Edcanvas, online quizzes & sunshine
The Teacher Ed department at college have agreed to trial running parts of the induction next year as blended learning, particularly around the use of the social media sites Twitter and Yammer.
Starting with the Twitter Induction, I started looking last week at using the Lesson function within Moodle. On my love-hate relationship spectrum with Moodle I was certainly very very close to the ‘hate’ end. I spent what felt like a good chunk of the afternoon structuring the resources and activities within the Lesson but it didn’t fit right and I was really struggling to get it to work. Granted, I have only ever made two Lessons in Moodle before, and that was over a year ago so it was really back to basics. But it was hard.
Then Inspiration arrived in the form of the amazing @rossthetechie who I met with predominantly to discuss the Tech for Learning Delivery Course. He told me about Edcanvas and within a minute of seeing it I knew if was something I wanted to check out.
So today I have spent the afternoon once again structuring a ‘lesson’ that trainees on any of the teacher education programmes can access. It’s been a beautiful afternoon. It is so amazingly easy to use with a simple drag and drop feature. As well as adding webpages, video and text to my canvas I have also been playing around with some online quizzes:
There is a quiz facility built within Edcanvas that is pretty easy to use. The biggest downside that I’ve found to it is that there is no ‘comments’ feature on a page that has a quiz, in the way there is on other pages. boo.
I created the same quiz in Poll Everywhere and shared the link from a text page in Edcanvas. This allows an option for open answers to supplement or compliment the multiple choice aspect of these quizzes.
Socrative has been one of the favourite technologies from the Tech For Learning Delivery course this year – but ironically is something that I am yet to use. It has been really easy to create a quiz and having the apps on my iPad was also useful to check the student view.
I’m a little skeptical about this tool for this particular task, as it will require the quiz to be ‘open’ for an extended period of time and I’m not sure how it will ‘cope’ with this. But as I will be reviewing this whole activity before the inductions in September and October there is time to evaluate this further.
The ease of use of Edcanvas is of course a massive selling point. Another advantage over the VLE is about how easy this will be to share. Once my canvas is completed it should be usable by any of the students on any of the teacher ed courses – had I built it in a Lesson on my CELTA page (my starting point) this would have had to have been repeated for each VLE page within the area!
Before I finish this, I also want to give a small Shout Out to my Diigo account. It gets a little neglected and I know I don’t use it to it’s full potential – but having saved several links relating to Twitter it has really saved me time in having to source resources for this induction from scratch. Thank you Diigo.