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Which came first: the chicken or the egg? How about innovation or education? While we might still be scratching our heads over the chicken and egg mystery, at Canvas, we believe that innovation in medicine, technology, and other various industries starts with innovation in education. Finding new solutions to improve student learning is essential for establishing the next generation's innovators. That's why we launched the Canvas Grants program two years ago, to help those who have groundbreaking ideas turn them into reality. The program awarded 10 people in the category of K-12 with $5,000, and six winners in the higher education category $10,000.

Canvas Grants Winners

This year, the Canvas Grants program focuses on lossless learning, the idea that we can maximize learning through connected face-to-face activities. We had many outstanding submissions and were amazed by the passion and talent shown in each one. We can only have 16 winners, though, so our panel of education experts selected the top ideas. They are listed below.

K-12 Winners

  • Mark Woodward with Alaska Digital Academy, for his "First Flight Alaska" project, which proposes to push students by creating pilot courses that offer not just grades, but also formative feedback.

  • Kasey Cope with Pleasant View Elementary, for her "Bike Your Way to Safety" project, which proposes to teach about bike safety through real-life experience.

  • Sterling Worrell with Hopkinton Public Schools, for his "Smartphone Photography" project, which proposes to bring social media to the classroom and to teach students how to use social media in responsible and creative ways.

  • Brian McDowell with Mason County Middle School, for his "Is There Life on Mars?" project, which proposes to have students create their own controlled experiment to prove or disprove existence of life on Mars.

  • Nicole DeCrette with Steamboat Springs High School, for her "Steamboat Makerspace" project, which proposes to create a common, central space for both teachers and students to engage in creative, hands-on learning.

  • Ashley Turrell with Indianapolis Academy of Excellence CFA, for her "Virtual Student Collaboration Zone" project, which proposes to teach students how to record, edit, and share videos as a way to improve learning in the classroom.

  • Jim McCusker with Ridley School District, for his "Ridley Cease Absences Now Video Advantage" project, which proposes to create a space where students can go to test hypotheses, develop solutions, and answer questions using hands-on techniques.

  • Vanessa Smith with Bret Harte Middle School, for her "Students Learn Stem Through Game Design" project, which proposes to introduce students to computer coding and programming through game design.

  • Tim Smay with University High School, for his "Digital Citizenship/Literacy Through the Science Classroom" project, which proposes to teach incoming freshman about digital citizenship and basic digital skills used in and outside of the science classroom.

  • Douglas Ferguson with the Kent School District, for his "Losing Less Learning by Making Knowledge Matter in a Maker Lab" project, which proposes to transform the school's computer lab into a "Maker Lab," a place where students can create and invent using STEM concepts.

Higher Education Winners

  • Oliver Heyer with UC Berkeley, for his "Data Cultures" project, which proposes to produce open-source LTI tools to drive competition between students and therefore improve engagement.

  • Jared Chapman with Utah Valley University, for his "Project Delphinium" category, which proposes to create a technology platform and learning community that engages students using educational gamification tools.

  • Dr. Nelson Baker with Georgia Tech Research Corporation, for the "Tracing Learning Interaction Paths as a Guide to Design Lossless Learning" project, which proposes to develop software that traces the path that students take during online course sessions.

  • Andrew Reynolds with Boston College Center for Teaching Excellence, for his "Optimizing Groups for Active Learning" project, which proposes to develop a tool that would facilitate the creation, organization, and evaluation of group work, in order to optimize active learning in groups.

  • Kenneth Larson and Travis Thurston with Utah State University, for their "Learning Paths Tool" project, which proposes to create a self-directed learning experience and individualized learning plan to improve student performance.

  • Mary Kayler with University of Mary Washington, for her “M.O.L.I.E. Meets Canvas and the Open Web” project, which proposes the development of EPIC Multimedia Online Learning Immersive Environment courses to shake-up the predictive pedagogy of online learning.  

Keep Learning,
Jared Stein
VP Research and Education