WHS is pleased to announce a new online tool to support instructional needs across our school. As of May 2012 we have begun a phased implementation of a new online course management system that will replace Moodle and other individual systems now being used.
The iLab has worked extensively with WHS students, faculty and administration to identify the best possible learning management system for WHS diverse curricular needs.
The decision to move to Canvas was heavily influenced by its:
- Google Apps Integration
- Excellent tools for assessment, such as Canvas’ SpeedGrader;
- Numerous notification options for teachers and students; these options include text message, Facebook, Twitter, and more;
- The user interface is clean and intuitive, and features drag and drop usability;
- Easy you-tube-like tools for posting video that are available to teachers and students;
- Works on any modern browser, including mobile browsers;
- Mobile apps;
- Wikis, RSS feeds, web conferencing integrations, and more are part of the application; and
- One-click recording and posting of webcam video is available to faculty and students.
What Makes Canvas Different?
There are 4 primary areas in Canvas that allow teachers to design and create their course according to their own personal preferences, dramatically setting Canvas apart from other traditional systems.
- Rich Features: Canvas makes advanced capabilities simple for the user to edit. A key example of Canvas’ rich features is the content editor inside the courses, where an teacher can simply key in text and build an assignment, or add formulas, images, video or audio, etc. for advanced functionality. This type of rich content can be added to assignments, discussion boards, announcements, assignment feedback, quiz questions, etc.
- Communication: Canvas divides communication into two main parts: how teachers and students communicate, and when they communicate. Once a change is made within a course, notifications are sent by email, text, or even Facebook, if you choose. In addition to how you receive these notifications, you can choose whether or not you want to receive them “Right Away”, “Daily”, “Weekly”, or “Never”. (See the Communication->Notification Preferences page for instructions on how to set these preferences.)
- Course Development: Instead of the hassle of trying to create a syllabus and schedule, and then fill it in with course work and dates, Canvas does this for you. As you create your courses, Canvas automatically creates the related aspects in the course. It’s simple – create your course and the grade book, syllabus, and calendar take care of themselves.
- View: Canvas offers the same view to teachers and students with the only difference being teachers have the ability to edit. This means that besides a few admin functions, your students see exactly what you see. In addition to this, the account is specialized to the user, so students will see announcements, assignments, dashboards, and content that is specific to them.
Teach with Canvas
Faculty can sign up to teach with Canvas in the upcoming 2012-2013 School Year. Visit the canvas project timeline to view more details about the WHS community transition to Canvas. The iLab and iTeam at WHS are dedicated to supporting teachers and students and is offering a range of services.
Download a copy of the Canvas Cheat Sheet (PDF). This is a 2-page document with quick tips on how you perform many of the tasks that you need to do in Canvas. It is designed to be printed as a 2-sided document.
iLab Tutorials: Canvas
Have questions or concerns? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org