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Instructure and Microsoft add Integration between Canvas and Office 365

Having a connection between Office 365 and Canvas will greatly impact the lives of students and teachers. Not only will it be easier to submit assignments and such, but all of these applications are created in the cloud, therefore minimizing the use of personal storage.

If you don’t know what Office 365 is, it’s quite similar to Google Doc’s however it is created by Microsoft and boasts their current Microsoft Office applications, all using web browsers and all data stored is in the cloud (also quite similar to Google Docs).

The new integrations that users will be able to use are:

* Submitting files directly from Office 365 to specific Canvas assignments

* Access Office 365 through canvas SpeedGrader to add feedback (This is important for teachers as there was a bit of a disconnect for specific comments at certain spots of a paper)

* You can link Office 365 documents anywhere on Canvas

* Directly connect Office 365 documents in course modules

* Collaborate with other peers in class using any type of Office documents

* Grade and create assignments in OneNote and push those grades to canvas

* Signing into one, means signing into Office 365 as well

This integration will make using Canvas and Office 365 easier in terms of collaborating both programs together.

Learn More with Hands-On Experience

With most courses in college the one thing that usually enhances learning of a particular subject is getting your hands dirty. Meaning, getting hands on experience. For most science courses this not a problem but when students want to examine something that may be too fragile, too valuable, too small, or inaccessible, there wasn’t much of a solution until now. In an article on the website Campus Technology they discuss how St. Cloud State University’s Visualization Lab has added high-precision 3D scanners to its technology portfolio, allowing students and faculty to examine objects that previously were inaccessible.

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The Minnesota university chose Artec 3D to provide the 3D scanner hardware and its Studio 10 software, along with a dedicated server, touch-enabled computers, stand-up touchscreen displays, projectors and virtual reality headsets. The technology, which became available at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, allows St. Cloud to expand its collection of 3D models that can be studied in virtual environments.

Through the Visualization Lab’s Interactive Skull Museum portfolio, biology students now can examine the department’s wide collection of cow, deer, fox, bobcat and even human skulls — specimens that often are quite delicate and cannot be handled easily. Using the 3D scanners, students have been able to create virtual objects that can be turned, shared and explored without concerns about damaging them. The tools will also allow students to create 3D models of microscopic organisms like algae that can be viewed using virtual reality tools.

St. Cloud’s Visualization Lab, located in the school’s Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility, allows faculty and students access to technology that can be used in a wide variety of cross-disciplinary projects that give students hands-on experience.

For more information on this topic visit the link above.

Google Docs and Google Drive

There are a multitude of apps and software that help students collaborate and get their work done–one such app is Google Drive. Most people know that in addition to having a Google email account when you sign up, there is also a way for students and professionals to access the same capabilities as Microsoft Office Suites but entirely off the web. However, what makes this stand out is the fact that not only does it auto-save to your Google Drive (a way to store documents and files on the internet) but it also allows multiple people to edit the same document in real time.

This capability also allows for people to see who is editing and where by indicating a certain color to that user. This feature is something that you can take on the go with Google Docs. This app is available in the Apple Store for iPhones and iPads, Chrome Web Store for Windows phone or tablet users, and also in the Google Play store for Android users. This versatile app allows you to open any documents that you had made on a computer or create new documents. This app allows for a mobile and tablet friendly interface (as using the normal web browser version could be quite hard).

This app has all the capabilities of working with Google Docs. However, Google has also created an App called Google Docs that allows for editing of all of the other file types, such as a spreadsheet, forms, etc. In the Google Docs App it is only compatible with document type files.

With Google Drive, there are a multitude of options, such as backing up your videos and photos straight to your Google Drive. This can be accessed through any computer simply by logging into your Gmail account. You can also upload and share documents in real-time, on-the-go. This allows for students to successfully integrate and collaborate with their peers on more versatile and easy way. At any moment in the day can students answers questions, work on their assignments, collaborate with peers, turn in assignments by sharing it with their professor, and finally keep all of their work and education assignments all in one place with quick and easy access from any computer, tablet, or phone.

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Canvas Tips to Start the Year Off Right!

Want help with learning technologies, digital media, assignment/course design, or hybrid/online learning? Go to our LT website to book time with us or ask us a question!

Students:

Tip #1: SENDING A MESSAGE IN CANVAS

Did you know? You can send a private message to your professor or classmates through Canvas. All you need to do is click on Inbox in the top right hand corner of your Canvas window. Click on compose a new message, then select your course and the professor/classmate you want to communicate with. This tool is incredibly useful for asking your professor or classmates questions, or even talking to members in your group.

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Tip #2: OPENING CANVAS

Did you know? You don’t always need to log in to MyUW in order to access Canvas. All you need to do is type in canvas.uw.edu and you will automatically be taken to the login page for Canvas. No need to navigate through your MyUW page to find the Canvas link.

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Tip #3:  COURSES AND GROUPS CUSTOMIZATION

Did you know?  You can change what courses and groups appear under the Courses and Groups tab on your Canvas Homepage. All you need to do is hover over the Courses and Groups tab, then click on View all or Customize

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in the top right hand corner. From there you can star which courses you want to appear on the dropdown menu. This can save you the time of searching for your course every time you need to access it.

Tip #4: COURSE ACCESS

Did you know? You will always have access on Canvas to the courses you have taken, long after the course is completed. You can look at assignments you turned in, grades you received, files and readings you were assigned, and much more! You can use previous courses as a resource for courses you will take in the future.

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Faculty:

Tip #1: REGISTRATION ISSUE IN CANVAS 

There is a known issue in the Canvas system that sometimes causes a discrepancy between students who are enrolled through MyUW and those who show up as enrolled in your Canvas course. To resolve this issue, send an email to HELP@UW.EDU with the course title and quarter and request that they update your Canvas course enrollments.

Tip #2: PUBLISH YOUR CANVAS COURSE

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Remember that you can build your course in Canvas before the quarter without the students seeing all of the changes. Once you are prepared for students to interact with your Canvas course site, you must make sure to publish it. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Canvas course and click Home
  2. At the top of the page under the heading THIS COURSE IS UNPUBLISHED click the link published.
  3. Finally, click the Publish Course button that shows up near the bottom of the page.

Tip #3: REMOVE UNNEEDED NAVIGATION ITEMS

To reduce confusion for your students, we recommend that you remove links in the course navigation that you are not using. For example, you might remove the Outcomes, Conferences, and Collaborations links in the navigation, if those tools are not being used in your course. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Click Settings in your course navigation
  2. Click the Navigation tab in Settings, near the top of the page
  3. Now drag and drop items that are not needed below the line that reads Drag items here to hide them from students.
  4. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

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Note: removing the links means that students will not see them. However, as an instructor, you will still see the grayed out links, and you are still able to access them.

Tip #4: CANVAS DRAFT STATE – PUBLISH EVERYTHING

Recently, UW implemented the Canvas Draft State feature. Draft State allows content in Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Pages, and Modules to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. By default, any newly created content remains in an unpublished (draft state) that is not visible to students until you publish them. For more details on Draft State for the individual content areas, view the Canvas Lessons:

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For more Canvas tutorials – check out the Learning Tech Canvas website!

Simplicity for International Teaching

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Comprehending a new language can be difficult, but luckily there is a tool that can help anyone pick it up.

The University of Washington Bothell has been building a large and diverse campus over the years and provides hundreds of types of courses to its students. English language classes are even offered to international students as well. But how are these classes being taught? Is there a more effective way?

The answer is yes! And the Voki app is the right tool to use for these situations. Voki allows the teachers and students to make avatars that can be used to help them with their education. Students are able to design their own Avatars to speak the language they are currently trying to learn. A set of instructions can also be provided to help students understand the meaning of the words and guidance on how they are pronounced. That is only the beginning of what Voki is capable of.

Voki is a great program and has multiple purposes, speaking another language is just one of them. The best thing about Voki is that it is great to use in front of a large class, when one on one with a student, or even by one’s self when alone studying. It is definitely a strong tool and can be used to help students everywhere comprehend things in a different and technical way.

To find out more about what Voki can do and how it can be used, click the link at the top of the page and find out something new and amazing you could have missed.