The Power of Random Cats

I really liked Maha Bali’s post at ProfHacker today: Tips for Effective Online Learning – Community Edition.

I immediately chimed in with a comment about the importance of meta-learning resources for students, both the content that I share with them through the Growth Mindset, Writing Lab, and Learning by H.E.A.R.T. blogs AND the “challenges” that go with them if students want to actively engage with that content.

For this post, I want to write about a Canvas tie-in, which is this: one of the ways I weave the content from those blogs into my classes is through the daily announcements, and I use my announcements blog as my Canvas homepage (details here: About My Canvas Homepage).

So, for example, there is a growth-mindset-cat-of-the-day in each day’s announcements, plus there is a widget in the sidebar of the blog so that there is a new cat at random every time a student passes through the Canvas homepage on their way to record an assignment grade (which is the only thing I use Canvas for).

So, that is the message for today’s “Teaching with Canvas” post: I like being able to have random growth mindset cats to greet my students whenever they arrive. Here’s a screenshot from — and that course is 100% open (no log-in of any kind), so just click and see what cat you get! 🙂


And here’s that particular cat at home in the Growth Mindset blog:


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.