Skyward. IXL. MathXL. Turnitin. Google Classroom. These are just a few of the services that the school has used to aide in the integration of technology in the classroom. These websites allow teachers and students to perform the same tasks previous generations had to do on paper in a new ‘connected’ fashion. However, this year, a new website, Canvas, has entered into our required curriculum, replacing several functions from Skyward and Google Classroom. It’s receiving some mixed feedback from students and teachers.
“I don’t like it because you can’t even see your grades on Skyward,” senior Kyle Otterman said. “The only thing I like about is that it’s slightly easier to navigate.”
After a bumpy rollout in the first few days of school, every student and teacher was able to access the new platform. The biggest difference in Canvas is how features from Skyward and Google Classroom are combined, creating a complete ‘one-stop’ area for grades and assignments.
“One thing I like about [Canvas] is that in, for example, Algebra 2, everything is put together in one place, mathematics teacher Alex Verbenec said. “All of the information is together. You still have to have multiple tabs open, but it’s more organized.”
One of the biggest questions on students’ and parents’ minds may be why exactly the decision to switch over to Canvas was made. The decision to switch to Canvas was made at the end of last year.
“Canvas is a commonly used platform in colleges,” assistant principal Jarred Jackson said. “As such, it’s good to incorporate it into the high school so that students are already familiar with it. It also streamlines all the teachers into using one platform, rather then some using Edmodo, some using Google Classroom, and some using, say, a Weebly site. It would be consistent for all students and all teachers.”
The district held a “Parent University” meeting on Canvas for parents in the auditorium on Wednesday night. While Canvas has had mixed reception so far, it is likely to become more positive as time goes on and students and teachers become used to the platform.