Learning curves for everyone

29 Mar

Tomorrow, we are supposed to get details about remote learning from the school district. My principal has warned us that it will have a lot of information. She asked us to look it over, but to not let it overwhelm us. We are having a staff meeting via Zoom on Tuesday to clarify things.

I’ve gotten by with a Google website for many years. We have had other options presented to us, including Google Classroom and Canvas, but I am a simple person and my website has served me, and my students well enough. Knowing that things are about to change radically, I’ve been thinking a lot about how best to present whatever it is I am going to present. I decided to test the waters and dip my toe into Canvas.

I logged into the account I have had for two years, but have never used. I figured the easiest thing to test out would be a reading/writing project I had assigned before we left for Outdoor School. Students already had the details and it wasn’t due yet, so it would be a good test subject. I wrote and uploaded and pressed publish. From my point of view, everything was pretty straightforward and easy. But did it work?

I thought about the two Humanities classes I teach, wondering who I might email and ask to check their Canvas account. I don’t even know if all students use Canvas, although I think most of their Encore teachers use it for their classes.

And then, an opportunity appeared.

It came in the form of this fun email from a student.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 1.08.45 PM

I emailed her back right away, offering suggestions, asking and answering her questions and providing some links to good resources. And, I asked her if she uses Canvas and could she take a look at her Canvas account and tell me if it worked. I confessed to her that this was my first time using Canvas. It seems we are both on a learning curve.

7 Responses to “Learning curves for everyone”

  1. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write March 29, 2020 at 5:22 am #

    I think this can be the time for students to create their own projects. This student sounds like he/she is ready to go!

  2. Juliette Awua-Kyerematen March 29, 2020 at 5:55 am #

    The learning curve is for you and your students. It can be overwhelming but you when you are able to do it you realise how accessible it was in the first place. Good Luck, I am going through this too.

  3. Anita Ferreri March 29, 2020 at 7:04 am #

    That is exactly what I am calling it – the steep learning curve in unprecedented times. Trying to keep students motivated and encouraged seems to be key in my opinion. You are certainly doing that. Hang in there.

  4. arjeha March 29, 2020 at 7:44 am #

    Yes, students are not the only ones learning new things during this time. I think it is a testament to you and your teaching that this student reached out to you for advice and help.

  5. Brian Rozinsky March 29, 2020 at 8:48 am #

    We help each other. Voila! Your slice illustrates this so nicely.

  6. Melanie White March 29, 2020 at 1:24 pm #

    Oh yes! This is forcing us into participatory culture and we are going to rethink teaching and learning in this time of quarantine. I’ve been actively using technology with my classes for years and try new things all the time and I’m still overwhelmed with what I don’t know and have to learn. In fact, I made the rather abrupt choice of changing my wordpress theme today and have been forced into three hours of reformating and learning the language of the WordPress design. Lesson learned: choose your moves with technology carefully and always double the time you expect it will take you. We’re in this together!

  7. Lisa Corbett March 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

    Beautiful! She’s a real writer – working on unassigned writing, using her current experience as a jumping off point. I love it! Good luck learning the new tools. I suspect I’ll be in a similar predicament soon.

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