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4 Posts authored by: Stefanie Sanders Administrator

So you're thinking of hosting a #CanvasChat? I've got great news for you: It's fun, and it's easy. What could be better than that? I'll tell you what's better: If you use TweetDeck or HootSuite to manage your Twitter chat--why, it practically hosts itself!


Whether you prefer TweetDeck or HootSuite, either way, we've already got a handy spreadsheet of tweets with times for each tweet listed in MST along with the recommended text (under 140 characters, of course) for each one. So plan on devoting most of your creative energies to: (1) brainstorming your topic, (2) finding a relevant Community resource to kick off the chat (that will be Q0), (3) writing the three central questions that relate to your topic, (4) writing a response to each of those three questions, forming the core of the chat. When you look at the spreadsheet, you'll see some yellow highlighted rows, and those are the only ones you need to customize; all of the other tweets are already scripted and Twitter-ready.


After you've created your tweets, you'll turn to TweetDeck or HootSuite to set up the TwitterChat by creating pre-scheduled tweets incorporating each question in an image format. Make a copy of this template, and use it to create the images that will accompany each question tweet. And after you've customized the template, and have four images containing Q0, Q1, Q2, and Q3, you're ready to automate your #CanvasChat. You'll devote the rest of your prep time (and very little of your brainpower) to copying-and-pasting text from the spreadsheet and scheduling the tweets in TweetDeck or HootSuite.


I've outlined the steps to set up these applications, along with guide links for each platform. Of course, once you've created your account in either TweetDeck or HootSuite, you can skip Step 1 for your future #CanvasChats--and now that you know how easy and fun it is, I'll bet you'll host lots of them!.



StepTweetDeck how-to linksHootSuite how-to links
1. Create your accountGetting started with TweetDeck | Twitter Help CenterQuick start guide – Hootsuite Help CenterDon't have a Twitter account? Start here: Signing up with Twitter | Twitter Help Center
2. Set up your feed(s)TweetDeck columns | Twitter Help CenterAdd streams – Hootsuite Help CenterTweetDeck is exclusively for Twitter feeds. HootSuite accommodates other social networks.
3. Schedule your tweetsTweetDeck pro tips | Twitter Help CenterSchedule messages – Hootsuite Help CenterBoth platforms allow you to compose your tweets and schedule their release ahead of time.
4. Sit back, and wait for your eventEnjoy this musical interlude
5. Be at your desktop computer or laptop 15 minutes before the start timeLaunch TweetDeckLaunch HootSuiteYou can interact in the chat directly in Twitter or through either of the scheduling platforms.
6. Follow the #CanvasChat hashtag and interact as you wish--or sit back and enjoy the show!n/an/aIf you compose a new tweet "on the fly," remember to include the #CanvasChat hashtag
7. Work with your CanvasLIVE chat facilitator to create a chat transcriptn/an/aAfter your event ends, you'll post this in the comments section of your event.

Over the last few weeks, I've been immersed in the world of elementary, middle school, and high school teachers who are new to Canvas. Their collaborative spirit and quick facility to group together to help one another out is delightful to watch, and as my teacher-learners broke out into their various hands-on sessions, and as their questions popped up, a leitmotif kept running through my mind:


Hey, there's a CanvasLIVE for that!


Here's how that tune in my head was going:


How do I get my students engaged in Canvas?

K12 Study Hall: Let's get Engaged...with Canvas


Yes, but what if they're recalcitrant?

#k12canvaswk1: "But, I don't really like computers..."


OK, I've taken the steps to get them engaged. Now how do I keep them engaged?

#Canvas4Elem: Reward Learning with Badges


I use Google Drive a lot, and I've already created resources there. How can I use my existing resources in Canvas?

#Canvas4Elem: Getting Googley with Canvas (coming up on October 11, 2016: be sure to RSVP!)

Live-Stream from SoCal CanvasCon: Design Co-Op Open Lab (10 am PDT)


How can I check out what teachers in other schools are doing in their Canvas courses?

#Canvas4Elem: September Showcase!


My students' parents want to monitor their kids' activity in Canvas. And I want to help them. How do we do that?

Canvas Parent: Meet-Up

STUDY HALL: Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences


How can I create an auto-graded quiz where students fill in a spreadsheet?

Using Tables for Spreadsheets Formulas in Quizzes with Fill-In-The-Blanks to use Autograding Demo


My school uses multiple grading periods. How do they work?

K12 Study Hall: The Nitty Gritty of Multiple Grading Periods V2


I've mastered the basics (I think!). How do I learn more?

Faculty Tips and Tricks: Hints and Reminders from Peers for Getting the Most out of Canvas


I see I can learn a lot from my peers at other schools. How can I connect with them?

Canvas Klatch (30 September)


How can I use my newfound knowledge of Canvas for professional development?

Program #1: Bring Your Mobile Knowledge Up-to-Speed

Program #2: The K12 Study Hall Series


You've told us that Canvas is a dynamic learning platform, and changes are implemented every three weeks. So when I come back to school in the fall, how do I know what changed while school was out?

What’s New in Canvas (Fall 2016) and What's New in Canvas (Fall 2016)?


OK, I'm sold! CanvasLIVE is definitely the place to be! I'd like to help. How do I share my own ideas?

How do I set up a CanvasLIVE event?


These are only the ones that came to mind in the few minutes of each hands-on session; I'm sure there are more. And if you don't believe me, just ask Kristin Lundstrum, TONYA MERCER, and Chris Long, some of the tireless contributors of all-things-K12 to CanvasLIVE!


So, for everyone, but especially for those K-12 teachers who are just starting out here: Welcome to Canvas! Join us in the chatrooms (and did you know Canvas Elem has its own chatroom?)


Have a question? There's a CanvasLIVE for that!


(Edit: links updated 10/6/2016)

CanvasLIVE meet-ups are a great informal event. They're meant to be a starting point for collaboration: an initial conversation that might ultimately yield a shareable resource. And ideally, they will also be fun.


If you're looking to host a meet-up, here are some tips.


  • The meet-up should have a facilitator.
    In most cases, that will be the person who initiated the CanvasLIVE event. The facilitator's predominantly neutral role will be to step back to let the conversation flow, and step in to prompt participants as necessary to keep the conversation moving.
  • The facilitator should designate a participant to help collect the ideas.
    After the meeting, the facilitator and designee should document the meet-up, either in the comments section of the event or in a blog post, if the latter format makes more sense.
  • The facilitator needs to be ready with an actionable item at the end.
    If the session is going to be part of a collaborative effort, then a framework for that effort--an action item--should conclude the session. It might not be readily apparent until the session has run its course what form that action item will take, but just in case nothing becomes apparent, have something ready. Examples might be, "I'll create a course and invite everyone who is interested as teachers. DM your email to me so I can add you." Or, you could say, "I'm going to create a chat room where we can begin collaborating and brainstorming next steps."
  • The facilitator should also schedule a follow-up meet-up or event right away.
    This will allow the participants to have a milestone or marker to which to look forward where they can discuss next steps, what's been done, the next project, and so forth.


Ready to meet up? You'll find a brief description at CanvasLIVE: Meet-Ups; click on the Create New Event button to set up your informal get-together.

I’ve been thinking about ways to get out of my comfort zone. It’s my road to growth. And sometimes that means doing something dangerous--not “dangerous” like parasailing or bungee jumping, but willing to be in situations where I would take more risks. And risks mean making mistakes and dealing with them on-the-fly.


CanvasLIVE affords me those opportunities to take greater risks.


Okay, let me explain. A few weeks back, in one of the CanvasLIVE chatrooms, I chanced upon Chris Long's post:


Hey everyone, I’m one of the lead organizers for the Southern California Canvas Conference next week...I was thinking it would be killer cool to have a coaches/community virtual session to share ...Would any of you be up for giving this a try


Literally, two days before a live event, he wanted to livestream a virtual session on course design tips and training strategies! Who does that? If you know anything about planning conferences, you know that much of the event is planned well in advance. But something else Chris said struck a chord with me: He told us that he likes to add one new and untested element to the SoCal CanvasCon every year.


Thanks to the resources in CanvasLIVE and enthusiasm of community members like Chris and Adam Williams, I was inspired to jump in and help, as well. The risk? Presenting in a virtual, live-streaming workshop, without a lot of prep time in front of jam-packed (and unknown) audience. What could go wrong?


That casual conversation with Chris turned into a successful CanvasLIVE event (which you can see, btw, here at Live-Stream from SoCal CanvasCon: Design Co-Op Open Lab (10 am PDT)  and here Live-Stream from SoCal CanvasCon: Design Co-Op Open Lab (1:30pm PDT) .

And there it was. Nothing beats a live event.


Things can, and will, go wrong--but they should. We learn that way. We experience life that way. We want that. Let’s all get out of our collective comfort zones and put ourselves out there on CanvasLIVE.


Are you ready to take a risk?