One of my goals this year, once I learned more about Canvas, was to discover how I can help the elementary folks I support find ways to create interactive content into their Canvas to make it more engaging for their level of students.
I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s HECC (Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators) Conference. One particular session I attended provided us the opportunity to share out some tools people had found that were helpful in their district. My biggest takeaway was the website h5p.org – it was a website/tool that got me all giddy inside. With h5p.org teachers are able to create their own interactive content and it is all free. The presenter made it sound so great and wonderful and free-we all love free. I signed up instantly and started playing.
I didn't get very far. I wanted to make a drag and drop game. I followed the instructions, watched the video and was excited to launch. I added it to my Canvas page and NOTHING. Ok, so that was a failure, and I was mad because this colleague talked about how easy it was. I came to the conclusion that easy to her and easy to me were obviously two different things.
Fast forward, 3.5 months. I got back in the site and started playing again and added the content I made to my Canvas page and TA DA....I had an interactive tool that WORKED. Between my initial try and my successful attempt - I learned how to embed content in Canvas.
Had I asked 3.5 months before I could've found out the ease of embedding, but I was too stubborn to ask my fellow office mates. By the time I had learned to embed I had put the h5p.org site out of my mind. I was too frustrated because I had been with a teacher when my “failure” happened.
Lesson learned – don't be afraid to just play with a new tool. Chances are, it might not work perfectly the first time.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill
Interested in h5p.org?
h5p.org will allow you to create many different interactive games. You can build a memory game, drag and drop, fill in the blank, find a hotspot, guess the answer, arithmetic quizzes, and many more. My hope was that other teachers would be as excited as me about this find. They could replace their paper/pencil versions of things and embed these activities into their Canvas courses using the content they wanted to get across. This will also allow the students to practice the technology enhanced items they see on ISTEP.
Their step by step tutorials are very helpful and walk you through the process. As a tip, if you're "cloning" their template (which I would suggest) don't forget to delete their images, text, etc. and add your own.
Joani Sullivan is in her 10th year at Richmond Community Schools. She spent 7 of those years as a 5th/6th grade classroom teacher and Interventionist. She spent 2 years as an Instructional Coach and this year was able to move into the eLearning Specialist position. This is one of her favorite years yet! When Joani isn’t working at school, she is spending time with her husband of almost 11 years and their 6 year old son. She also has an identical twin sister that works in an office in town and many former students mix them up.