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10 Posts authored by: Stacy LAMBERT

Two weeks ago I went to Bett Asia in Kuala Lumpur. The presentation is half an hour, but if you have nothing better to do, here is the Callaghan College Wallsend journey! Apologies for the wobbly start - my husband was filming and people kept walking around him. Was a great conference if anyone gets a chance to attend. 

Bett Asia 2019 - Success with Blended Learning 

Thanks all!


callaghancollegewallsendcampus callaghancollege 


This is more for schools in NSW, but may help those delivering data analysis. 

Tell Them From Me survey results are in - have to do the data analysis for the staff. After a while, there are usually some serious head nodders, and heavy eyelids. Who can blame people - big day at work followed by a PD session after school. 

So this time I flipped it. Instead of me going through the 88 page PowerPoint (I kid you not) for staff, I embedded the PowerPoint on Canvas, split the staff into groups with allocated pages to look at, attached multiple pages of trend data on SharePoint and linked it in, gave them a 20 minute limit and asked them to reply with their findings to questions in a discussion. 

Staff were also emailed the instructions the day before so they could get an idea of what they were doing and the PD session was set up just like a lesson - learning intentions, success criteria and resources. It was 'speed data'. 

The conversations and results that came back in the discussions were amazing. Not to mention the sneaky 'modelling' for staff using pages, links, embedded files and discussions. A total win today, building capacity with data analysis and utilisation, collaboration across all staff and of course - no snoring! 




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I am backward mapping this blog post - starting with the end in mind! 

This photo (and banner) is of some of the happy faces of students at Callaghan College and De La Salle Lipa - Philippines (on the Promethean) after the final judging of their Sustainability Project which was organised by Instructure's Troy Martin and team. 

Let's back track now - last term, students at De La Salle Lipa, Callaghan College Wallsend Campus and Waratah Campus were set a challenge by Instructure and Red Agency - look at Sustainability and single use plastics, come up with solutions and alternatives. Students were grouped on Canvas with representatives from each Campus on teams. They had to research and deliver a PowerPoint based on problem solving these issues. They had to communicate and collaborate with people they didn't know, develop relationships, navigate time zones and solve a massive environmental issue. 

Did I mention they are 15 years old?

All groups were judged (via speedgrader) from both the Philippines and Australia and the top ten groups completed their final presentations across video link today - presenting together in front of staff, students and parents from both countries. (Not to mention the media presence as well). We are not sure who won yet as there were so many quality presentations, however in our eyes, it doesn't matter. They all won! And so did we - the future is safe with kids like these in both countries.

As teachers - what did we do? Only provided support and set up the Canvas course. They had no time out of class. All students had to do this project above and beyond their normal studies, and they volunteered for this! It was a complete first for our College and quite frankly a fantastic start. There were times when we checked the groups and could see conferences were happening, collaborative documents were being shared and discussions were flying back and forth between countries. When we saw some of the friendships that have been developed  today, and watched them present together as a team - well let's just say our hearts were full of pride. I can only imagine the joy if they all ever met in person. 

Today we witnessed a technological tool support many solutions to global problems, but that didn't matter in the end - what we saw was global friendship. You just cannot buy that!


callaghancollegewallsendcampus David SUMMERVILLE Troy Martin Dan Goldsmith

Last term my faculty and I embarked on the first Project Based Learning ( the real PBL to be talked about here) task for Year 7 Japanese learners. Year 7 are 12-13 years old and in their first year of high school. We have always done PBL tasks with smaller elective classes, however with ten Yr 7 classes; this was going to be a challenge (about 290 students). Whilst using many fabulous resources from the Buck Institute, Canvas also has its own benefits for making this work.

Canvas has made PBL tasks what they should be. I call the other PBL – previously beetroot laden tasks as in the past when tasks were handed out on paper, the sheet was lost in the student’s backpack somewhere (not unlike Dr Who’s Tardis) and usually came out weeks later with beetroot stains on it.


The Project (a film in Japanese approximately 2-3 mins long) was able to be completely scaffolded for all learners over several pages and then groups could have their own ‘Canvas site’ to control which made their lives easier for messaging, document control, versioning and collaboration – in particular out of school hours work.


Group contracts and project management logs could be saved as collaborative documents or just as a separate page, the students were also marked on keeping learning blogs, which the discussion tool was used for. The discussion was used as an individual blog (each child named the discussion their own name) - they replied to themselves after each lesson, which meant there was a time and date stamp, as well as a record of their own progress.

The calendar was used to organise their project management logs for the group as well as filming times, messages to each other about what everyone needed to bring each lesson.


The student contracts, project management logs, and teacher ‘check-ins’ were marked on to the assessment rubric as we progressed through the term. Marks were allocated on the rubric to the work in class as the students advanced through their tasks. By the time the project was due to be filmed, it was the last major part of the marking left for the teachers.


There was also another separate rubric that students had to fill in at the end of the filming by themselves. It was a self-evaluation to assess their own future learning skills. This was achieved by setting up a few laptops with the teacher logged in and the students found their name in Speedgrader and ‘marked themselves’. This was based on:

  • Focus on the Task / Participation
  • Shared Responsibility
  • Listening, Questioning and Discussing
  • Research and Information Sharing
  • Problem Solving


The Speedgrader rubric was a great process for the students to evaluate themselves without having to complete surveys or long answers (poor little things were tired). They were also allocated marks for completing the self-evaluation rubric, not the score they gave themselves to encourage them to answer more honestly about their work. From my own classes (3 classes = 90 students) the data showed that 20% rated themselves highly in all five sections, 55% of students thought they were average and 25% felt they were poor at demonstrating these skills. The wrap up was a very interesting discussion as to how they feel these skills will help them later in life. When asked about how they felt Canvas helped them in their projects, the responses were equally mixed as some found it easy, others difficult, and many responded with the feeling that it was difficult to hide from the workload – their friends were checking, their teachers were checking and their parents/caregivers could observe too.


Overall a great experience, PBL is highly differentiated, but also needs a level of organisation and kindness to achieve. One class did have to complete some ‘teamwork remediation’ as changing groups every lesson because ‘they all hate each other today’ was not an option. It is a big ask sometimes for 12 and 13 year olds, however with a few tweaks, it will get another run. Did they do everything perfectly? No - of course not. But not everything was their problem either, there are things I need to change too in the lesson delivery and student groupings. But that is the fun part - learning from the medals and the missions. The journey with PBL is just as important as the product – and this product thankfully now has no beetroot covered paper!



This project is shared in Commons – Japanese Project Based Learning Unit Year 7. Hopefully this helps someone else.

HI everyone,

This is basically for the small number of people from NSW, Australia. I am starting to work on some ProBL tasks at school and wanted to look at Stage 5 (years 9 & 10) outcomes from the new syllabuses. See if there was any commonality to meet across the project. Put all the new syllabus outcomes (cores only at this stage) on to a spreadsheet with the links to the pages from NESA. If anyone else is doing this - just wanted to share the document so that you might not have to do this later on. Save someone else some time.



PS - if you like the graphic - that is a word cloud of the stage statements - nifty eh! (PS - for the USA people - nifty means good)

David SUMMERVILLE callaghancollegewallsendcampus


It's report time.......

I am writing reports.......

I read the article on Continuous student reporting and found it very interesting. Obviously, we at callaghancollegewallsendcampus have Canvas, yet we still have to conform to our twice a year reporting for compliance with the Department of Education. Yet, during my time of productive procrastination, I figured that a student does five core subjects a year, with a general possibility of two electives, possibly three (but for the sake of argument let's go with two). If each core subject does an assessment task on Canvas four times a year, they are getting twenty sets of current, up to date feedback at the point of need, If the two elective classes do four assessment tasks each a year online, that means another eight sets of feedback per year. However, we still have to provide reports on data that can be between four to six weeks out of date. I am not saying the system is bad, I think we just need to maybe keep up with the times and place more importance on quality current feedback from tasks and lessons.

However, on the flip side, during report time, I generally try to find other important tasks to do that are productive - hence the productive procrastination. I average one to two cupboard cleanouts per reporting period. So it's not all bad!  Happy report season.



Since May the Fourth was here last week, I was looking for something Star Wars related to send to staff in my weekly teaching and learning updates. I figured Yoda was the most relevant for teachers and when I began Googling Yoda quotes- of websites I found a plethora. (Including Learn to talk like Yoda)

So here goes the Canvas references!

No! Try not! Do or do not, there is no try.

We can always edit content, students can always edit work. The beauty of technological tools is editing, deleting, resubmitting, collaborating, differentiating and 24/7 access just to name a few things here. Gone are the days of buying two large sheets of cardboard in case you make a mistake on the first project and have to start all over again. The time saved means we can do!

Judge me by my size, do you?

Kids can do and create wonderful things when given the right tools, and the chance to create, choose and collaborate. Canvas gives students access to groups, peer assessment and the ability to comment on their own feedback in Speedgrader.

Always pass on what you have learned.

Commons! Need I say more here – we need to keep sharing, in particular Australian schools and new syllabus content etc. Think of the time saved.

Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.

Learning portfolios are always important for students – in particular if students are going for portfolio entry into University, applying for employment or presenting quality work to a real world audience.

For staff, rolling over and evaluating courses always comes to mind here. Sometimes the content doesn’t change, just the faces in front of you. In addition, if you have differentiated content within courses for some students, there are always others that will benefit from this work.

So certain were you. Go back and closer you must look.

Multiple attempts in assignments and being able to draft, give feedback and promote assessment for and as learning within courses, tasks and lessons. The ability to message students in Canvas is also of benefit here, some students still do not use social media (not a lot, but some) and this assists students to access these messages free of charge.

You will find only what you bring in.

This goes for anything – you will get out of Canvas exactly what you give. Same as your students – a little effort, a smile, a kind word, a flipped learning video – anything that makes their learning a happier time of their life. Sometimes teachers are their only constant in life at this stage.

Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future…

Ahhh beta release notes and Canvas ideas…

In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.

Not only for our students, and the ability to see that learning can be fun, but also for staff. This is where I see the Community. Sometimes I have no idea how to do something – the Community always has the answer.

For my students – content is always in their modules, thinking is modelled and alive.

If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are… a different game you should play.

Solutions to problems are sometimes found in different places, by different people – collaboration tools, online learning, and communication either face to face or online. Discussions always help and maybe a different direction is needed. Yet the goal is always the same- successful students performing at their best, and successful teachers feeling valued.

And the last one…When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not.

I don't doubt that Yoda! Happy belated May the Fourth (be with you).


The new school year has started in Australia, and the calendar is already one of the favourite features for our new high school students and parents. It has helped them get organised, understand what to bring and know what they are doing in class in advance. Flipped learning at its most basic, however very important all the same. Surprisingly, some (not many) of our students are not on social media yet and use the calendar, announcements, and Canvas messaging as their form of communication and information sources. 

It is also helping staff stay organised and communicate with colleagues as to where they are up to with lessons if they share classes.

Yet, some of the best feedback has come from parents of students with special needs - knowing what is going on prior to class helps reduce anxiety! Especially at the beginning of the year! Simple, effective and organised!

callaghancollegewallsendcampus David SUMMERVILLE

Very exciting! David SUMMERVILLE and I are going to start looking at our Canvas PD training courses, and other PD courses we have developed on Canvas such as Staff Orientation and apply to get them on to MyPL hopefully as non-registered hours for Teacher Accreditation. Another step in the right direction for online professional development and making it meaningful for staff in more ways than just compliance. 

HI Everyone,

As a relatively new user (under 12 months) we are constantly discovering things that Canvas can do and how we can match it to the needs of our students. I am sure people have already discovered this, but I thought it was worthy to share. Our HT Information Technology David SUMMERVILLE worked this out - when you make groups in the People section of your class, just put one student in each group. They then have access to their "own Canvas page" within your class. I have a small (10 student) Stage 5 Japanese class doing a project based learning assessment task using this function. They can blog their progress, set themselves reminders through announcements, the calendar, collaborate with others if they choose to etc. They have the power to use the functions of Canvas, but still keep their notes, thoughts, ideas and tasks private (knowing that I can see it as well). I can also use the announcement tool within their group page and they are the only ones that see it. It has been great for mid task feedback without having to submit whole sections of the task and student teacher communication without losing messages in email feeds. Another great function for the students!

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