Product Index
Educational Operations
In Summit Reflections, educators review tools that they have seen at an EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit. Summit Reflections can only be completed onsite at the event; reviewers are incentivized to leave reviews.
Rosemarie, Media Specialist. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use Canvas as my grade book, to post assignments, and house resources for research. Although, it seems that my demonstration just scratched the surface of the program's capabilities.

Strengths: Because I teach and serve the whole school, Canvas gives me an online place to store and disseminate course content for my students 24-hours a day. I could use this in my flipped classroom and with my blended learning model.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am not sure if these are already part of the program or not, but I need to be able to create groups of my own from the whole school population.
I also need to be able to access homeroom classes of students and make it my own for the course I teach.
Many times in elementary schools the platforms are not user friendly for us because students are not assigned to different courses the same as in secondary schools. I need to be able to manage and manipulate in very unique ways.

Verdict: I have used other similar platforms and I find Canvas more appealing and easier to use. This is important for elementary students and teachers. I like that they will allow unlimited space to house video and resources.

Media Specialist, School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: As a replacement LMS for Blackboard and Schoology. Use it to design lessons etc

Strengths: Like that it integrates with Pinnacle, alsolike that there are no storage limits for videos. I think the product is well thought out and it shows that multiple input and feedback has been solicited from various users to include but not limited to teachers, students, anddistrict administrators

Suggestions for Improvement: Like the interface the only thing I could suggest is maybe see if the same opening interface works for all grade levels. The one I saw looks great for younger age groups. .. curious if research shows that high school students think it is appealing or if high school students think it looks to immature.

Verdict: Environment is user friendly, multiple digital platforms can be easily integrated, based on the presentation the platform is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the organizations that use canvas

Teacher, Governing Council Chairman, Founder, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Manage classes, distribute grades to parents, inform parents of student progress, assess school wide progress and results.

Strengths: At $10 per user it makes the choice of paying for an online grading system easy. Why would anyone pay for an online grade reporting system if they have Canvas.

Suggestions for Improvement: I just realized I will have to ask a few more questions regarding uploading of digital files like photos and videos created by students.

Verdict: Having been a Moodle user for almost 10 years, it is clear that Canvas has looked at the LMS CMS system space and added all the tools that Moodle lacks in ease of use and adoptability. Being technologically savvy, the biggest hurdle to implementing a CMS school wide is teacher comfort and willingness to adopt a system. Canvas appears to have addressed this issue with an eye towards ease of use.

Director Of Technology, School Type: Other
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: We have been using Canvas as our platform for learning, extending the classroom online, and allowing students to access course materials, collaboration tools, and much more. Canvas allows our teachers to provide personalized feedback to our students to improve teaching and learning.

Strengths: Mobile apps for educators, simple user interface and open API to integrate with other systems.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Expand gradebook functionality and features. 2. Improve parent observer accounts 3. Tighter integration with multiple student information systems.

Verdict: In order to prepare our students for college and career, we believe that providing access to a robust learning management system is critical. Canvas offers online tools that engage and involve students to be active participants in their learning.

Online Course Designer, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Blended Learning
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This Learning Management System is critical to the teaching/learning mission in our school and individual classrooms.

Strengths: It consolidates all the materials and assessments into one convenient, always-on internet location.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Product comes with local support to help teachers with the learning curve.
2. Ready made courses aligned with our standards are already available
3. All students are rostered into the LMS to spare teachers that administrative task.

Verdict: All assignments, grades, subject material content, etc. is housed in one convenient place, and takes the place of cumbersome, non-linked traditional textbooks.

Daniel, Systems Administrator. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: My school uses Canvas as a campus-wide LMS (Learning Management System). We have Aeries as a SIS (Student Information System) that Canvas integrates with. All students are enrolled in a Canvas Class for each class they are taking, and the teachers interface with their students through Canvas and in the classroom.

Strengths: I have heard from my teachers that this product excels at helping them communicate with their students. It also is not a difficult product to integrate with an existing SIS which I consider a strength for an IT Staff.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like the web-based interface of Canvas and the iPad / Android apps to be more closely linked. The current experience feels very disconnected. I would also like to see the "Group" functionality work better. Currently it is difficult for students to see who their group members are, and managing a group is not intuitive from the iPad.

Verdict: I would recommend Canvas to a school that is looking to begin offering online classes, or wants to integrate technology into the classroom. Canvas is a great way to offer online content to your students and easily bridge the gap between student and teacher outside of the classroom. The software has a very good notification system, which integrates with most Social Media Networks kids are using today. Canvas can also be a free service to schools who can either host Canvas themselves, or use the Free to Teacher version hosted by Instructure (no school branding, or integration).

Nick, Teacher/Ed Tech Lead. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This is my second year using Canvas schoolwide. All students and teachers are mandated to use Canvas for their courses for assignments and grading. We also take advantage of other features, such as discussion boards and group management. With practice, the browser version is pretty easy to navigate, though the app is a different experience. To gain full access, I'd recommend using the browser version on a computer since it is the most stable for lesson creation.

Strengths: Canvas offers all the necessary functions and tools for student success. No matter what I might imagine, I've found that Canvas offers the exact or similar functionality. Student and group management, annotations, feedback, and advanced assignment creation tools allow me to provide very detailed information and assessments.

Suggestions for Improvement: Browser and app similarity - the disparity is vast and the user experience should be consistent. Reduce loading times. Loading content is extremely frustrating. For app - Student groups should be placed in "people", not courses.

Verdict: I recommend Canvas due to its extensive feature list and comprehensiveness. Though it may have some frustrating foibles, such as odd loading times and some counter intuitive button placement, it manages to contain the necessary features most suited to our educational needs.

Samuel, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use Canvas to plan my lessons and provide students with enriching/clarifying materials like videos and pictures that better explain topics or even expand on lessons. I would definitely communicate with students about their progress and to give them reminders. I particularly like the fact that communication can be done through various forms of social media, with Canvas being the "middle-man". In addition, Canvas can replace my current grade book. It really does seem like a one-stop shop for all the daily grunt work that teachers have to spend/waste time on.

Strengths: Canvas can replace multiple programs. I wouldn't have to 1) open up my email account to message parents, 2) post things online to my web page for students to see what assignments they have, 3) open up to message parents.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be nice if there was a test generator with answer sheet scanning and data collection abilities.

Verdict: I like the ability to communicate with parents and students (through their preferred method of contact). Also, Canvas replaces and expands on my district's current gradebook program.

Media Specialist, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: As the media specialist I would use CANVAS as a platform to communicate with students, to create, assign and evaluate lessons. I would also use it as a way to promote literacy programs in the school by awarding badges to students for reading SSYRA and FRA books.

Strengths: I like that many programs can be integrated within the program.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to be able to grade an assignment and have the badge automatically appear without me having to go into a separate area to input that information again.

Verdict: My only reason to not recommend it would be the amount of time that teachers put into learning Schoology and creating coursework and files. It does seem to offer more than Schoology since the grading system would be integrated into Pinnacle. Also, other programs like Brainpop could be integrated into the program so that teaches don't have to input grading information more than once.

Tony, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Blended Learning
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program in regards to intergrateing my the applications that I currently use into one program for student, parents and other staff members to go to.

Strengths: The highlight is that it allows you to incorporate your applications into one area. This will allows you student to focus more on learning instead of having to switch from website to website.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would of like to be able to understand more of the intergration of how canvas would work with speicific programs.

I think that showing a school that currently using Canvas would be work.

Verdict: I would recommend this program because it allows you to incorporate all your applications into one website/classroom platform to be used.

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