Laura Gibbs

The Joy of Dynamic / Distributed Content in Canvas

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on May 26, 2018

Dynamic content: not static, changing, fresh... grab your student's attention instead of the same-old same-old which makes their eyes glaze over and their brains turn off.


Distributed content: update in one place, new content appears everywhere (in multiple Canvas courses, at your website and inside Canvas, etc.)


As examples of dynamic and distributed content in Canvas, here's a quick update on my StoryLab content space with its automated content feeds... I am really happy with how this is going and, yes, Adam Williams, now that I've got this humming along smoothly, I can stop being bad and spend some time this weekend getting the InstCon-Remote space up and running in a Canvas course too. Using some of these same dynamic/distributed tricks!


On the StoryLab homepage, automatic display of new blog post as part of week's worth of stories... the same blog posts that appear at the Chain Tales blog.


screenshot of StoryLab homepage



On the Padlet page, new stories whenever I update the Padlet... plus eventually maybe others will be adding their stories (or their students' stories) there too.


screenshot of StoryLab Padlet


On the YouTube page, I'm making sure to pop a new video to the top of the playlist every day, either by finding a new video or moving one from the bottom up. And today's video, in honor of InstCon 2017, is JEWEL singing "Green Grass Grew All Around" (a traditional chain tale / cumulative folksong).


screenshot of StoryLab YouTube playlist


Same playlist updates appear at the blog in the sidebar of course, because I've embedded the YouTube there also.


On the SoundCloud page, the playlist works like the video playlist, although I don't have as many items. But by the time I get to 10 or so stories that I have recorded, I'll be able to rearrange the playlist on the days when I don't actually add a new recording. Although, honestly, it is so fast and easy to record on my phone now that I hope to be able to add new stories pretty often; it only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, or even less for the super-short items. Today's story was on the long side (it's a hazard with cumulative tales that build and build and build).


screenshot of StoryLab SoundCloud playlist


And so the same SoundCloud playlist updates appear at the blog in the sidebar.


The Twitter page takes care of itself since the people/organizations on the list are active Twitter users. Very dynamic!


screenshot of StoryLab Twitter list


And this is all easy to do! Just check out the How-To Pages for details about all these dynamic/distributed content options, and if you have any questions, let me know!


And now that I've got my folklore project humming along, it's time to get excited about InstCon!