School chooses Canvas for online teaching


About two weeks before online school started, CCUSD decided to convert all classes from Google Classroom to Canvas.
“It’s a great platform that allows for “one stop shopping.” We can get emails from the students, use a classroom calendar, allow meaningful discussions between students with the discussion tool, and add assignments, quizzes, etc. easily,” said Danica Gianni, who teaches English 101/102.
CCUSD had three committees working on the best solution for an online learning platform to decide whether or not to use a platform like MOODLE, a free, open-source learning management system or spend money on a program more secure.
“I think that Canvas is a great tool to use, but I think that the fact that we had only been using Google Classroom beforehand is what made the transition more frustrating. Canvas has a lot more features than Google Classroom, so I understand why they made the transition. However, the new elements and layout of Canvas is difficult to get used to,” said Madison Malthaner, an IB student.
Even though most students have gotten around Canvas’s learning curves and have been working smoothly, some students prefer a different learning platform.
“My biggest learning curve on Canvas has been trying to navigate through all the different features. Canvas is alright but I definitely prefer Google Classroom because it is simpler to use, and I feel more organized while using it,” said Faith Ridger, a junior.
The quick transition caused a lot of stress on teachers as they rushed to switch over their curriculum to the new program.
“Typically, teachers work on their curriculum all summer to prepare for the next school year. Having two weeks to learn new tech was very challenging even for those who are tech savvy. At this point, many of us appreciate what Canvas can offer,” said Gianni.
Canvas, much like Google Classroom, allows for students to access all of their teachers’ assignments, and notes, with the added bonus of having discussion boards, a calendar so students can see their upcoming assignments, and seeing grades before they’re posted to Infinite Campus.
“I would say that using Canvas has both negatively and positively impacted my learning. I don’t like using Canvas for quizzes because it is a completely different format to what we are used to, so that element of it is difficult. I also don’t like how the way in which Canvas presents grades is completely different from what is shown in Infinite Campus. I do like using it because you can email your teachers directly through it, which has made communication easier. Also, I like the structured modules because it lays out everything that you have to do within a given week, rather than it being in one long stream in google classroom,” said Malthaner.
CCUSD plans on continuing to use Canvas throughout the school year as a way to connect teachers to students who don’t plan on coming back to in person school.