Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Two Digital Tools, a Pandemic and 165,000 Educators

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Listen and learn : Panel

Mark Boothe  
Carrie Gardner  
Christopher Giles  
Lindsey Hallett  
Nancy Latimer  
Brad Moser  
Tammy Neil  
Courtney Watson  

This is the story of how eight educators, three Facebook groups, a learning management system and a pandemic brought together over 165,000 educators from around the world. Come meet the people behind the scenes of the Canvas for Elementary, Canvas for Secondary and the Live Canvas Streaming series.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Engage education stakeholders in developing and adopting a shared vision for using technology to improve student success, informed by the learning sciences.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In late March 2019 the entire world slowly grounded to a halt. Schools were forced to close their buildings but the learning never stopped. Though COVID19 shuttered districts around the world, a small group of educators began to lay a foundation for a social experience that would bring together over 165,000 educators from around the globe.

The purpose of the panel is to share how a small group of education leaders leveraged two tech giants , Canvas LMS and Facebook to bring about positive change to education in the face of a Global pandemic.


Introduction of presenters and audience polling (5 Minutes)
Overview of vision, plan, history and challenges of Canvas' Response to COVID 19 (10 minutes)
Canvas Live Youtube Sessions strategies (15 minutes)
Canvas Facebook Groups stories (15 minutes)
Q and A relating to overview and strategy (10 minutes)
Wrap up and Q and A (5 minutes)

Supporting research

We're all in this together: The impact of Facebook groups on social connectedness and other outcomes in (higher) education,for%20students%20in%20tertiary%20education.

Teachers and Facebook: using online groups to improve students’ communication and engagement in education

More [+]


Mark Boothe, Canvas/Instructure
Carrie Gardner, Blue Valley School District
Christopher Giles, Beaverton School District

Chris Giles lives in Portland, where he busy creating and facilitating Professional Development and supporting teachers in the Beaverton School District. Chris has over 21 years of experience in education, including 15 years of teaching in Arizona, 2 years in Brazil and 2 years as the K12 Technology Integration Specialist at the Arizona Department of Education.

Lindsey Hallett, Blue Valley School District
Nancy Latimer, Mountain Lakes School
Brad Moser, Blue Valley School District

Brad is the Director of Blended Learning in the Blue Valley School District located in Overland Park, Kansas. Brad went to BYU and studied physics teaching and math. He taught high school physics in Webb City, Missouri while coaching boys/girls soccer, earned a master's from the University of Missouri. Has been a Technology Integration Specialist, EdTech Supervisor in Belton, MO. He loves learning with technology and finding ways to make learning more rad. If he had a superpower, he'd love to gain the ability to speed-read.

Tammy Neil, Suwannee Middle School

Tammy is a Computer Science teacher. She teaches grades 6-8 in a growing CTE program at Suwannee Middle School in Suwannee County, FL. After school, she is the head coach of the SMS Esports Club. Outside of school, she is the lead organizer for Edcamp Suwannee, co-moderates #FLedChat and #RuralEdChat each week on Twitter. She is a Google Certified Trainer. She has presented at several conferences on the power of connections through social media among other topics. Connect with Tammy at or on Twitter at @TG_Neil.

Courtney Watson, friEdTechnology

Courtney Watson is a high school instructional technologist. She supports teachers with their #edtech needs in the classroom including planning and modeling lessons for teachers, troubleshooting, and providing professional development. As a secondary educator for nineteen years, her goal is to "reach one, teach one." She is passionate about impacting teachers and students by creating learner-driven spaces that encourage continuous growth and improvement. End goal: equip all learners with the necessary tools to help them become successful and have fun while doing it. Her website, which is also her mantra-Tech Without Tears, houses information and ideas on current EdTech trends.

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