PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Category: Professional Development (Page 1 of 4)

How to Use Canvas LMS to Create Your Class Website (Video Tutorials)

I’m teaching at a new university this year. I’m excited to get started, but before I can, I need to set up my new course websites. At ISU, we use a Sakai-based system. [Here’s that video tutorial, with other online teaching tips.] At STU, I’ll be using Canvas instead. Canvas is a super popular learning management system, so there are plenty of tutorials already out there. But, I thought I’d still create my own video tutorials, as well, from the perspective of a newbie getting the feel for the tools available in this LMS. So far, I’ve covered the four major elements of Canvas: pages, discussions, assignments, and modules. You can learn more about these elements in this post or by going straight to the YouTube video series playlist. Additional videos will be created as I gain more experience with Canvas.

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Some Ideas for Anti-Racist Teaching Practices

I decided to hold off on publishing this post until today, June 19th, or Juneteenth. I thought today in particular would be a good day to talk about ways to do anti-racist work in our classrooms. As educators, we are in the position of being able to create safe learning environments for our BIPOC students, though many of us will likely need to reflect on and act against our own racist or biased beliefs and practices (like microaggressions). We are also in a position to help white students acknowledge their own conscious and unconscious prejudices and learn ways to disavow them and turn towards allyship instead. In today’s post, I just want to create a starting point of ideas on how we can do this anti-racist work in our teaching practices. I’ve also added some amazing resources I’ve seen created by others with more experience and expertise.

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Coursera Courses Offering Free Certificates for A Limited Time

Looking for out-of-the-box ideas for things to do while stuck at home? Here’s one suggestion: Try out some MOOCs that are offering free certificates of completion if you sign up ASAP. Coursera has a large list of courses that are being offered with this promotion. Here’s the blog post that leads to all the courses. Make sure you use this link or the ones below. You’ll see the promo banner in yellow at the top of each individual course page, once you click on the ones you want to learn more about. Without the promo banner, you can’t get access to the free certificate option. In the following blog post, I offer my brief thoughts on some of the courses I’m currently taking.

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How to Start Teaching Online Without Feeling Overwhelmed

As universities continue going online with their courses as the COVID-19 spreads, I thought it’d be beneficial to offer some tips on how to use your LMS class website and other free digital tools when teaching from home. My university uses a version of Sakai as our LMS software, but I’d assume similar tools are available in other systems. Plus, the free tools I mention in the second half of this post are available to anyone with internet access (and in two cases, a Mac). If you’re required to switch to online teaching unexpectedly, this post is for you.

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Get Productive with These 10 Productivity Tips

The new year is here, which means a lot of us are thinking of ways to make this year the best year yet. For academics, this tends to mean wanting to find ways to be incredibly productive while still having a life outside of work responsibilities. In today’s post, I thought I’d share a few productivity tips that have worked well for me. I’ve got a video with seven productivity tips related to building routines, goal setting, planning, and more to get us started off. But, I also have a few other pieces of advice that I felt would be easier to describe in written form. Plus, if you haven’t heard about this year’s The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, then I definitely want to share some exciting news about it! It’s a bundle of resources that has made a big difference in my productivity, and it includes my bullet journal course. Let’s talk productivity!

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3 Teaching Reflection Activities to Try Before Next Semester

Now that it’s officially winter break, it’s time to reflect on the past semester and consider what changes you want to make going into the new year. This task can really help improve your teaching practices, along with other elements of your academic life. In today’s post, I go over three teaching reflection activities that you can use to improve your teaching. Each approach is very different from the next, so you can do all three, or just your favorite of the bunch. As teachers, we often ask students to reflect on what they’ve learned in our classrooms. It’s time for us to reflect on our own classroom experiences, as well.

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