Canvas tips, training incentives, and usage

posted Sep 20, 2018, 1:38 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 20, 2018, 1:40 PM ]
TO: Secondary Certified Teachers
FROM: Granger Meador, Exec. Dir. of Technology & Communications

Additional Help with Canvas
  • Plagiarism and grammar checking
    • Now you don't have to force students to submit an assignment via the Turnitin External Tool to get a plagiarism review and grammar check. When you create a new assignment in Canvas, there is now an embedded Plagiarism Review option you can set to Turnitin, and then adjust various options, including an optional grammar check. Immediate feedback can help them learn to be more original and also improve their grammar, but you control when and if they get that feedback.
  • Template documents for Turnitin assignments
    • You might want students to actually submit an assignment to Turnitin so that you can use its Feedback Studio to grade it, rather than the less powerful SpeedGrader inside Canvas. But you can't use two External Tools at the same time, so then you can't create a Google Cloud assignment to easily share a template document with your students. I've added instructions to page 2 of the Using Turnitin with Canvas manual on a workaround to create a Google Doc as a non-editable template your students can open and then use File > Make a copy to get their own version to edit and later submit.
  • Is Turnitin down?
    • Turnitin is a great service...when it is up and running. That company suffers more outages than the other services we rely on, with issues last Sunday-Monday and again on Thursday morning. So if your students can't upload something to Turnitin, you can check its current status with the new Status of various online services link at BPSDTECH.ORG.
Kung Fu Canvas incentives accelerated
Kung Fu Canvas is the six-part online training program available to all teachers in grades 6-12. 63 teachers at BHS, 5 at Central, and 3 at Madison have completed the entire program. That still leaves many teachers who haven't started the training yet or still have some belts to earn. 

To encourage more middle school teachers and new teachers at BHS to start the training, I've restructured the equipment incentives. Now you'll earn a Bluetooth mouse when you complete the first Yellow belt. The second Orange belt will earn you an extra Chromebook charger, The third Blue belt will earn you a headset with microphone. The last three belts go a bit faster, so the fourth and fifth Green and Brown belts just earn you 2 inservice points, like any other belt. But you will earn a Wacom digitizer for your Windows computer if you complete all six belts.

I now have the happy task of delivering 8 mice, 8 chargers, and 10 headsets to folks who have completed the early belts and now qualify for those incentives earlier than before. Everyone's progress (and my own in getting equipment out and inservice points put into Frontline Professional Growth!) are shown on my Kung Fu Canvas Tracking Sheet.
  • Visit KUNGFUCANVAS.ORG or view the slideshow for more information. 
  • Email Granger Meador with your name and school if you are ready to start.
  • If you've already finished Kung Fu Canvas, there is an optional three-part additional online training called Canvas Challenge for Bruins you can ask me to enroll you in. Each completed part earns 3 inservice points, and a dozen of your colleagues have already done all or part of that additional training.
Canvas usage statistics
  • So far this school year 69 teachers at BHS have 119 courses operating for 1,588 students. They've created 3,066 assignments, 341 discussions, and students and staff have uploaded 5,932 files.
  • This year Central and Madison only have Chromebook carts in some English classes and the like plus a few classes in dedicated computer labs. 
    • Three teachers at Central have three courses operating for 141 students. They've created 72 assignments, 3 discussions, and Central staff and students have uploaded 119 files. 
    • Three teachers at Madison also have three courses operating for 226 students. They've created 14 assignments, 1 discussion, and Madison staff and students have uploaded 28 files.