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November 2020 Newsletter

November is a time of remembering blessings. If gratitude is on your mind this season, try sharing what you’re thankful for with your students, or consider showing one of these TED talks in class about gratitude. We are thankful for you!

Upcoming Events

October Webinar Recap

The webinar in October covered “Teaching with Technology.” We discussed:

Using technology to help you teach can be beneficial, but it’s not always the tech that counts — it’s how you use it to engage students in the learning process, with their peers, and with you. We used Jamboards to evaluate different scenarios using the PIC/RAT matrix (click the link to see the scenarios and comment on them yourself!).

Encouraging Student Belonging

In this era of COVID-19, some students may feel that school is even more important to their sense of connection and belonging. You are a critical part of helping students feel that they belong in your class! Here are a few ideas (many of these come from a recent Faculty Focus article):

  • Let students choose how they demonstrate knowledge. For example, students could choose whether to write a paper or create a video essay about an important class topic.
  • Use small-group instruction to personalize the experience and give students more feedback about their work and skills.
  • Use Canvas’s appointment scheduler to let students sign up for consultations in-person or virtually. You could even require them to sign up at least once during the semester for a consultation, ensuring that each student has a touchpoint with you.
  • Use discussions in Canvas as class forums for discussing things like coping skills, study strategies, or ideas for job interviewing.

Takeaways from CanvasCon 2020

From Nate Wasden: Stories

One of the presenters discussed the effectiveness of using stories to reinforce learning, particularly within the subjects of math, science, and history. In addition to enhancing learning, incorporating stories in your instruction can have the added benefit of producing better problem solvers in your classrooms. Helping our students become better problem solvers falls within the scope of our mission at MTECH. How can you implement stories to enhance your instruction?

From Emily Pulham: Mobile Accessibility

Students are using their phones more than ever for connecting with instructors — why don’t we utilize the tools built into the Canvas Student App to help us capture their learning? I’ll be talking about this at the Q & A webinar on November 13th.

From Doug Archibald: Teaching with a Personal Touch

When Sal Khan started the Khan Academy, he didn’t know that this would eventually be a tool to teach millions of children and adults math and other skills. He wanted to just focus on teaching his cousins who needed help. As a result, you could sense the personal touch Sal placed on his videos and lessons. He would teach with care and gentleness throughout his lessons as if his little cousins were there with him. He would geek out about things that made him excited, he would crack jokes, his hand-writing was awful, and he always openly expressed his curiosity. Ironically, these personal touches he implemented because he wasn’t trying to reach millions at once, is what actually drew in millions of students to him. They could sense his sincerity and felt like they got to know him. I myself remember watching his videos in high school and early college and being surprised that they weren’t flawless and over-produced corporate creations. I thought they would be because of how popular they were. I ended up enjoying the videos after experiencing them for myself because of how he slowly and simply went through topics while also having a personality.

The lesson I learn from this story is that students are drawn to the personal touch. They can sense your excitement, passion, and curiosity for the subject. And students can detect if you care about them or not. When teaching and designing course content, don’t be afraid to be yourself. When re-using course content that others have created, don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. 

Free Video Captioning

Would you like to improve the accessibility of your instructional videos? Email otlhelpdesk@mtec.edu with the video file, or the name of the Kaltura video and we can generate captioning for your video. Please allow seven business days for the captions to be processed.

24/7 Support is Live

Our 24/7 Canvas Support is live! Thanks for your patience while we waited for it to get set up. Please use this for help with logging in, adding new teachers, and any other issues you encounter with Canvas. Put the phone number somewhere easy to access! 877-214-8233

Updated on December 16, 2020

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