Staying in the loop about the transition to Canvas

Ray Chang / Aragon Outlook

This year, numerous teachers are piloting Canvas as an alternative to School Loop. Because Aragon will be making a complete switch to Canvas next year, during this transition period, a handful of teachers have been testing out the program in order to work out possible complications and act as a source of information for the rest of the school.

While many students are accustomed to School Loop, there is a logical reason for the introduction of Canvas. According to Instructure, the maker of Canvas, over 300 universities use the product, so implementing the system now prepares students for the next step in their scholastic lives.

Government and history teacher Kevin Nelson was able to provide some context for the subject.

“A drawback of Canvas is the implementation process,” he said. “People aren’t trained to set it up or make it work properly, but every student is going to either use the Canvas or the Blackboard system when they get to college, so once it gets implemented in the school system, it’s going to be a great benefit to students.”

Still, some students are apprehensive about Canvas, and still prefer School Loop because adjusting to the new system has been difficult.

“I mean, I don’t even know how to use it, it’s so confusing, so I don’t really know any benefits yet,” said sophomore William Voorsanger. “Everyone’s already used to School Loop so, I don’t really see any benefits. It’s harder to use, and School Loop is better, and if it isn’t broke you shouldn’t try to fix it, and that’s why I think we should stick with School Loop.”

Senior Jhessica Soriano sees both benefits and drawbacks.

“Checking grades is a bit weird, like the percentages,” she said. “It’s just pretty freaky. Teachers can customize their home page though, which is pretty cool. Like you can’t do that on School Loop.”

Regardless of these bumps in the road, however, teachers and administration believe that there are clear benefits to using Canvas instead of School Loop.
“Canvas is an instruction system,” Nelson said. “With Canvas, I can teach a fully online class. I can post videos, I can schedule lessons and all types of evaluations, I can give multiple choice tests, I can chat and lots of other things that we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet.”

Furthermore, some teachers have found that they prefer Canvas to School Loop once they actually get used to it.

“It’s a lot harder to use in the beginning, but I think in the end it’s going to be a lot better,” said math teacher Cheri Dartnell. “So far I’m liking it a lot.”

Posted by Bridget Johns

A first-time writer for the Aragon Outlook, Bridget is super excited to be a part of the news department this year. A senior, she enjoys soup, going to the beach with her friends, and getting a good night's sleep. She also loves dogs, and has two of her own.

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