Canvas offers many positives for teachers, students in online learning environment

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Makayla Archambeault

With the arrival of Canvas, teachers have begun to switch their classes from Google Classroom to this new platform.

Caroline Black, Staff Reporter

After making it through the first four weeks of school, I think all students could agree that the virtual classroom is much different than face-to-face learning. Under the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19, the Rockwood School District (RSD) decided that learning from home would be the best option for its students during this time.

In an attempt to make teaching and learning from home similar to a ‘normal’ school year, administrators decided to have all teachers in Rockwood use the Learning Management System (LMS) platform called Canvas. It is easy to see why RSD, and over 30 million others, chose Canvas. It allows for integration from numerous platforms, includes complex features such as calendars and access to announcements, allows for contact between students and teachers and much more

With Canvas, teachers are given the freedom to customize their classrooms, students have access to their grades, and teachers have the ability to share videos, documents, links and even create discussion boards for students to interact with one another. Canvas is a great tool for both educators and students alike, providing a complex and efficient way of learning.

Students are able to talk with their teacher and classmates, view grades, work on assignments, take assessments and navigate other tools needed all in one place! Canvas is a great tool for both educators and students alike, providing a complex and efficient way of learning. As its users can tell, Canvas is a complex platform with many tools.

Still, some students may argue that Canvas is too complex which leads to difficulty in navigating the site. However, there’s a simple solution. First, take the time to explore each classroom’s page and second, ask the creator, your teacher, the simple question of where something is located.

Sure, this platform may take some time getting used to, but I believe once understood, it has the ability to enhance a virtual student’s learning experience greatly. Another common argument made against Canvas is the delay in uploading from Google Drive or the delay in the whole site itself.

I understand these problems are inconvenient, but technology isn’t always perfect no matter the program being used. Whether a student is using Canvas, Google Classroom or another platform, the student is bound to experience technical difficulties. No platform is perfect by any means, and each student’s unique WiFi connection plays a huge role in the delay of technology.

During this time, it’s vital for students, parents and teachers to have patience in order to make the most out of this school year. Additionally, it’s important to remember that Rockwood is one of the top districts in Missouri. The choice of which LMS to use shapes the whole way of learning for thousands of kids in West County. Rockwood administrators would not put themselves in a position to let its students down.

RSD made a well thought out decision of investing district money in this platform with the belief that it would be beneficial. Canvas does come at a higher price compared to basic platforms such as Google Classroom, but when it comes to district spending, I am certain such decisions are carefully computed and thought out.

I am firm in my belief that Canvas provides the needed features to make e-learning come closer to being in the physical classroom. If given a chance, Canvas truly has the ability to give me, and every Rockwood student great success learning from home. Of course learning on a computer full time will never measure up to the luxury of a real classroom, but I believe that Canvas is giving students a positive and more than sufficient e-learning experience.