Wyoming Canvas March Newsletter

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

Wyoming Canvas Masthead

Adoption Consultant Update

Adoption Consultant Map for Feb. 2021

There are some exciting changes coming to Canvas this summer and fall that I am beginning to plan for in earnest. First, is the release of our new Canvas for K-5 Dashboard coming in March. This new view was demonstrated by a Canvas Product Manager on our statewide Adoption Consulting call in February. Additionally, there are additional K-5 specific enhancements coming to Canvas over the next few months. These new enhancements have been well received in demonstrations and will make Canvas more accessible to our youngest learners. Further updates and workshops will be announced as these features are released.

Another exciting update is the addition of PDF annotations on worksheets inside of Canvas. This update, currently scheduled for April, will allow teachers to easily assign worksheets for either physical or virtual completion.

Finally, the full transition to the new Google Assignments Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) will start this fall. This new LTI was created by Google to leverage the features many Canvas teachers used previously within Google Classroom. Now these Classroom features will be fully integrated into Canvas providing teachers with a way to keep students engaged in one place without having to authenticate to multiple websites.

If you haven’t seen the Canvas feature roadmap for March, there are new feature updates coming soon. Canvas is committed to creating a better platform for all Wyoming students, teachers, and districts. If you would like to see these new features in action, find the details below regarding our next statewide consulting meeting. Here’s to a productive end of the year, and the beginning stages of planning for an even more productive 2021-22 school year.

David Signature

Canvas Best Practices 

Messaging Students Who

One of the best practices that a teacher can achieve more easily with Canvas is direct communication to students. While many teachers have likely used the tools of the Canvas SpeedGrader, one of the most commonly overlooked feedback communication functions is found in the Gradebook: Message Students Who. This function is located by first moving your mouse over the title area in a specific Canvas assignment and revealing the skinny snowman (three vertical dots). Once you click on the skinny snowman, you will reveal a hidden menu where you will find Message Students Who.

Messaging Students Who Screenshot

The Message Students Who feature allows you to quickly send an Inbox message to a targeted group of students. The criteria allows messages to students who:

Message Students Who: Haven’t submitted yet. Haven’t been graded. Scored greater than. Scored less than.

There are some important things to remember when using this tool. First, it creates individual messages for each student on the list meaning any replies will be personal between only the teacher and the student. Second, the message should be general enough that any student seeing it would consider it to be a personal communication. Keep salutations generic like “Hi There!” or “Reminder,” etc. When using a threshold score in the scored greater or less than options, it is recommended to rewrite the subject lines as the pre-populated versions are not particularly useful or clear. Using Message Students Who can significantly increase your ability to engage students with targeted and private messages of congratulations on a well done assignment, or timely reminders of upcoming due dates.

Canvas Spotlight  

In February, a new space in the Canvas Commons was created so that teachers in Wyoming could collaborate more easily. There is now a Canvas Commons Consortium called Wyoming K12 Districts. Wyoming has so many amazing Canvas teachers throughout the state, from Evanston to Newcastle, and Jackson to Torrington. This new space gives Wyoming teachers the opportunity to share content unique to Wyoming. For example, if a teacher has created an assignment or quiz specific to Native American history in Wyoming, that content can be shared with other Wyoming teachers.

Who can use this resource Canvas screenshot

Utilizing this new feature is easy. When preparing to share content to the Canvas Commons there are two checkboxes to be checked enabling sharing only to the new Consortium: Select Consortium(s) and the Wyoming K12 Districts. This will allow only Wyoming Canvas districts to search for and download the content shared.

There is one other setting you should modify before sharing content: the License. If the content being shared is specifically for other teachers to use the Canvas content, consider changing the License from Copyrighted to Public Domain or some other of the Creative Commons licenses. If you have questions about which license type is most appropriate, select the Help Me Choose link:

License - Help me choose screenshot

The new Wyoming K12 Commons Consortium is now available for viewing and sharing content. Be sure to take advantage of this new option. 

Clever Pandas In-Training Course

Clever Panda Logo

This is a new professional development opportunity through the Wyoming Department of Education 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 remain open throughout the spring, but the course will be ending on May 31, 2021. Get your seat in the first ever cohort so you too can be called a Clever Panda.

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. Our next meeting will be at 10 a.m. on March 23, 2021. The March meeting will focus first on a user-led discussion on Canvas successes throughout the state, and then transition into a demonstration of as many of our new features as possible.

Contact Information

David Stokowski - Canvas

Adoption Consultant

Robin Grandpre - WDE

Project & Performance Manager

Phone: 307-215-3060
Calendar: Calendly 

Phone: 307-777-5315