Wyoming Canvas February Newsletter

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

Wyoming Canvas Masthead

Adoption Consultant Update

Canvas Adoption Consultant January Map

As the calendar turns to 2021, the to-do list transitions into strategic planning for the rest of the spring semester, and preparations for the fall of 2021. Toward the end of January, I spent a few hours working virtually with the team from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) planning priority tasks for the remainder of this school year and the beginning of the next. Our discussion centered around the successes we’ve had in reaching teachers and districts, including those who needed immediate support last March during our first wave of COVID-19 shutdowns. We had over 500 unique visits to our live webinars during the first week alone. I was able to impact a greater number of teachers in 2020 than previous years, simply by being remote.

Looking forward to the rest of the spring semester, and into summer/fall planning, there are some specific tasks I will be focusing on. One is working with individual school districts on specific and actionable planning for the use of Canvas in the elementary classroom. In March, Canvas will be releasing a number of new features aimed at elementary teachers and students (see below for more details on our the Canvas feature release roadmap). I will also continue to build out the Clever Pandas course throughout the spring to create more spaces for collaboration among Wyoming’s Canvas school districts, and with our Canvas community colleges and the University of Wyoming. And yes, I also plan on resuming in-person visits to school districts as conditions allow.

Taking time to look back, as well as into the future, I’m always excited about the work we have accomplished and what amazing things we can create moving forward. I am humbled to have been part of your journey with Canvas and hold such an amazing hope for what we will bring to your students and schools this spring, this fall, and beyond.

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

Canvas as a platform is always evolving, bringing new ideas to reality every month with product releases (see the Spotlight section below). One of the most recent “under the radar” changes to the platform is how administrators and teachers turn options on and off. Previously administrators were given options of “Off,” “Allow,” and “On.” Teachers had a slider that showed either nothing or a green check mark denoting the feature was turned on.

With the latest feature update, administrators have more flexibility in deploying features to their users. Any option in the administration panel has two different choices to make to turn a feature off or on and whether or not to lock the selection:

Canvas options on, off, locked, unlocked features

Here is the interpretation of the combinations:

  • LOCKED and turned ON: On for all users/subaccounts.
  • LOCKED and turned OFF: Off for all users/subaccounts.
  • UNLOCKED and turned ON: On by default for all users/subaccounts with the option to turn off.
  • UNLOCKED and turned OFF: Off by default for all users/subaccounts with the option to turn on.

Subaccount administrators will have the ability to modify both the “states” and “locks” of unlocked features for their users and dependent subaccounts. Teachers will have the ability to modify unlocked features in their Course Settings under the “Feature Options” tab by changing the state:

Unlocked features enabled screenshot

Be sure to take advantage of all of the features that Canvas has to offer.

Canvas Spotlight  

In Canvas Community, there is the Canvas Product Roadmap. This roadmap gives administrators and teachers a preview of upcoming product releases. There are an amazing number of enhancements to the Canvas platform being released in March, including the ability for students to directly annotate a worksheet uploaded by their teacher.

Also included in the roadmap is a space where people can contribute to and vote on ideas for improvements to Canvas. Canvas has already added in over 500 feature enhancements that started as ideas generated by users. Canvas shows which ideas are being moderated for potential development and which are currently being developed into future features. Canvas is truly the platform that listens and grows to help seek a better outcome for our students.

Canvas Roadmap Idea Status screenshot

Statewide Adoption Consulting Meeting 

New Elementary View in Canvas

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. Our next meeting will happen at 10 a.m. on February 23, 2021. This meeting will be focused on the demonstration of an upcoming product release targeting a new interface for elementary students and teachers. If you would like to attend this demo, please reach out to David via email to get added to the calendar invite.

Contact Information

David Stokowski - Canvas

Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre - WDE

Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315