Is Canvas ready to take on paper?


The school has been trying Canvas for two years now, and it is definitely pushing to replace paper using this iPad app. Photo from Instructure.

The school has been pushing the teachers to use Canvas this year, but it is not efficient enough to replace paper just yet.

Canvas allows students to turn in assignments and work on homework digitally, but it has too many problems and kinks right now to replace paper completely. Some teachers will say they love Canvas, while others will like the idea but think it isn’t working for their class.

Catherine Norberg, French teacher, says she likes how easily accessible it is to students, but does not like all the steps involved to enter things like grades and new assignments.

“I think that there are some situations where it is the right thing, but not every situation,” Norberg said. “I don’t think that it will be the end all be all, but it will take some getting used to.”

Canvas will only be useful as a replacement to paper, but not everyone wants it to replace paper.

Amy Faith, English teacher, says that some of her students would rather use paper than Canvas.

“Some students like the technology, but other students are a little more traditional and prefer paper,” Faith said. “I usually just ask the students to let me know what works for them so I can modify the assignments accordingly.”

With things being done on the iPad for school, there is a big danger of cheating, Faith said. It is too easy for students to switch over to another app and copy answers to homework or look up answers to tests.

“I wouldn’t post a formal test on Canvas because then students might be able to take a screenshot of it,” Faith said. “I think that there is some cheating that can happen, so [teachers] kind of have to process through how they want to use [Canvas] and how it will work best for them.”

Canvas has a lot of potential if we can work past all the problems it has. There are definitely a lot of very positive aspects like the student discussion system, its ease of use, and various resources for teachers.

“I think this technology will keep improving,” Faith said, “so I can’t imagine it’s progress will go backwards.”