I don't think I express the gratitude I feel often enough, so let me start by thanking Kristin Lundstrum for kicking off this blogging challenge. There are many awesome people in the Canvas Community, and all my "likes" and "helpful" clicks are poor representations of the value that I have found here for my fellow faculty at Cosumnes River College and especially our students. I could write a dozen blogs of gratitude for the people whose contributions I treasure here.
But today I'm going to focus closer to home and share a story of gratitude and achievement. The achievement is a new way of reaching out to my coworkers to share regular news about Canvas, and the gratitude is for a coworker who makes the outreach magical.
We completed our transition to Canvas by the beginning of 2018. Along with the transition to a new LMS, I decided also to change how I communicate with my campus about training opportunities and other things. This is my third LMS, and for each one I have changed the primary way I answer the "how do I...?" and "can our LMS...?" questions. I began with emails that could be easily re-sent when someone else asked the same question, and then I moved to a blog.
With Canvas I started sending a weekly email. Regular notices about training has long been standard, but with Canvas I added two new features: a reference to the Canvas Community and a tip of the week. I encouraged colleagues to submit their own tips, as there are lots of things that Canvas does that I haven't yet learned but the other explorers on campus have. The weekly tips included links to the Canvas Guides, and I extended my experience with video creation by filming some demonstration videos.
So far so good, and here's where the gratitude begins. My department is Distance Education and Web Development (DEWD) and is blessed to have Michael Bittner, who is a videographer extraordinaire and a great guy to work with. He arranged to get the right equipment, has all the expertise in filming and editing, and together we created a video for each of those weekly emails. We started this last semester, and we managed to get a new episode out for each week with a different tip. Each includes a video demo, and we even came up with different ways to call for help.
My gratitude extends to my coworkers, who have let us know that our effort has been worth it. It is especially nice to hear from those who work in our Department of Radio, Television, and Film, because receiving praise from a professional has a special flavor. Our department provides video services for the college, and our weekly video has inspired additional faculty colleagues to use video in their classes.
Finally, I am grateful that I have a job that gives me new experiences. I get to play with toys and slay dragons all day long, and am I fortunate to be in a place where I can lift my head and look around once in a while. I have a lot of fun making these videos, and working with Mike has been the best part.
When I read about the neat things other institutions do to support their users, I like to see details and examples to find inspiration. With that in mind, I embedded a video from our series: