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We worked hard to provide relevant and tiered professional learning offerings for our users this past summer. While these sessions were delivered in F2F environments (that allowed for participation by enrolled learners in discussions, quizzes, etc.), I've created stand-alone, public-facing versions of each so that any user who was unable to attend can at least access the sessions' resources.


Please feel free to make use of these courses, as desired! 


  • Deep Discussions - a course designed to ensure your online and blended discussions are well-designed and productive. Access Deep Discussions via Canvas Course Groups.
  • Formative Feedback Tools - this course goes beyond merely introducing Canvas' awesome communication tools, as it emphasizes the reasons why quality feedback is essential to student growth and learning. Access Formative Feedback via Canvas.
  • Differentiation via Mastery Paths - a tutorial course designed to coach teachers' use of Mastery Paths settings to deliver differentiated learning experiences to students. Access the Differentiation via Mastery Paths course.
  • Back to School Canvas sessions - The resources provided in multiple Canvas and blended learning focused, back-to-school sessions for AISD teachers in August '17. Access the Back to School course.
  • Canvas 101 for Teachers - a completely redesigned introductory course for teachers who are new to Canvas. Access Canvas 101 for Teachers.
  • Canvas, Blended Learning, and T-TESS - explore the connections between these topics and gain access to an incredibly valuable tool for any teacher using Canvas to provide blended learning opportunities in their classrooms. Access the T-TESS course.
  • Canvas 101 for Admins - a brand new course designed to ensure campus instructional leaders know about blended learning, how to monitor Canvas usage, and to reward innovative teachers via Texas' T-TESS appraisal framework. Access Canvas 101 for Admins.


Check out Twitter for some action shots of our awesome professional learners in action!

When talking about a new topic of skill that you want students to master or at least grow in, it can be difficult to get everyone. Of course differentiation is nothing new, but with the use of canvas and specifically the mastery paths feature we have a new option.


Students may enter a new topic having zero prior knowledge or a lot of it. Canvas can be set up to give a pre assessment and then set students automatically down different paths as a result. Different videos and instructional actives can be added to various levels in places where students will need them most in order to get them to where they need to be. Students who understand the content will be able to prove this and advance to more challenging and rigorous activities at a pace suitable with them.

If the time and effort is put into developing mastery paths, it can go well beyond a simple pre assessment and continue to branch off in very specific directions in order to address all student needs down to the smallest details.

Jim Elliott

Google Forms In Canvas

Posted by Jim Elliott Aug 13, 2017

   So I would expect that many readers already know quite a bit of this, but nonetheless, I hope some of you will find it useful. I am relatively new to Canvas, but was able to use it effectively in my chemistry classroom last year.  Some of the top features I used were Quizzes, Announcements and the ability to integrate with G-Suite apps.  This post will focus on one specific aspect of Google integration.

   As a chemistry teacher my students are often collecting data.  Often it is beneficial to share data from each individual or group. one of the best ways is to create a google form and integrate it directly into Canvas.  This way the students never need to leave Canvas to complete the form, and you can collect all students' data as they are ready - even simultaneously.  The simplest way to do this is to go to the "Send" button on the top right of your Google Form.

Send button!

Next choose the "embed" symbol (green arrow)


This will give you html code for embedding your form in Canvas (yellow arrow).  Next you need to copy this code.  The easiest way to to this is to simply click on the copy link in the lower right of the dialog box (orange arrow).


Now we bring it to Canvas.  You can make this a content page, an assignment, or even include it in a discussion.  In your RichText editor you can give instructions and details, but if you are new, it is easiest to start with a blank page.  Click on the HTML Editor link (be aware if you already have content in the RichText box it may look vastly different in HTML and it can be confusing to decide exactly where to paste your embed code.

HTML Editor link

Here is what the HTML code looks like for my form

html code

Finally we see how it looks to the students - here is the student view of part of that form

Student View

Students will have to scroll within the frame to complete the form if it is more than one or two questions.

I would recommend that within Google you restrict access to within your organization, if possible.  Although not necessary, it helps with keeping track of which student submitted which data.  Use the gear icon (blue arrow) and choose the appropriate settings (sorry its blurry - resizing to make it more visible caused that).  The green arrow shows where you would restrict your settings if your organization has that option.


When I first started teaching, my classes consisted of 20 to 23 students in Florida. Here in North Carolina, I have 28 to 35 students in each class. Also, not only having more students I have an additional class to teach. Having 180 to 200 students now, I need to grade constantly. My first year in North Carolina was very stressful and my Sunday's were consisted of grading...until now! 


Canvas has offered a way to give students automatic feedback without running to the scan-tron grader and trying to look at the data when Canvas offers that in one click. Having 200 students is now easy with the help of canvas. The students love the automatic feedback and it is now possible to differentiate within the classroom by using Mastery Paths. If you are not using canvas, I can't stress enough how you need to try it! I am a firm believer that canvas has made my life easier. 

Rachel Smith

Absent - use Canvas

Posted by Rachel Smith Aug 1, 2017

I love using Canvas for when I am going to be out of school.  Students know how to easily access Canvas, so they can find the assignments.  Students are also easily able to communicate with me if they have any issues throughout the day.


I usually create a page with videos for students to watch, and links for students to practice the topic -- since I am a math teacher.  Then I create a short quiz to assess students level of understanding.  These quiz grades are a great way for me to determine how well the students understood the content even though I was not at school


I am curious what are some of the ways you have used Canvas while you are absent?

To keep it short and sweet, using Canvas the last almost 3 school years has been a life-saver. I used Google Classroom before that and hated almost every feature about it. Canvas has helped to streamline, and therefore save me time, in so many aspects of my classroom life. I have encouraged every teacher at my school to make the switch.


Here are some of my favorite features:

- Modules (how they are set up in sequential order)




And this year I am excited to try out Mastery Paths!


Keep Calm and Teach On.

Lindsey Joreid

As someone who has worked in education for 10 years, I can honestly say InstructureCon was like no conference I have ever attended! Beyond the sessions, the community of attendees was quite unlike any other I have experienced. Everywhere I looked, people were making connections, helping others out, and sharing what they knew and hoped to know. I was lucky enough to attend with my awesome teammate, but I know that if I had traveled solo, I would have found kindred spirits! From the opening Keynote to the closing concert, the 2.5 days I spent in Keystone are ones that I won't ever forget. I have already started trying to figure out how I can make a return trip in 2018... With that said, let's look at my top highlights from InstructureCon 2017:

  • The Location
    • Reading the convos about altitude did little to actually prepare me for what 27% oxygen actually feels like! Those stairs will haunt my dreams for sure. I have never been more motivated to conquer the StairMaster. 
    • As a Texas Plains and Panhandle gal, I am awed by the beauty of mountains. I could have sat outside and stared at those giants for hours on end. There is something magical about being nestled with mountains all around with 2,000 other people all passionate about the same thing. It makes for an incredible environment. 
  • Spending F2F time with my CSM
    • I am probably biased, but Casey Williams in the best.
  • Connecting with K-12 and Higher Ed peeps from all across the nation
    • I met a K-12 educator from Portland in a session about Content pages that led to a conversation about how my district uses Badgr, which turned into a convo about Zoom. Organic connections being built!
  • CCR!
    • That outdoor show under the stars was so fun. 
  • Seeing how others are actively using Canvas in their schools
    • Our district is just over a year into our integration, and as our admin, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for examples from real life classrooms of how teachers are using Canvas. The sessions I attended gave me sneak peaks into classrooms from all over the US.
  • The Keynotes (all of them!)
    • Obvi the roadmap items and new rollouts were blowing my mind. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was freaking out over some of the new Quizzing engine features! 


If you were at Instcon17, please share your top moments in the comments! I would love to hear from you! 

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