I am adding Edcanvas to my toolkit for curating, flipping, and presenting.
The flexible platform allows teachers and students to organize and share teaching and learning materials, or their research products, in the form of a attractive visual grids composed of tiles.
Pick a topic, choose a theme (tile layout) and create a canvas by curating and annotating a variety of media elements–videos, images, links, and files–your own original content, commentary and questions, or the work of others.
Built-in search tools make it easy to find relevant content from within the platform. Content may be easily dragged in from Google, Youtube and Flickr searches or from Dropbox, Google Drive, your own bookmarks, your recent searches or your desktop. Tiles are easily scootched around and users can continue to add rows to a canvas. Each tile displays with a media icon label.
Teachers will appreciate the simple management features. They can create classes and using their email addresses, invite students in to create canvases to collect within that class space.
Completed canvases may be linked, emailed, shared on Facebook or Edmodo or through a QR code.
An iPad app is coming soon.
I spoke with Edcanvas co-founder, Amy Lin who told me that the project was built specifically for educators after conversations with teachers about what they were trying to do in the classroom–and what they couldn’t effectively do with using existing presentation tools or with their browser tabs.
Amy continues to solicit teacher feedback to improve the platform. She and the team are looking for partner schools to pilot Edcanvas for Schools which offers such features as analytics, opportunities for school-wide collaboration, and additional content options.
I see Edcanvas as providing a platform/solution for the following:
- Organizing learning material for instruction, either face-to-face or flipped
- Creating sequenced WebQuests
- Offering a student presentation option for collected, synthesized knowledge
- Creating galleries of individual or grouped student photography, painting, poetry, digital stories
- Encouraging thought and analysis of primary source documents, artifacts, works of art curated for comparison
- Maintaining reflective student portfolios
- Creating library pathfinders for student research
- Gathering galleries of digital storytelling/publishing, curation or other tools for student creators or professional development
- Pre-reading on the Great Gatsby – Setting the scene with various supporting content
- Research on Graffiti – Asking students to think critically about “Is graffiti good or bad?”, supported by news and media sources
- Self Discovery and SWOT Analysis – Exploring career opportunities after high school
For a similar solution, see also MentorMob.