Laura Gibbs

StoryLab, a new Canvas Space

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on May 8, 2017

So, now that I'm on a roll for this summer with my network of Google Sites (see previous posts: 

A Summer of Google Sites Begins and  Sites and Subsites with Google Sites )

I went ahead and set up a course space in Canvas that I am calling "Story Lab" ... I don't exactly what I will use it for, but I will certainly use it for something, creating a resource center for my students to encourage their own storytelling experiments; here's a short URL to use:


Right now, the homepage contains a dynamic Diigo feed that automatically shows the latest stories that I am adding to the websites. I bookmark a new story; it shows up on the page:


Story Lab Screenshot


A goal that is taking shape in my mind right now is to teach my students about folkloric storytelling styles. Right now, my students are very good at storytelling that is inspired by modern styles (television, movies, novels, etc.), but they are not very aware of traditional storytelling styles found in folktales, fairy tales, and mythology. So, my guess is that I will be adding on pages to this site to give them information about those styles and to provide examples they can use as models.


For a sense of the workflow that leads to the Diigo items displayed on this page, here is what I do:


1. Books. I collect public domain books with stories I can freely reuse. I have a mountain of said books in my Freebookapalooza, which I'm presenting on for CanvasLive later in June:

Building a Library of Free Online Books 


2. Stories. I then get stories from those books, and I publish the individual stories as Google Docs.


3. Web Pages. When I have enough stories to make a new Google Site, I create a new site, and then add a page for each story, embedding the Google Doc in that page.


4. Images. For each website page, I use Google to search for an image, and then I create the page banner while also including the image at the bottom of the page, next to the image citation.


5. Bookmark. Then I bookmark each page with Diigo, adding a brief notation. I also Diigo the image, using the image at the bottom of the page (Diigo doesn't recognize the banner image).


6. PRESTO: the Diigo feed automatically appears in the Canvas page, thanks to the Diigo RSS which I subscribe to in Inoreader. Details on using Inoreader for a live RSS feed in Canvas here:
Using Inoreader to Bring Blog Posts inside Canvas 
(that's about blog posts but it works for any RSS feed, and Diigo has RSS!)