Amber Hainline

6 Ways Canvas Can Be Used To Increase Teacher Collaboration

Blog Post created by Amber Hainline on Oct 13, 2015

Looking for ways to increase teacher collaboration in your school?

 

Lucky for us Canvas is a perfect tool to increase teacher collaboration within and across disciplines! Here are a few ideas!

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1. Develop a teacher course housing Professional Development Modules  with ample discussion and collaboration pages for staff to use. Model the use of these pages within the PD itself whether delivered solely online or in person. This is relevant as well for department heads sharing information in weekly meetings or PLC time.

 

2. Add teachers as collaborators in your course. This is a great tool for CWC courses or co-taught classes, as well as departments that want to share ideas and strategies. In this way great minds work together instead of struggling to design innovative lessons on singularly.

 

3. Add a co-teacher to your course to work across disciplines in specific modules. For instance, perhaps Greek Mythology and Astronomy want to collaborate and share a module in their courses on finding Greek stories in the stars and the science behind the stars. Materials can be added to the Commons and shared easily with one another.

 

4. Add special education instructors and paras as observers of the students' they serve in your courses. This easily helps them perform tutoring tasks and other needed support like printing of material for visually impaired students into appropriate formats.

 

5. Share material within a department. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. (whew!) If you have a stellar module in your course, upload it to share with others in the department.

 

6. Use Canvas for faculty meetings; encourage the reading of relevant material and interactions through discussions or creation of staff wiki pages before F2F meetings.

 

These tips have worked well at my high school this year, our first year using Canvas. Not only are staff jumping on board to share and create materials together, but they have become more easily sold on the idea of using Canvas when they see all of the ways it benefits them as teachers. The biggest benefit these ideas offer is the efficient use of time.  And let's face it, time is one of the greatest gifts we can give back to our overworked teachers.

 

"The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives." Robert John Meehan

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