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      #CanvasChat: Mobile Apps in the Classroom


      At University of Central Florida, Ryan oversees all aspects of the campus mobile ecosystem, from student life to teaching and learning. Canvas is a big part of the UCF mobile experience with essential access for students and teachers. In addition to supporting Canvas, he continues to work with faculty to explore better ways to use mobile technology, particularly in large classes. Ryan believes that using mobile technologies helps us build better communities while facilitating immersive and engaging learning experiences.

      At DeLaSalle High School, Kristin sees the impact of mobile devices on a daily basis. The small private high school has a 1:1 iPad program to help students build 21st-century skills and provide equitable access to technology. With this, students use Canvas and a variety of third-party apps to maximize their learning experiences. She thinks that mobile provides students and teachers the opportunity to allow learning to exist outside the physical classroom. It can easily become more flexible and personalized!

      The magical combination of Canvas and mobile learning is what continues to bring us together to collaborate. We have worked on presentations, resources, and #CanvasChats in the past, and we felt that with our opportunity to co-host a #CanvasChat this season, we’d focus on Mobile Apps in the Classroom. It was amazing to have another opportunity to learn from the growing Canvas Community and have a springboard for more conversations.

      We wanted to start off our chat with an active brainstorming session. It’s always amazing to learn about tried-and-true as well as those brand new apps. (Don’t worry. If you missed the #CanvasChat, we plan on making a resource and sharing it with the Canvas Community.)

      I’m sure many participants were excited to learn about new resources and to share them with colleagues and students. Here are some of the suggestions that stood out:

      Mobile app Canvas Tweet 1


      Mobile app Canvas Tweet 2

      Next, we took a moment to reflect on teaching on-the-go! We can’t always be with our students, but the apps and tools on our devices make it easier to be available...or at least makes us more flexible and effective with the time we have between other tasks.
      While many tools were shared, here are some notable suggestions:

      Mobile app Canvas Tweet 3


      Mobile app Canvas Tweet 4

      If you haven’t already checked out apps like Google Keep, Padlet, FlipGrid, EdPuzzle, Adobe Spark, Trello, and Canva, go explore! All of these apps were mentioned during the #CanvasChat!

      Of course, we needed to take the time to celebrate the Canvas mobile apps! Without this series of apps, the overall user-experience would be quite different. There’s always such a variety of responses, and it’s fun to note the different things that are celebrated. (We admit it’s difficult to choose a single feature!)
      It was pretty clear the Canvas Teacher app and the Speed Grader features are well-loved!

      A3: I love that I can use my Apple pencil to actually write on the assignments with the Teacher app on my iPad. Helps me show students where their python programs need to be tweaked. #CanvasChat

      — Tammy G. Neil 🔜 #EdcampSuwannee (@TG_Neil) February 19, 2020

      A3: I really love how easy it is for the teacher to use rubrics on the mobile app. Our instructors in lab settings have taken full advantage of this, assessing students as they walk around the lab using their smartphone. #CanvasChat

      — Dominic Slauson (@DominicSlauson) February 19, 2020

      A3. Canvas Teacher's grading tools. With rubrics, I can provide feedback on short assignments on my phone during my commute. Multitasking, FTW! #CanvasChat

      — Linda J. Lee (@lindajeanlee) February 19, 2020

      A3: I concur on Speedgrader. I’ve capitalized on a few moments this year and knocked out a few grades and/or feedback while waiting for the gym to open, filling the gas tank, sitting in a traffic jam! #CanvasChat

      — 🎙💻Marcus Painter💻🎙 (@edtechmarcus) February 19, 2020

      Adding mobile to the classroom has endless possibilities. What are the biggest benefits of leveraging mobile in the classroom? When you provide students enough flexibility, it can be pretty remarkable where the learning experiences may lead them. Here are some pieces of advice and insights that participants offered:


      A4. Increased student engagement. I know some teachers are concerned about distraction and student (in)attention when there are devices in the classroom. I find that directing student devices toward class purposes is a win for us all. #CanvasChat

      — Linda J. Lee (@lindajeanlee) February 19, 2020

      A4: I think it is the quick & easy access. As a S myself, I like the just -in-time aspect of mobile. I also think the “sticky-ness” of apps makes them feel less formal than sitting down at a computer. More likely to be real and relaxed #CanvasChat

      — Megan Tolin (@mltolin) February 19, 2020

      A4: We're meeting students where they are. They are so connected these days and by leveraging mobile we're opening up a whole world of possibilities they don't get to see when limited to worksheets and handouts. #CanvasChat

      — Dianna Knox (@talkintechccs) February 19, 2020

      In just 30-minutes of fast-paced collaboration, we shared some amazing ideas and learned from each other. We shared tried-and true apps, our favorite features for teaching, the love for Canvas Teacher, and some awesome reasons to embrace mobile. That’s quite remarkable.

      If you want to continue any of the conversations we featured in this #CanvasChat, we encourage you to start a discussion in Canvas Mobile Users Group (CMUG) in the Canvas Community! We always enjoy collaborating and discussing mobile-centric topics.

      Mobile On!
      Ryan and Kristin