created from the ground up, with support from the top down, and is focused on facets of Change Management, the plan has a great chance for success.

Every district has a unique plan for success. If you need help creating, or revising a plan for Canvas usage focused on the specific and proven techniques of Change Management, please contact David Stokowski. David is a free resource available courtesy of the WDE to all Wyoming districts, schools, and teachers in support of the Canvas Learning Management System.

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, with the exception of December’s meeting which will happen a week earlier. The updated December meeting should already be on calendars. Email David to be added to the email invite list.

Next Meeting: 10 a.m. on December 15, 2020

Happy New Year Image

Contact Information

David Stokowski, Canvas, Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre, WDE, Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315