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      #CanvasChat: Maintaining the Connection of the Classroom

      Our Canvas Community is full of amazing students, educators, and administrators who support each other in times of triumph and hardship. With the Coronavirus affecting institutions around the globe, the Community has stepped up to share resources on how schools can convert on-ground courses to online courses effectively and efficiently.

      The sharing and support extended to Twitter this week, with a #CanvasChat focused on maintaining the connection of the classroom. We kicked things off by asking the group what questions they had about teaching classes virtually or online and what challenges they might encounter.

      A1: My biggest challenge as Coordinator of Digital Learning is to try to help everyone adjust thei approaches from what they know in class, to what it can be online. #CanvasChat

      — 🎙💻Marcus Painter💻🎙 (@edtechmarcus) March 11, 2020

      A1 - Biggest question-
      Identifying the goals, plans and timeline of setting up the program.
      Biggest challenge- executing on the plan w proper time and support for PD. #CanvasChat

      — Jonathan Kasica (@JonKas82) March 11, 2020

      A1: #CanvasChat

      Shifting from a face-to-face to an online learning environment in a K-12 district is daunting! Aside from tools and standards, our biggest questions have surrounded:

      1) establishing appropriate instructional time expectations


      2. handing inequity of access

      — Cat Flippen (@CatFlippen) March 11, 2020

      R1. The question I get often is how to design online in a way that still fosters those impromptu, authentic conversations between Ss/Ss and Ts/Ss. Group work, too. How it’s best accomplished online. #canvaschat

      — Joanna Ray (@Joanna_Ray11) March 11, 2020

      A1: With cases of #COVID19 in some places. How do we continue to teach and track our Ss participation online? How do we keep them all engaged? How could this effect learning styles on vocational courses and the need to do synoptic testing? Is video capture the answer? #CanvasChat

      — Khaled Al-ankar #FE #HE (@khaledal_ankar) March 11, 2020


      After identifying questions and challenges, we asked the group about ideas they had to maintain a visible teacher presence in an online course.

      A2: definitely adding yourself to discussions (don’t control but contribute), providing video lectures, providing just in time videos (so students don’t think they’re pre-recorded), and using announcements. #CanvasChat

      — Sean Winningham (@swinning_id) March 11, 2020

      A2) Video is really helpful. Whether it's screencasts (Screencastify or similar) to show how to do something, giving feedback (Canvas media recorder, for ex), or just checking in, it helps Ss to actually SEE you. #CanvasChat

      — Chris Hitchcock 🌏🌍📚 (@CHitch94) March 11, 2020

      R2: @CanvasLMS allows a lot of really cool ways to interact with students. Discussions, integrations is different programs (@flipgrid, @WeVideo), video feedback, ability to grade and comment, inbox...should I continue? All these give a presence. Oh, add the app 2 #canvaschat

      — Kevin Self (@LCHS_Physics) March 11, 2020

      A2: One of my favorite tools is the Canvas "Message Students Who" feature to reach out to students who aren't "showing up" or encourage those doing well, beyond any global feedback I provide to the whole class #FIU #FIUOnline #CanvasChat

      — Sky K. 🏳️‍🌈 (@skyvking) March 11, 2020


      Face-to-face conversations are one of the most impactful aspects of being in the classroom. How can this be replicated online? There are many tools that can help.

      A3- I think the use of audio/video in @CanvasLMS Speedgrader is a great opportunity to make the feedback an ongoing conversation.
      Peer editing is made simple as well.#CanvasChat

      — Jeremy Hill (@Jeremy__Hill) March 11, 2020

      A3: I think @flipgrid would be an easy way to provide vid feedback. Also, built-in media recorder in @canvaslms for feedback. Also, social media direct messaging @twitter #CanvasChat

      — ΛDΛM Wiseman, CETL (@awisemannc) March 11, 2020

      A3: create those opportunities! Set up an optional time for students to meet with you via video chat, use discussions to discuss topics, use the calendar function to let students schedule 1:1 with you. #CanvasChat

      — Sean Winningham (@swinning_id) March 11, 2020


      To wrap things up, we wanted to know what tools and resources participants used to help execute classes virtually or online. Again, there were so many great responses and sharing of resources.

      A4: Anything Google - I feel like that’s such an easy way to get started. I also love using YouTube videos and creating Wakelets for supplemental materials. Oh, and H5P tools are awesome!!! #CanvasChat

      — Sean Winningham (@swinning_id) March 11, 2020

      R4. There is nothing more frustrating than a lack of consistency and organization when taking an online course. Particularly if taking multiple courses. Streamlined navigation, Modules, and Module requirements are my favorite tools for this! #canvaschat

      — Joanna Ray (@Joanna_Ray11) March 11, 2020

      A4: sometimes it’s good to keep it simple...especially with K-5 learners. Gimme a screencast w/ @useloom and @GoogleForEdu Slides. BOOM! #CanvasChat

      — 🎙💻Marcus Painter💻🎙 (@edtechmarcus) March 11, 2020

      A3: Keep it simple. Canvas discussion forums, a videoconferencing tool like Zoom or BlueJeans, and a video platform for delivering multimedia content.@OLCToday has good resources for instructors who need help delivering courses remotely:


      — Adam D. Zolkover (@folklore_adam) March 11, 2020


      As schools and universities close or otherwise prepare for Coronavirus (COVID-19), Canvas is committed to ensuring our entire community can continue to teach, learn, and succeed from anywhere. We’ve published a webpage with tools for online learning and will continue to provide updates.

      Our friend Joanna said it best:

      Thank you for the #canvaschat tonight. Canvas Community = work family = virtual and IRL friends working towards a shared mission to enrich learning for the students we love so dearly.

      — Joanna Ray (@Joanna_Ray11) March 11, 2020


      Keep Learning,