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5 Posts authored by: Bobby Pedersen
Bobby Pedersen


Posted by Bobby Pedersen May 10, 2019

Two years have flown by as a member of this versatile community. I can’t let this anniversary go by without taking stock on what has happened in that time for me.


One of the main reasons for joining the community was to learn how to drive Canvas. I’ve learned so much. But more importantly I’ve learned that I don’t need to know it all at once at the beginning. Instead I need to know where to find things out when I need them. Joining groups, reading blogs, joining discussions, asking questions, using the guides has helped me to slowly build my knowledge with purposeful reasons each time. 

Horse Before the Cart. Purpose first, Canvas second. 

Even though I can’t attend the many Canvas conferences that occur the learning from these is still available to everyone. Watching videos of sessions and even being able to attend remotely has been amazing.

Get Ready to Binge-Watch InstructureCarn! 


Another reason for joining was to meet other Canvas users and swap ideas. Initially I thought that would just be in Australia! APAC I’ve been so impressed with the global sharing and support available and the camaraderie amongst Canvas users. There is so much wisdom in the collective genius of the community and people are so willing to share it. Blows me away every day.

It's Better Together 


The support given so freely in the community has encouraged me to try new things, ponder the purpose then in turn support others.

 What does Community mean to me? 

What's on your plate? 


Instructure does their very best to listen to us,the users, when we have ideas to improve the Canvas experience for our learners. How cool is that!

Shameless plug for an idea - Speech to Text in Rich Content Editor in Windows OS. Make it richer! 

Bonus Giggles

I have really enjoyed the banter in discussion and the shared laughs. What a fabulous group of people. 

Dad Jokes.Succeeding 


Thanks Team Canvas!

When I was first learning how to use Canvas I discovered Collaborations. Talk about excited! So keen was I to share the joy that I wrote Collaborations – Changed my world!

I'm fortunate in my position to travel around to schools to share the magic of Canvas and at any opportunity I extol the virtues of Collaborations. BUT I've discovered a wee blip in getting started with this cool tool. It's tricky (very frustrating) for first time users. After way too many error alerts we have come to the conclusion that:


  • Before you make your first collaboration you MUST sign in to Office365.
  • Keep it open in another tab.
  • Then create your Collaboration. 

It should be smooth sailing from there. 

And the wonderful Canvas Doc Team have created this guide to get you started too. 

How do I create a Microsoft Office 365 collaboration?  


Have fun collaborating. 


What does COMMUNITY mean to you?

  • Belonging
  • Acceptance
  • Respect
  • Feeling welcome
  • Supporting each other 
  • Sharing stories and wisdom
  • Working together

(My favourite New Zealand Maori quote)


Are you a part of a community (Canvas, work, or neighbourhood)? What brought you there, or how did you initially get connected?

I've been fortunate to belong to a few communities. Some more effective and healthy than others.

  • As a young mum belonging to parenting support groups helped create little villages to raise our children. I learned so much, then felt strong enough to support others. Telling our stories helped so much.
  • As a teacher belonging to learning communities centered around specific curriculum areas or topics of focus helped me to learn from others then, in time, to nurture the learning in others. Again, sharing our stories of what works, what doesn't, and a few laughs helped also.
  • Teaching in New Zealand had an extra sparkly community with the Maori Community who so desperately wanted to share their culture and language. So many magic memories were made singing, telling stories, learning, learning, learning. This helped me to learn more about acceptance and respect. 
  • Teaching in Tasmania has introduced me to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. They are striving to show us how to make connections with the land and each other. I am new to this community but feel as though it's home and am looking forward to what I will learn alongside these wonderful people. 
  • My Blended Learning Team have become a tight knit group where we explore and create together. Then spreading our reach a little further are the great people in Curriculum Services and the amazing teachers in our schools.  
  • From day one the Canvas Community has been like coming home. First of all I was welcomed by someone across the planet - thanks Stefanie Sanders! Then another person shared how they use Canvas in different ways to what I thought it was capable of, my world opened up - thanks Laura Gibbs. Then others happily shared their stories, problem solved, told jokes, asked questions and before I knew it our little planet had become 'traversable' without getting on a plane.
  • THEN the APAC group became a mini community where teaching with a similar curriculum and in the same part of the Pacific gave us some common ground to make connections and even meet in person. 


Is there someone part of your community who you admire? How does their involvement or their overall participation influence you?

So many people. The people who welcome, accept, are patient when teaching, share, collaborate, and know when to share a laugh. 


What motivates you to be an active participant in your community or group?

  • When I need to learn something specific - ask a question.
  • When I can help someone out with a question. 
  • When I realise that others might need to hear about something.
  • When I need to collaborate with experts (that's you guys) in the Community to nut something out. 

Have you used Canvas in a way that helps you or your team reach a unique goal for your community?

Creating Canvas Staff Rooms where school staff can not only curate their resources but they can start to immerse themselves in all that Canvas can do as a collaborative and personalising tool thus creating their own community of learning. Hopefully this models how they can use it with their own classes. 



Do you or does your team utilise Canvas in a way which is innovative or customised as you serve a specific community of learners?

It never ceases to amaze me when I see all of the different ways that teachers use Canvas. It brings me great joy when people see a purpose and create courses and lessons that engage so well. 

My extended team across the whole state, teachers, school leaders and the students themselves are my learning community. AND it's early days. Imagine what it will be like a few years from now. Exciting times!


Why do you value a project like this? How was COMMUNITY a motivating factor in this project’s completion?

This project has value for me because it's a way for me to say thank you for the genuine welcome, support, encouragement and wisdom I receive daily from so many of you.


It's a way to say to others - please share your stories. 


How has your involvement impacted your life?

Belonging to these communities has helped make me - Me. 


Now it’s time to take stock on the year that was in Tasmania – 2018.

We accomplished so much as individuals, as a blended learning team and as a state wide department.

Here are a few highlights from us:

  • Canvas, our brand new Learning Management System (LMS), began in all state schools across the state. It replaced a rather clunky, under-utilised, and unloved LMS.
  • Our Blended Learning Leaders, a team of teachers, supported many schools K-12 across the state.
  • Our Blended Learning Leaders also supported a variety of projects and teams. These continue to grow as people see different potential and purposes for their use.
  • Our talented creative team created templates, courses, resources and gave wise advice to us new to the design game.
  • Our team presented live broadcasts to staff state wide on things blended and Canvas.
  • Canvas was used for state wide moderation and staff professional learning.
  • Remote schools were well supported by our team with visits and ongoing communication.
  • Solid relationships have been built with so many staff members within the Department across the whole state with regards to blending learning and using Canvas.
  • A whole lot of learning and fun happened - and continues to.

So grateful for:

  • A fabulous team of Blended Learning Leaders who are eager to learn, teach each other, problem solve, create, encourage, laugh and support. Alannah   Isobel  Steph  Kate  Rachael and Linda - STARS!  Tracey DeLillo your team is pretty cool too There’s No “Squirrel” in Team: My Year in Review  
  • Teachers who see the potential in blending their learning more and give things a go.
  • Teachers who ask 'so what?' That's gutsy, and paves the way for exciting and deep learning experiences. 
  • Canvas Chat!
  • The Canvas Community and the active members who share ideas and experiences. 
  • APAC - knowing there's a special place for our region in the Community. APAC Thanks to these guys in particular Stuart Ryan, Jayde ColquhounBarrett Doran

What I'm still aiming for:

We can never lose sight, like I did those years ago, about what technology is. It’s a tool. It’s an amplifier. It is not the learning goal. The app, the tool, the device, is not the “game-changer.” What the students do with it for learning is.  

Bobby Pedersen

Community Giving

Posted by Bobby Pedersen Aug 10, 2018

The Canvas Community is made up of many, many talented and giving people. They have helped me to feel less overwhelmed, more equipped, and so well supported in my role as Blended Learning Leader for our whole state. 


They have helped to reassure me that I don't have to know everything about everything, that there are experts to call on day or night, and people to share ideas and stories with to help keep things real. 


When I first shyly put my foot in the door of the Canvas Community I was surprised at the warm welcome I received. Not only that but I got my first badge AND points. Wheee. Instant addiction.


One of the first people I met was Stefanie Sanders who was genuine with her welcome and generous with her encouragement. The first points I received were from her and it's only until now that I've realised that when she gives points away they come off her total! Bless her heart. I was wondering why she wasn't climbing up the Community Leaderboard.  


So this is a huge thank you to Stefanie and all of the great people who contribute to the Canvas Community. For your warm welcomes, your ideas and stories, your great humour, your honesty, your collective wisdom, your kindness in sharing so much with us all. 

I Heart Pandas