I am looking for some best practices/examples for how your elementary teachers are using Canvas with students. All teachers currently have a required homepage but most have not stepped into the world of having students interact with Canvas.
I just got done training our Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers who had never used Canvas before. I took them through a 4 week course on the principles and practices of distance education through Canvas. We created home pages using Bitmoji rooms that linked to resources that they used as well as to their first module, so students didn't have to navigate through the modules on their own. Teachers had voice and choice in the tools and many used H5P tools for drop and drag and interactive videos. They also used Studio quizzes and Seesaw, Flipgrids as well as lots of discussions. If you want to see some screenshots of the examples, click here.
I really wish that there were a lot of changes to the elementary layout rather than just the font change. I have a lot of ideas on ways to make Canvas much more user friendly for elementary kids! One example would be using a RCE similar to Seesaw for student responses.
Thanks, James! 6th-12th are on Chromebooks. 3rd-5th are a variety....hoping to utilize the Student App as much as possible.
So...true. Cute buttons on pages might look inviting, but what do they actually lead to that is user-friendly for littles?
Thanks for posting.
We have emphasized building an online community which requires our students to interact with each other. This is pretty difficult for our littles to do without a parent right by them or using an external tool such as Flipgrid. Even with video tutorials for our students, there are still multiple steps in the content editor to upload a video or an image. This task may seem simple for grades 3+; however, multi-step directions for a 4 year old are pretty difficult. (Go to the reply, click the three dots on the right, click studio, and then record. Then, save and reply). The old video in option in RCE is so unreliable that the frustration level for littles will get very high if their videos don't save the first time.
After our engage piece, we give our "I can statements." We have recorded ourselves or our bitmojis giving audio directions with captions.
From there, we have another page for our direct instruction. No student interaction is needed for this piece; however, even a large button that has an arrow instead of the words next would be beneficial.
Then, we go into the guided and independent practice and without the use of external tools this is very difficult for littles to upload an assignment.
Finally we end in our launch for the day so if it is just a page with little interaction, no problem, but again discussions or submissions are pretty difficult.
IMHO, some of these things need to be developed pretty quickly because of the return to learn plan. We can't expect parents to sit with their children to all of their distance learning, and without having met these students before to instruct or give guidance, it will be pretty difficult to move forward with the littles.
Also, the iOS Canvas app does not allow for many of the natural integrations for littles to occur because they also use an app. I know this is a lot of suggestions but wanted to throw out some ideas to suggest for making the elementary theme so much better than just a font change that does nothing to the delivery or ease of use for students.
Thank you for your response Carrie. I wish there were more specific training geared toward TK-2. Our huge K-12 district just adopted Canvas as our distance learning platform across the district, but all our training is SO impractical for our littlest learners. Many of our families are Spanish Speaking and not technology trained so we can't rely on them, it has to be very direct, clear and user friendly what a child does every day and how. Like "open, click on the red picture of the ladybug, and click next to complete all the slides for that day". We used Peardeck with a daily google slides at the end of last year for distance learning, and that was more successful. Anything that links to outside resources too much, opens new tabs you have to navigate back to, and such means kids just won't do it. If you find anything that is not just theory based but practically speaking, "this is how it looks for a simple K, 1, 2 class of kids who can't read yet" I would love to hear it! Also, I would love Canvas to have more trainings or resources sharing best practices of early elementary teachers using canvas. Also when it's for distance learning, it's a whole other can of worms because we can't train the kids in class how to navigate the program initially...
I created a Bitmoji library classroom and embedded it for my Canvas front page. However, the accessibility was an issue. I was told that I cannot use pictures/words with links because they can't be read with the screen reader. I have to take my links off my Bitmoji so it's basically just an image now which defeats the purpose of the Bitmoji.