Rosina Monteiro

Turn that Cumbersome Teacher Resource Binder into a Digital School Resource Hub!

Blog Post created by Rosina Monteiro Employee on Dec 14, 2019

Calling all school level administrators and leadership teams!

Have you ever had a bajillion resources you needed to hand out to your faculty but hate the idea of making all those copies?? Not to mention killing a bunch of trees?! Well, here it is folks… a little something called a Principal Corner course.

 

What is a Principal Corner?

Principal Corner Course CardSome K12 districts have a course where the administration team is enrolled as “teachers” in the course (to add and edit the content in the course) and faculty and staff members are enrolled as “students” (so they can access and interact with all the published information). At my school district, we’ve coined the term “Principal Corner” for these type of courses.

 

If you don’t have one of these courses at your school yet , don’t worry! All you have to do it create a new course and enroll or add all of your faculty in as “students.” 

 

What is the point of the Principal Corner?

Why have all your faculty and staff enrolled in a Principal Corner course? Administrators are leading by example and jumping right into the deep end of the 21st-century digital learning pool. Think of all of those copies you have to make of resources and that humongous binder you have to prepare and organize at the beginning of the school year. You spend all that manual labor working on such a grueling task and you hand them out to all your teachers during pre-planning. Sure, it’s useful information that everyone needs to know and important resources they will need as teachers, but let’s be serious, who knows if they will ever even reference that binder ever again. 

 

Why not make it digital?

It will be easy to access, visually appealing, and something that your teachers want to reference the entire year. Utilizing the Principal Corner course as a “One-Stop-Shop” school resource hub could be a life saver! As a Canvas Adoption Consultant, I have the pleasure of working with numerous K12 schools and have realized there are so many different ways you can organize your Principal Corner course. 

  • Use modules to organize important school resources such as bell schedules, faculty phonebook and locator, school maps, safety information, faculty handbook, important links… you name it!
  • Upload professional development slide decks and even create a quiz with one question as documentation of their acknowledgment or attendance purposes.
  • Post announcements to communicate out daily school news, important announcements, reminders, and updates to faculty and staff.
  • Add school events, field trips, deadlines for submitting grades, and faculty meetings on the course calendar.
  • Create assignments in order for teachers to digitally submit their lesson plans. They’ll all be in one convenient location and you can easily view who has (or has not) submitted their lesson plans (with a timestamp). You can even create a template with Google Docs and have them submit a Google Docs Cloud Assignment, automating the process for everyone to have an individualized copy!
  • Have faculty participate in a discussion as a place to ask colleagues for any questions they may have, or to share out helpful information. Discussions could also be a great place for teachers to collaborate with their PLC groups.
  • The possibilities are endless!

 

Take a look at this for some inspiration:

 

Screenshot of Principal Corner Buttons

 

Who doesn’t love benefits?

Creating something like this can also help with buy-in. Introducing Canvas this way allows teachers to dive right in and start using Canvas, as well as model all of the different ways Canvas can be used. I personally have witnessed increased usage of Canvas by teachers enrolled in Principal Corner courses. It also gives teachers the opportunity to view Canvas on the student side of things. This way, when students need clarification on how to do something in Canvas, teachers will already have some background information to assist them! Who knows, maybe they’ll even gain some troubleshooting knowledge in the process. 

 

I imagine you’re thinking, “How would I even tackle something like this?!”

Easy Peasy Squeezy - Start with a plan!

  • What exactly would you like to include in your PC course?
  • How can you organize those resources into sections or categories?
  • Start with a homepage
    • A homepage should provide a visual representation of your course
    • Create a banner or use Header 2, 3, or 4 for a title at the top
    • Include a brief description, introduction, or even a Principal welcome message
    • Create buttons for your different categories (Don’t forget to link those buttons to the appropriate module, page, or resource!)
  • Create your modules and pages
  • Begin placing all of your resources within those modules or pages

 

Don’t have time to do all the fancy schmancy “design” work?? Not a problem. In the spirit of generosity, I’ve added a Principal Corner Template for K12 Schools to Commons for you to use! For free. You’re welcome.

 

Principal Corner Template Screenshot

 

Got some feedback? 

What other information would you consider incorporating into a Principal Corner course??

Does your institution or school have something similar? If so, how is it currently being used? What improvements do you think could be made after reading this post?

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