After my December 12th graduation from the MS Education Media Design and Technology program, I had been taking a break from my blogs and my quest for new Web 2.0 tools. I don’t think there was one day out of the 341 days in the EMDT program that I didn’t spend doing hours of work on my MacBook Pro, so I think that it’s been a well deserved break that has helped me get caught up on correcting papers.
I just came off of a week’s break from school, so I finally felt ready to get back to searching and blogging about my new discoveries. Over the break I became very excited to stumble upon a technology company called Imagine K12. Upon research into the site, I discovered Edcanvas, a completely new way to create an educational canvas, putting together resources to present to a class.
Of course when I learn about something new, there’s no better way to learn than to get right in and test it out for myself! I actually discovered that it’s not only a great way to organize a unit to present, but it is also a great way to keep lesson plans, notes, and student activities that can be shared with other classes and teachers everywhere!
I took the 2 science units that I created presentations for in Prezi and I put it all together with learning links that I had on my class Webpage and notes outline sheets that I had in my DropBox. Here’s what I came up with and it took me less than an hour to put it all together.
What I like about EdCanvas:
- EdCanvas seems to be great for organizing themes/units in a chronological order.
- I love that it’s compatible with DropBox and Google Drive! It makes uploading files easy from any computer.
- When you create lessons, you can easily add comments on the side. This allows you to share your thoughts and observations about what works well when teaching a lesson or using a particular resource.
- It’s a great way to store and share lesson plans!
- It is compatible with Prezi. Originally, I tried creating an Electricity LiveBinder with these same Prezi links, but unfortunately, my presentations were not easily viewable within the LiveBinder. (Don’t get me wrong, I love LiveBinders!)
- It’s a great way to search for lesson plans put together by teachers with a love and passion for education and technology.
- Finding fun and innovative lesson plans inspires me to create more and try new and different things in my own classroom.
Room for improvement
This site is still new to me, so I know I have more to explore and discover. I did, however, find that I’m not sure that I like EdCanvas as a way to store a set of resource links. I tried creating a sample Math Learning Sites EdCanvas with a few links to Websites that I use with my class. When I go to play it, it goes straight to the 1st math Website and I can’t continue to view the other sites in the Canvas. Even if it did play correctly, I still like organizing my resources into LiveBinders. The tabs and sub-tabs of a binder makes it easier to navigate through a bunch of links that don’t need to be viewed in any particular order.
Overall, I’m happy with my new discovery and I plan on playing around with this new Web 2.0 tool. I can see this as an extremely powerful teaching tool if several teachers in a school district were to collaborate in uploading various lessons that could be shared among their grade level. As California is moving into the Common Core Standards, wouldn’t it be amazing if each teacher could come up with just 1 EdCanvas that included plenty of opportunities for students to build background knowledge and jump right into a lesson? More collaborating and sharing across schools in a district could lighten the load on everyone as we take on a new set of standards and teach a different way of thinking to our students.