Constructionism Approaches Within Canvas LMS
Based on your experience putting your lesson into the Canvas LMS, what do you feel are the benefits of using such a structured space for teaching and learning? How well does the structure of an LMS fit with your theory of online learning?
Creating a professional development spaces within a Canvas LMS supports my approach to online K12 STEM professional development. Canvas is a free LMS system that proves to be user friendly, integrates nicely with third party web tools, and includes excellent multimedia capabilities that are lacking in many other free LMS enviornments. Discussion tools can be used to create a social experience and allow for users to attach video feedback or embed external content and share experiences within a learning community in a very meaningful way. However, the space is only a tool and the content of the instructional activity itself, along with participants, and instructor encouragement must all be present for the lesson to be a productive and meaningful experience. The module component allows for clear organization. Pages offer customization approaches to allow for increased flexibility. The record and upload media feature within Canvas discussion tools will prove to be an effective tool to increase participant engagement. Collaboration tools to include Google Docs and Etherpad provide a layer of collaboration not found in many other LMS environments. Users can use Google Docs, for example, to create reflections or “artifacts”, to share with a larger community within Canvas. It is nice that Canvas works well with other media tools. Media used as a reflection tool provides the learner with the ability to produce a more meaningful perspective in which they can share within the online environment. However, Canvas does lack the embedding of social media tools, which I would find useful. I am embedding links and suggesting a community hashtag to utilize within the course to tap into social media components. The LMS can be utilized within a constructionism approach to online learning as it allows for connectedness. However, teacher presences along with clear directions and organization within the LMS must be present for the lesson within Canvas to be successful. Canvas LMS does have the ability within the learning environment to provide a means for learners to connect, share, and present alternative viewpoints. The ability for media to be incorporated as video to produce such collaboration is an added benefit to employing Canvas LMS. The following websites have assisted me in learning more about features available within Canvas.