| || |
Canvas is an online learning platform, from a Utah based company called Instructure. http://www.instructure.com/k-12 Canyons School District piloting the Canvas learning platform with Secondary English teachers as a way to introduce and utilize a blended learning environment. Blended learning combines face-to-face classroom instruction with online activities. At first glance, the introduction of Canvas in the the learning environment is similar to having a class webpage with resources and other course materials for students to access. However, Canvas includes a bunch of added features and interactive possibilities not capable on most traditional webpage creation programs.
- Organize materials by date (agendas) or units of study (modules).
- Publish important course reminders/due dates on a calendar.
- Push reminders and other announcements to students as often as needed.
- Post assignments and grade assignments with a very cool "Speed Grader" feature (which is a mobile app for grading on the go!)
- Provide multiple ways an assignment can be completed. (1) uploaded document (2) text entry right on the webpage (3) video submission (4) through a connection to a web service such as a document in dropbox
- Create threaded discussion. These discussions can even be graded discussions.
- Upload a wide range of link files, videos, images.
- Create quizzes.
- Conduct synchronous web conferences or office hours for students.
Canvas provides students multiple ways to receive course information. Students are able to add an email account, even multiple email accounts or receive text messages for push notifications. Students can even customize how frequently they receive these notifications. Canvas has created mobile apps for learning on the go. With Canvas, students can no longer say they left their homework at school!
A free trial version of Canvas can be found at https://canvas.instructure.com/register_from_website if you want to take a look at the features yourself. With the Canvas Community Forums and the Canvas Guides, plenty of information is provided to get you started without any trouble.
In the future, Canyons School District may even be able to provide all teachers with a Canvas account in which students are auto-populated from Skyward and the gradebook in Canvas is connected to the gradebook in Skyward! Wouldn't that be fabulous?
Posted by Rachel Murphy