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New to Cidilabs

We are new to cidilabs and wondering how other K12 institutions rolled out cidilabs to their teachers using Canvas. 

Greetings Liz! We too are in Texas and are an Education Service Center. We started with our content leads (essentially like department heads) who were already designing content within Canvas. First we did a day long training and helped them build out some design templates for some key courses. Making sure that they were the ones doing the work and we were just helping them along. We would check in on their courses and offer tips and tricks, made them photoshop templates to make page image banners, and just anything we could do to support them and help their courses look great. For these early-adopters we included them in webinars hosted by CidiLabs and forwarded them Cidilabs emails, making sure to give them an "exclusive access" kind of feeling. 

We then opened up this day-long training and begin to train anyone interested in joining. We offered the training in three windows a year a few times. Naturally, since the content leads' courses looked so much snazzier, other educators reached out to them and the content leads then assisted these educators getting their courses set up as well. Now that we are a couple of years in, the initial training is online and we have tons of people at the organization that are well versed in design tools who they can reach out to if they need help. 

When we offer Canvas training of any kind in-person we always incorporate some Design Tools best practices. We do not even demonstrate how to create a course without using Design Tools. 

I hope this helps! 

Hi Liz,

We've been a Cidilabs client for about 9 months now.  We are very happy with what it can do, but have not, and do not plan to roll it out to 'all' teachers.  We have curriculum developers, a number of tech savvy teachers, and let teachers 'opt in' to using it, but I think the complexity of Canvas itself, then Design Tools on top can be too much for some folks.  Our approach to training was to have a few of us become expert users in Design Tools and then teach others in small groups how to use the tools through hands on workshops and projects.  All of our teachers have Canvas Sandboxes, so there is always a safe place to experiment.  We're also trying to develop templates for various kinds of courses in Design Tools that require teachers to fill in content rather than have to build out whole designs on their own.   

We too make sure everyone has sandbox courses. Sometimes people start in a sandbox and we convert it to a regular course then make them a new sandbox. We keep our sandbox courses in a different term inside Canvas.

Hi Liz,

I implemented Design tools at Mizzou K-12, at the University of Missouri. We were a bit like Joe's location, in that we have many adjunct instructors who simply aren't paid to tinker too much with the courses. Rather than teach the instructors about design tools (they didn't have the time), the development team made templates with Design tools (both institutional templates as well as course templates.) 

One teacher took off learning design tools, but the rest simply didn't have the time. It wasn't that they didn't have the time for Tools, it's that they didn't have time to edit the courses at all (due to adjunct nature). We found that it was a process over time of rolling out to those who are excited about learning new tech things (you'll always have one or two), and support the rest with having templates ready-made for any new pages they want to make, and then show them a couple cool things at each inservice. Not overwhelming them is key. 

Over time they'll use it more and more. 

However, how to "roll it out" depends on your audience of course. But supporting them with templates as much as possible, this way everyone has the "cool look" and doesn't start off with a blank page (always hard!) and then show them a few really nice things to do over time. 

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We've been using Design Tools for about 2 years now and LOVE IT! I think all the comment above are spot on and will give you a great place to start. Our approach has been as follows:

!) Turn it on for everyone from day 1 - we were a little concerned that this might cause problems but for a teaching staff of 600+ it has not cause a single one. Teachers do get a little frustrated because there are so many options, we have some that want to use them like kids in a candy store. The key is small and steady steps. Having them start out in Basic Mode and then going up levels really helps. 


2) Like many have reported we started with our advanced users. For us it was our hybrid-online teachers and our Technology Resource Teachers. They in turn, have helped spread the skills to their colleagues.

3) It's also a good idea to send out an occasional "Did you know...?" email or video to a targeted group of staff at a timely moment. For instance... when teachers might be wanting to change all the due dates, times, availability etc... in Canvas (beginning of the semester) a quick tip on using the "Due Date Modifier" in the Multi-Tool is always welcomed = )

Hopefully that helps! Always happy to Google hangout or chat,

Chris (@clonghb)

Like Chris stated, we also turned it on for everyone and never experienced a problem. When I was thinking "rolling out" I was thinking of the entire providing access to + teaching + encouraging its use. You'll find that there are some adventurous folks that jump right in and start learning. 

I do like how the basic is on by default because of this. :)

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