Another conference lurk, Canvas

Posted on July 21, 2016


So!   Enrollment is open for the “Instructional Design Service COurse: Gain Experience for Good” course in the fall (beginning September 12).

We’re invited back and seems the folks at Canvas find the course worthy of giving us all free accounts.   Now, it may be their standard “free for teachers” account so they’re not actually *giving* away anything they don’t usually give away, but we’ll see. That said, we’ll be given tools  to work with and a channel to share things 🙂   And since I’d be doing this stuff with an open license anyway, the fact that Canvas can use it and revise it and share it, etc… well, that was already a given.

Muddling around in pages eventually led me to click to a “log in” link (which didn’t make sense because I was already logged in as if a student of a Canvas course), and it gave me the choice between ‘learn’ and ‘instructure,’ the magic code part of the address that got me back to where I get to act like a Faculty Person at a School.

I entered and … it’s all badgified (eyeroll).   Gee, I’m “LEVEL ZERO” with my mere 35 points… I’m already curious.   Will this be set up for “easy onboarding” per good pedagogy?   Or “Unworthy Newbies!! Keep in your place, no privileges! ”  per StackOverflow?

I also watched the livestream of the Wednesday Keynote.   The opening glitzy “camp” theme reminded me of the insulated bubble these guys live in.   Happily, that lasted about a minute and the speaker Jared Stein got right into the actual stuff.   (Yes, it’s still “messages from the aliens in Silicon Valley who don’t really know anythign about the rest of the planet.”)  They’ve integrated with Office 365 so you can work on a document online and really easily ‘submit’ it and the teacher can make comments, etc.   much like Google Docs… and they’re working on integrating with them.

Of course, in their special planet it all works all the time b/c they have the latest stuff and tech support staff 😉

HE said cool nifty things about OER, though barely touching on what “really open” (okay to revise, share, translate, etc) with a clear expectation that his audience would not receive that well.   Ownership is really important on that planet.  There’s a school where they actually recognize that some students in high school have second grade math skills — their approach is to have students make lessons for the students coming along, and always be revising them.

… and… they’re doing beta stuff with gamification — well, basically branched “how to open the next level” requirements so that different people can follow different paths.   That excites me 🙂   It could obviously be done with human intervention but plotting paths to diagnose (so you get *this* wrong answer, we know you thought two negatives make a positive… so we’ll take you a different place than “you thought 5 x 5 was 10 but you knew the sign.”)

So I’m supposed to contact my somethign Success Manager, which of course makes me want to barf again — and Idon’t have one.  So I asked on Canvas and… d’oh, my school will.   They could have said “Your school’s Canvas contact,” but that wouldn’t have Sounded So Special, which is more important than actually communicating.

Oh, and people can blog about the keynote speaker, which I’d love to do… except there’s absolutely no clue as to how to blog (on their site — and other people had blog posts on the site).   I am suspecting — not that the site is well-designed enough to provide the information — that it might be a thing I need to Get To A Higher Level to do.  Meh.

But now!   It’s 10:50 and I did successfully finish a math lesson before doing INternet Things.   Time to get back to it…