A new learning platform named Canvas will permanently replace ANGEL and teachers are already incorporating it into their lessons.
Canvas is an online program that can be used to submit assignments, view upcoming tests and receive feedback from teachers. Discussions may be posted for students to collaborate on a topic. Canvas is also accessible through the free mobile app.
“We are switching to Canvas because ANGEL is no longer supported by Blackboard who owns it. The district researched many Learning Management Systems (LMS) over a year and a half,” Instructional Technology Specialist Amy Hance said. “A committee of principals, teachers and district technology staff reviewed several LMS products and conducted an intense vetting process.”
College preparation is also being promoted through the use of Canvas.
“Canvas is the learning management system for all state university systems in the state of Florida,” Hance said. “College courses often require students to submit work via a LMS even if the course is not a totally online course.”
Numerous features such as updated technology and accessibility make it different from ANGEL.
“One of the biggest differences is that Canvas provides a video creation and storage space,” Hance said. “Canvas also includes the Immersive Reader tool from Microsoft which provides audio, visual, and language support for text on all Canvas pages.”
Technology is being utilized in classrooms as students use Canvas.
“Technology integration can improve student engagement, knowledge retention, and also encourages individual learning and collaboration,” Hance said.
It is suggested that teachers use Canvas as a way to help their students prepare for exams.
“For my AP class, I put the lectures that I give in PowerPoint on Canvas for the students to use to study,” AP Environmental Science and Biology Honors teacher Amy Lawson said. “I also use the calendar to tell students when there are tests coming up.”
Furthermore, uploaded notes can be accessed by the students in the event of an absence.
“Students can monitor all the assignments they must complete while knowing the day it’s due,” freshman Emily Duenas said. “Anyone can immediately look on Canvas and see any missed work that they need to do.”
Canvas allows students to familiarize themselves with the curriculum through extra practice.
“I will post things that we cover in class, either to prepare for the next day or to deepen the understanding of what we do,” English Honors teacher Amanda Tontodonato said.
Engineering classes do the majority of their work on Canvas.
“They use their cell phones and the app to scan in any assignments,” Engineering and Robotics teacher Cliff Greer said.
Many teachers believe that Canvas is better than ANGEL because it is a more advanced platform.
“It’s got a lot of advantages; it’s much more modern,” Lawson said. “It’s being maintained because there are no updates for ANGEL anymore so it was kind of getting old and clunky.”
However, some feel that it will be difficult for students to adapt to Canvas.
“I fear it will format my whole class to be entirely online,” Tontodonato said. “I just think it’s too hard of a transition right now for kids.”
As Canvas starts to appear in classrooms, some students view it as a beneficial resource.
“I think it’s important for other students to know that they should take advantage of this helpful app,” Duenas said. “Canvas gets you updated on all the latest information you need to know about your classes and won’t let you fall behind.”