Google Apps for Education: EDCANVAS

This morning I was taking a look through Google Apps for Education.  Here is one I thought was pretty interesting and worth sharing:

EDCANVAS

If you are familiar with Padlet (formerly known as Wallwisher), this is fairly similar. It is a place for you to store your research on a particular topic.  Sources of information can come from: your Google Drive (documents you have saved), YouTube, Flickr, Dropbox, Google Images and Searches, specific web addresses, files uploaded from your computer, and previously bookmarked links. Basically, anywhere! When you find the resource you want, simply drag and drop to your canvas, add a description of the resource and move on to adding more.

Sign-up is through your google account – which all my students have – so is seamless and easy, and upon signing up you are invited to watch a 30 second video explaining how it works.  I would recommend watching as it really is 30 seconds and it really will answer any questions you might have.

Once created, you have options for sharing your Canvas publicly, sharing it with select people, or keeping it private.  You can email, tweet, facebook or embed your canvas – or even share via QR code. My only complaint is that the embed code doesn’t appear to work with WordPress (grrr).

In addition to simply being a place to store resources, you can play your canvas to share your work with others.  Videos you have placed on the canvas will play within your presentation, documents will load up from your Google drive, websites will open and can be navigated on screen within the presentation before moving on to the next part of your canvas. I find there is a slightly higher quality to adding downloaded documents as opposed to uploading from your Google Drive, but that might just be me.

Here is my first canvas: Passion

For further information, check out the ABOUT EDCANVAS GUIDE

Build. Make. Hack. Grow.

DIY

I have posted previously on enabling creativity. One of the resources I mentioned was the DIY Website. It has been going for a while now and really, just keeps getting better.  In short, it is a place to be inspired and inspire others with the things you can build, make, hack, or grow. Which makes it perfect for those of us who have Genius Hour (or a derivative thereof in our classrooms) or are encouraging kids to pursue a passion (and shouldn’t that be all of us?).

Trending

One of the features I haven’t noticed before is the what’s trending ladder on the home page.  This shows the topics that are most popular amongst the DIY community.  Clicking on any of these terms will take you to see what others have been doing.

In addition to showcasing what you have made to an online community, you can earn badges for completing projects. The badges have a number of challenges and upon completion of three of the challenges you will get your badge. Here is a selection of badges most recently added:

Skills Badges

And here is a closer look at the ‘Maker’ badge and the challenges you can choose from.  The ‘tools’ section on the right will take you to web pages of information associated with the skill set you are looking at. The challenges (not in picture) come with information to guide you through the challenge.

Maker Skills

 

You can sign up for weekly emails from DIY.  On Saturday morning, they send out suggestions for three weekend projects and ask if you have any questions to reply to the email and they will get back to you.  I have been subscribing for a while and when we began our Energy unit at the beginning of the year, I was asking about alternative energy skill sets and they do email back! I have always found the DIY people to be really receptive to feedback and I am sure eager to answer questions from kids – again teaching them about seeing out information for themselves.  Here are examples of this week’s weekend projects:

As we begin our Exhibition unit on Monday, this will be another of the resources shared with my kids.  I am interested in seeing where it takes them in learning more about their passions.

Have you used this website with your kids?