Edcanvas is now Blendspace
A year ago, our first teachers logged onto Edcanvas and started blending materials together from all over the web into beautiful lessons. A year later, we’ve gone from providing just a space where you put digital content into a suite of tools where you can measure your students’ understanding of material and track their progress.
As our company continues to grow, we wanted a name that could grow with us. We are more than just a canvas that teachers and students can put educational stuff on. We are powering blended learning classrooms and easing the transition for schools who want to use and are in the process of implementing blended learning strategies.
So we are thrilled to announce the new name of the company, still backed by the same passionate team: Blendspace.
For our teachers, administrators, tech integrators, students and supporters, we are still committed to offering the best product and support, thus we are making this transition in a way that does not require any changes on your part.
As we take this next step as a company, we want to thank all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm. We are excited to continue building the products and services that make teachers’ lives easier so they can focus on what they do best: teach.
10 Back-to-School Edcanvas Tips
10 handy tips on how to use Edcanvas in your classroom this year!
1. Collaborate with your colleagues on lessons using Edcanvas Premium (50% off until 8/31!).
2. Easily onboard and train new teachers using Edcanvas Free for Schools.
3. Have students introduce themselves to your class by creating “About Me” canvases.
4. Add the free or paid Edmodo app to easily share canvases to your Edmodo groups.
5. Create “Class Quilt” canvases by having every student collaborate on one canvas together on “What I Want to Learn This Year” (Edcanvas Premium needed).
6. Use built-in, auto-graded quizzes to see where your students are in the beginning of the year.
7. Flip your classroom and track how students are progressing on your lesson with lesson tracking.
8. Have students scan QR codes using their tablets to access canvases on their devices.
9. Add the free Edcanvas Chrome Webstore app for easy single-click sign on in Google Chrome.
10. Get inspired by what other teachers have created in the Gallery.
How are you using Edcanvas this year?
Share and tweet out to the Twitter community to share best practices!
Try Edcanvas Premium today to collaborate on canvases and record audio!
Edcanvas has become a great way for students to create and share canvases, and now we are going above and beyond with our new collaborative features. With Edcanvas Premium, you can co-author canvases in real-time (just like Google Docs), add your voice on top of resources for a more personal touch, and make sure you always have top-level support from the Edcanvas team to keep your classes running smoothly.
All of this combined makes Edcanvas Premium the ultimate collaborative education tool:
The best part? When you get Edcanvas Premium, your students will get the same collaboration and audio-recording features that you do!
We’re also running a summer special - if you try Edcanvas Premium now, we’ll take 50% off of the premium price for an entire year! So, what are you waiting for?
Create Formative Assessments and Exit Tickets in seconds with Quizzes!
Constant assessment and feedback is absolutely crucial to guaranteeing that students are growing and moving forward with their learning - now Edcanvas allows you to mix assessment with your content to keep a pulse on how your students are progressing!
You can create a quiz on any empty canvas tile by clicking “Add Quiz”:
Quizzes take seconds to make, and are also instantly and automatically graded, providing you with a detailed and easy-to-use report. This means more free time for you to give students individualized attention and support.
Watch and Learn
1-minute video on how to create quizzes:
1-minute video on how to view quiz results:
Extra Tip: Quizzes can also be used to generate surveys! Just deselect the “correct” option - you’ll notice that none of the answers are marked as correct, meaning the question won’t be graded (results will still be collected
Edcanvas just got a whole lot better: better text, comments, and reports!
Better Text Editing
We’ve given a huge overhaul to our text editor - this means you have a lot more options when creating content inside Edcanvas. More than just more colors, this update also gives you the ability to add links, tables, quotes and other objects!
Brand New! Audio Comments
Many teachers have asked us to add the ability to annotate their canvases with sound, and others have asked us to give their students the same ability. Now, you can add audio clips anywhere in your canvas! Use audio comments to:
Read out material to make it easier for auditory learners to understand concepts.
Add another level of instruction on top of your canvas.
Require students to voice their opinion or speak aloud translations instead of just writing it in a comment.
Better reports back to you!
Edcanvas will now start sending reports to you whenever your canvases get a lot of views, likes, or comments. That way you can quickly see which lessons are getting the most attention and from who!
See how your students are responding to your lesson with just one click
Sending students home with reading assignments is great, but how do you really know that students are completing it? How do you know if they have questions or are confused about parts of the content?
You could try gleaning this info in class or assign extra homework or assignments. However, it takes precious time from class or requires extra grading from you.
Now, Edcanvas enables you to track which students in your classes have viewed or not viewed your canvas and lets your students tell you privately which parts of the lesson are confusing or even give you the “thumbs up” for resources or tiles that they particularly like!
Just click the “track” button on any lesson you own to see its report:
How can my students tell me if they like a tile or are having trouble with my lesson content?
In order for students to comment, like, or ask for help, they need to sign in to Edcanvas (Did you know students can sign up for Edcanvas for free and without an email address? Create a class on your lessons page then check out how to invite students to Edcanvas). Once signed in, whenever they are playing a canvas they can click on the “thumbs up” icon in the top right corner of the presentation mode.
This opens up the Rating Sidebar:
Here students can quickly tell you if they liked or disliked the resource, as well as ask if you can go over the information again in class.
You can use the “track” button on your lessons to access this information at any time.
Track your lesson today:
With the Lesson Tracker, you can send assignments home to students and keep them accountable for completing them before class, without grading or counting; you can also gain valuable insight on what your students like and what confuses them so you can focus your valuable class time on closing the learning gaps.
Add resources to Edcanvas while surfing the web
Follow this one simple instruction to add the bookmarking tool to your browser. It is as easy and dragging and dropping!
Best practices for using the bookmarklet
Once the bookmarklet is installed, it will live on your bookmarks bar.
Whenever you visit a website or video that you think would be perfect for your canvas, all you have to do is click “Edcanvas it!”
These resources will be found in your Favorites tab on Edcanvas and those resources can be dragged into any of your canvases.
Edcanvas + Edmodo = Better Learning
We have brought the fun and ease of Edcanvas to Edmodo! What’s a better way to introduce the free app than a guest blog from a fellow Edmodo Ambassador, Kristina Holzweiss:
Are you looking for a website where your students can organize their research and annotate websites without an email?
Do you need to create a hotlist for your students so you can minimize search time to provide more time to read and analyze?
Would you like to manage all of your students’ projects onto one location so that you can easily access and view their work?
I can’t believe that Edcanvas does all of this for free!
My students have used Edcanvas to organize research for their National History Day projects, collect favorite cupcake recipes, and organize their favorite athletes. It’s so fun, easy, and visually-appealing that your students will actually forget that they are learning. As a school library media specialist, I have used Edcanvas in conjunction with other web tools to help science teachers create an online unit about endangered animals. Late one night, a colleague sent me an email that she was having problems with organizing links about the periodic table on another site. It was an emergency since she team taught with a science teacher who was home because his wife had just delivered a baby. My colleague sent me the sites and I added some of my own to create a hotlist on the periodic table so easy for his substitute teacher to navigate.
I have been an Edcanvas addict since I first learned about this web tool on Edmodo. The Edcanvas app on Edmodo will make a simple solution even easier for teachers and students to understand and use. I only wish I had this tool when I was a kid!
Kristina Holzweiss is certified English teacher, school library media specialist, educational technologist, and professional developer with over 18 years of teaching experience. You can connect with her on Edmodo and follow her on Twitter at @lieberrian
Power of a community
Following the tragic events last week in Newtown, we remember the power of a community coming together and supporting each other.
Each one of us have an unique story to tell and perspective to share. Each canvas becomes an extension of who we are way and the valuable work we do every day. And this is why we want to showcase the author behind every canvas.
As important as each element is inside the canvas, so is each educator behind the canvas.
Once logged into Edcanvas, you will be asked for your story. A picture and a short 160 character bio is all that is needed. We pre-populated a username for you given your first and last name but you can always change it.
Each educator has their own space to showcase the beauty and creativity of their work. Your space can be found at http://www.edcanvas.com/USERNAME.
When looking at someone else’s canvas, you will know who the author is and what other canvases they have created and liked.
So start connecting with other educators in the community and let us know how your experience is.