Students Collaborate-Write-Present-Publish with FFT

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If your school has one of those very limited LMSs or just an SIS and no actual LMS, a Canvas FFT can allow you to get your students using their technology at a higher, more professional level. Tech in education should be about so much more than digitized worksheets and a digitized typewriter. If you have to use your computer to send out assignments which students may or may not receive, then you are still passing stuff out; you're just doing it digitally. If students are emailing you back pictures or pdfs of their work, then it is business as usual, but digitally.


As soon as you walk into the world of Canvas, you are able to build an online course with a rich variety of tools and tasks linked in a variety of possible hierarchies. You can add to it and change it on the fly, updating it as information in the world changes: it is all live. You are not passing out a thing that is then dead and gone from your hands. Students log on and access the live, ever-changing, ever-updating content you are building. This is a fundamental difference which frees the instructor to create explosively more dynamic courses. This is the difference between picking up a paper copy of the New York Times and logging on to a live NYT feed.


It works in the other direction as well. Work created by a student should never really be done or dead: it should be under constant revision, getting upgraded as more info (and skill) becomes available. Some things, sometimes, are done once and left behind... but not most. Few instructors want a student to consider the first draft of something to be the final draft: that is a concept literally "left over" from the days of paper and pencil... from the days when inserting new information literally meant starting all over with a fresh sheet of paper in a typewriter. And that time is gone.


Or it should be. When we lock in documents and other works that are either being delivered or collected, we've grabbed a dead snapshot. When we leave them in a live state to be accessed by all interested parties, they are under continuous construction and upgrade. They are also part of constructive (and nearly always creative) collaboration. The value of this in laying the conditions for problem-solving cannot be overstated. We become part of a cooperative think-tank with our students. Differentiation and teamwork are built in. Think about that. Those are terms traditionally viewed as being at odds with one another. But when content and student work are kept live, a symbiotic relationship is born.


This is education in the purest sense of the word. Students and Instructors of this completely connected world should settle for nothing less.

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