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Showing posts from August, 2016

InstructureCon 2016 Round 2: The Wrath of Con

Canvas released another batch of session videos from InstructureCon 2016. I've watched 13 more sessions and there are so many great videos that speak to different roles in Canvas.  The videos I choose speak to my experience as an instructor. You can find all my favorites so far in this playlist. To find descriptions of my favorite volume 1 videos, go to my previous post.



Hit the Bullseye with On-Target Curriculum Design KC TestermanCommonwealth Charter Academy - K12 Courtney KofeldtPennsylvania Leadership Charter School - K12
KC and Courtney walk you through their innovative way of designing lesson packages. The have built a predictable structure for students that allows for maximum personalization for instruction. It is great because the student experience moves away from constant scrolling to a turning the page experience. This is great for all Canvas experiences especially mobile. their design represents an empathetic view for the student experience not simply what is easiest fro…

Mo Portfolios Mo Problems: Version 1.0

As we approach the school year, two big things have occurred that have made me realize that portfolios can be a place for literacy and learning to be reflected. The first is that we are going 1:1 with Chromebooks at the high school. The second event was our district being included in the Google Sites Beta.  The Beta represents a giant leap in accessibility for students who are able to use the core GAFE apps like Docs and Slides.

What these two changes mean is that we can access to the portfolio anytime (no need to sign up for computer lab) and with ease (it will be a much less intimidating process).  Students who are familiar with GAFE apps will be more able to provide peer support.  They don't need to know the complex menus of the traditional Google Sites (Classic Sites).

So, I'm calling this Version 1.0 because I'm really starting from scratch here guided by the work of George Couros and Vicki Davis with student portfolios. They have so many great resources that I had t…

InstructureCon 2016 Round 1: Personal Favorites

Instructure, the company behind Canvas Learning Management System, holds a yearly conference called InstructureCon. The primary focus of the conference is use of Canvas by educators.  It is an educator driven conference with two days of breakout sessions and multiple keynotes every day.  Instructure is a super transparent company and has gone as far as posting sessions from the conference online so that all users can benefit from the learning.

They have released 19 sessions in the first wave on YouTube.  I’ve watched all the videos and created a playlist of those that I think are most beneficial to educators in K - 12 environments that you can access by clicking here. You may not have time to watch all the videos, so I’d like to give some of my takeaways in attempt to tantalize you to watch the sessions that are relevant to you. The first video in the playlist "Canvas in Elementary School? Yes, You Can!"created by Courtney Cohron I wrote about in my last blog post.

Design M…

The Essentials of Effective Course Design in Canvas

Just yesterday, Canvas published the first wave of breakout sessions from InstructureCon 2016 on their YouTube Page. Today, I burned through all the posted sessions.  They were all informative but there was one that is really going to force me to rethink the way I design my course in Canvas. It was a session entitled "Canvas in Elementary? Yes, You Can" by Courtney Cohron I started watching it thinking that I'd be sharing out to the elementary educators in my PLN.  But, I think it has essentials for great course design for all educators. 

I'll embed the video of the presentation below, but I was amazed by the great resources designed in her district and her willingness to share them. In designing courses in Canvas, the district has designed a checklist to ensure effective instructional design principles across all course sites. Courtney works as a District Elementary Instructional Technology Coach for Noblesville Schools in Noblesville, Indiana.  I just love this docu…

YouTube Video Editor

Having a class set of iPads in my room has allowed me rely heavily on the iMovie app as a platform for video editing in my classroom. It's worked well and students have been able to use it with great easy.  At times, the features of the iOS version are not as robust as the macOS version and that leads to some frustrations. But, it has worked well until students want to be able to work on projects outside of class and need to check out an iPad.

This fall, we are going 1:1 with chromebooks.  So, I've been looking for alternatives that will maximize this new access to technology.  I thought I had found one in WeVideo, but it would cost $750 per year for my 150 students to be able to use it.  So, that is off the table.

When I was pursuing my Google Certifications this summer, I discovered the power that YouTube has within as a web based video editing tool.  In conjunction with the graduate course I am taking right now, I created some video tutorials and collected them on a websit…

EdCamp Elmbrook: Help Wanted

An article I read on Edutopia motivated me to take the first step into something I’d been considering for a year now.  That is organizing an edcamp at my school in the Elmbrook School District.  This blog post is basically an attempt to ask others in my district (or anyone else in my area) if they would be interested in being a part of this effort in some way shape or form.

First off, if you are not sure what an edcamp is it is a free one day conference.  It is organized and run by educators for educators. I say educators but they’re usually open to any stakeholder who wants to register.  There is no set agenda before the day of simply a schedule divided into hour blocks for sessions to take place. At the start of the day, attendees pitch ideas for sessions which create the agenda for the day.   The idea is there are a number of sessions going on at any one time and participants are free to move to a session of their choice without any sort of pre registration. In the simplest of terms…