Canvas, Love it or Hate it?

Ethan Horgan, Staff Writer

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“Not a fan,” says Theory of Knowledge, psychology, and AP Government teacher Mr. Patrick Manion on the newest experiment of the 2017-18 school year, Canvas.

This year, Upper St. Clair said their goodbyes to the much loved (and hated) Blended Schools website that’s been used for the better part of the last few years. In its place came Canvas, similar to Blended Schools in usage but far from it in the organization.

Instead of folders, Canvas uses modules that redirect the user to a long list of assignments, notes, and presentations. From the home screen, the user can view their classes and can even color code their classes to their liking. But that seems to be the extent of Canvas’ organization, besides from account profile pictures and the choice of notifications. Many students, such as myself, believe that Canvas is just a mash of modules that lacks any sense of order or uniformity. It is very frustrating trying to find the desired module in the vast sea of modules. Though not everyone believes Canvas to be a second-rate Blended Schools.

IB History of the Americas, AP Economics, and Forensics guru Mr. Benjamin Edwards believes Canvas to be an acceptable method of classroom distribution: “Canvas has its faults, as any technology does, but overall I greatly prefer it to Blended Schools.” Though Canvas does lack some organizational abilities, it can be considered a vast improvement upon the Blended Schools system due to advancements in the “Discussions” portion of the program.

The Canvas system allows for an organized discussion section where students can pose their thoughts and respond to questions, debates, and discussions created by the teacher and other students. Though Canvas has organizational issues, the process for discussion posts is quick, clean, and easy to use and respond to others.

“At first, a lot of kids didn’t like the Canvas system, but it’s proven to be really effective and easy to use,” says Junior Nandita Mahesh. No matter your viewpoint, whether it be a mash-up of disorganized modules or a superior alternative to the buggy Blended Schools, there is much support to both sides of the Canvas argument.

It is very important to have a system that teachers can effectively use to aid their student’s education. Although, whether you hate it or love it, it seems as though the new Canvas system is here to stay. For better or for worse is your decision to make.

 

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