DTL e-Digest

Technology Tips & Strategies

March 2019

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Mr. David Edwards

I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome as I have hit the ground running since March 12 in my new role. It has been awesome seeing your student teams compete in Battle of the Books and learning from the DTL team all of the great things going on in your schools in terms of digital teaching and learning.

I will begin touring schools and meeting with you in order to learn more about how this team can continue to support you and your students with technology and media services. In the coming months, I will be pulling task force teams together to ensure that everyone has a voice in the process of digital teaching and learning and in developing strategies for continued innovation in your schools.

My goal and vision is to help empower our schools to meet the strategic plan for the district by providing good infrastructure, digital teaching and learning tools, professional development and technical support at an optimal level. We will do this by working together to achieve a "balance" between security/compliance and innovation.

I look forward to working with each of you and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!

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Paul Roncone, English Teacher, Mt. Mourne School


Nominate a Teacher For Spotlight

If you know of a teacher who is doing some great and innovative things for students, nominate him or her for the Teacher Spotlight.
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EDpuzzle is a great tool to create interactive video lessons. Learn what EDpuzzle can do for you and your students. You can learn how to use EDpuzzle, earn some badges, and advance in skill level. Edpuzzle is free to use, but you can also purchase a individual or school premium accounts.

EDpuzzle is a great way to flip your classroom. Watch this video demonstrating how to flip your classroom using EDpuzzle.

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Coaching Cycles are still going strong in our elementary schools. It’s so inspiring to have teachers contact us and say they want more and that their students keep coming up with new ideas for activities they can do with their devices and the tools they have learned through these cycles!

We have now had over 110 teachers complete the Apple Teacher Program for either the Mac or iPad. This program guides you through how to use the apps that come with the MacBook or iPad, including lesson ideas, how to improve your productivity and how to create amazing products. Once you have completed the Apple Teacher program, please send your certification badge report to jparker@iss.k12.nc.us. We will generate you a certificate indicating you earned 1.6 Digital Learning Credits for completing each path which you can then upload into TimeKeeper to receive your DTL CEUs. You’ll also receive a banner and badge you can proudly display outside your classroom where you can add more professional learning badges as we roll out more online PD.

We are also excited that our Apple Professional Learning Specialists will be here presenting sessions at this summer’s IGNITE 19. Be on the lookout for more info!

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iQuest Online Professional Learning Opportunities




There will be sessions on digital learning & technology in the classroom, differentiated instruction, providing quality interventions, reading, math, writing, STEM, content areas, curriculum review work and so much more!

What do YOU have to share with your colleagues as a Lead Learner? You can choose to share informally by leading a session individually or with colleagues, through a poster session or face-to-face in a 30 min. or 1-hour session. What a great way to kick-off summer and get started by planning for an awesome 2019-20 school year!

If interested in leading learning, complete the Lead Learner Form below.

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Other Learning & Growing Opportunties

  1. Friday Institute MOOCeds: Massive Open Online Courses are offered by the Friday Institute. These free courses allow educators to learn on a variety of topics. These courses are self-paced and will award contact and participation hours for CEUs. There are ten courses to choose from.

  2. Microcredentials with the Digital Promise: Get started exploring and learning. There are a variety of Microcredentials to choose from. Learn. Grow. Share with Digital Promise.

  3. Canvas.Net: Canvas.Net is a catalog of professional learning covering a wide range of topics (content and curriculum, blended learning, to languages). Teachers and Administrators can search the entire catalog.
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March Canvas Play of the Month

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This month's Canvas Play of the Month comes from Kelly Cannon, Science Teacher at Troutman Middle

Insulator/conductor Sort, Science Grade 6 (click on button above to access the assignment example)

Notice how Kelly created this assignment using the Google Cloud Assignment External Tool. This is a great way to create an assignment that forces a copy of the slide deck to the student's Google Drive that the student can then input answers, questions, sorting ideas, etc. provided instructional details for the assignment, built a rubric using ELA outcomes to assess.

Also notice how she used a Meme to create humor, but connected to the learning topic.

Great work Kelly.

Do You Got Canvas Play?

Get featured! Get Recognized! Celebrate how you are using Canvas with your students.

You got Canvas Play if you have created interactive content (videos, digital tools, 3rd party apps) and assessments in Canvas. A Canvas Play can be . . .

  • A Canvas Module
  • A Canvas Page
  • A Canvas Quiz
  • A Canvas Assignment
  • A Canvas Discussion

Be recognized for your Canvas Play and earn a badge. Submit the Canvas Play of the Month form with the details for your Canvas Play. You could be featured in next month's e-Digest.

Did You Know?

This month, Canvas released an update that will you be interested in knowing about. Read this update and think about ways that it can impact your learning environment positively.

Canvas Commons: Downloads and Rich Content Editor

Now the resource cards show the number of times the resource has been downloaded and favorited. Teachers can also search and filter by most downloaded and favorited.

Teachers can also now pull in Canvas Commons resources that have been favorited directly into a page, assignment, quizzes, and discussions from the Rich Content Editor. The types of resources that can be pulled in from the Commons are documents, videos, audio, and images.

Click on the commons icon in the Rich Content Editor, filter by type, select the resource. See image below.

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Continue Your Learning

There are a plethora of ways for you to experiment and color your Canvas learning. Read about the possible avenues to enrich, grow, and extend your knowledge and skills as a Canvas artist.

  1. The Canvas of Things: Come and join with other NC Educators who are using Canvas to improve student learning. This conference is FREE and will give you opportunity to earn .5 (if your attend) and 1.0 (if you present) DLC credit. Share. Connect. Grow on April 13th from 9:00-3:00 at the Professional Development Center of Union County Schools. Register by going to this SMORE.

  2. Growing with Canvas: Interested in building your capacity in Canvas and becoming a Canvas ninja? Then you can self-enroll in the Growing with Canvas professional learning experience. This learning experience is self--paced and along the ay you will submit activities and earn seven total badges. At the conclusion of Growing with Canvas, you can request a certificate of participation for 1.2 CEUs which can be used for DLC credit.

  3. Canvas Live: Canvas Live is a portal of online learning searchable by categories (lower right) such as student engagement, content design, and Assessment & Grading.

Canvas, Digital Learning Competencies, & SAMR

In every issue of the DTL e-Digest, our goal is to dive deep into the Digital Learning Competencies--either as a whole or a specific competency. How does Canvas allow teachers and administrators to align and apply to the Digital Learning Competencies and SAMR? What features in Canvas allow you and your students to illustrate the DLCs and SAMR?

Digital Learning Competencies:

To review, here are the DLCs for Teachers & Administrators. Read the complete list of DLCs and what Canvas features supports that competencies.

DLC 2 (Digital Citizenship) d: Integrate digital citizenship curriculum into student learning..

How does Canvas promote this DLC?

  1. Pages: With Pages, teachers can build and create content, embed interactive learning learning like videos, digital tools, and Google applications. Teachers can use pages to add a Digital Citizenship component to each lesson, or create a whole module around Digital Citizenship.
  2. Assignments: Create assignments where students have to explain Digital Citizenship, or create a product to submit that demonstrates students understand of what a good digital citizen looks like. Create a Flipgrid external tool assignment where students can post a video response to a teacher's grid topic.
  3. Discussions: Discussions can be used to create community, to model effective social interaction. Set ground rules with your students about how to respond to discussion posts. Pin a discussion with focused digital citizenship topic each week, and students know to access the pinned discussion each Monday to provide thoughts and discussion to the topic. Could be used as a bell ringer.
  4. Conferences: Hold virtual conferences with your students using the Conferencing tool. Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to behave and interact in a virtual environment, teaching communication skills with chat or video.
  5. Collaborations: Create a Collaboration with your students, assign the collaborations to groups of students, where students can co-create building infographics explaining social responsibility and examples of what social responsibility looks like in real, authentic situations.
  6. Canvas Commons: Search the Commons for Digital Citizenship resources. Filter by NC Canvas to search and use resources created by NC educators. Download into your course(s) to use with students.

SAMR (Substitutions, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition)

If you want to review what SAMR is with some examples, check out this image.

SAMR Rubric applied to Canvas Feature -- For Administrators

SAMR Rubric applied to Canvas Feature - For Teachers

Check out the Digital Citizenship competency (image below) as it flows through SAMR.

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Canvas Tip of the Week

I hope you are reading and applying the Canvas Tips of the Week. Each week (Monday-Wednesday), you and your students can explore the Canvas tip for that week. Please encourage your students to read and apply the tip. These tips will help with Canvas productivity. And, be sure not to hit the X until you are confident that you have read, understand, and can apply the tip. Hitting the X closes out the tip and cannot be retrieved.

Here are the archives of the Canvas Tips of the Week:



Got a tip, suggestion, hack, solution. Share it with us. We will feature it an upcoming Tip of the Week and for each tip, you will receive your Canvas Tipper badge.

Tell us your Tip Story.

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March Madness

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Prepare Our Kids for Life, Not Standardized Tests

Standardized testing isn’t preparing our kids for their futures and is driving the joy and real learning from our classrooms, says innovation expert Ted Dintersmith. It’s time to empower those who own the consequences of what happens in the classroom — our teachers and students. (Read “In Teachers We (Should) Trust," NEA Today’s interview with Dintersmith)
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How to Make Work Better (Life Hacks)