Using Canvas Apps

Feb 18, 2014 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canvas Apps are great. Here’s a quick overview:

Canvas— On the iOS App Store

This is the canvas app that first came out for iOS and Android. Students could view content, participate in discussions and submit work in a limited fashion. This app will be going away because…

Canvas by Instructure — On the iOS App Store | On the Google Play Store

This app is it’s new big brother. Currently available for iPhone and Android, this app more closely replicates the structure of your course, including modules, the ability to take pics and record audio and submit media assignments on the phone.

Speedgrader — On the iOS App Store

The Last app is Speedgrader only available for iPad. This app is specifically for instructors to grade student work, allowing you to read submissions and record audio or video feedback or type it if you wish. If you have rubrics set up for your assignments, this app is a perfect way to quickly move through and grade each student.

So why should you know about these apps?

Well, as more and more people start to use smartphones and tablets in the post-PC world, more and more of them will want to be able to complete their work and engage with their classmates and instructors online using their own devices.

As the instructor, you can build your courses to cater to these devices to ensure that students can complete readings while on the bus, submit their assignments while they’re in class and work together collaboratively using the devices they are most comfortable with.


  • When students are given readings in Word or PPT format, it is required that they have this software, and while some phones have the ability to convert, and read these documents in a roundabout way, the easiest way to ensure that your content is device agnostic, is to give it to your students in a standard format. PPTs are nothing more than a series of text and pictures, so you can add these images and text to a content page in canvas, and it’ll work on every device.
  • Instead of uploading a WMV video file to your canvas course, just throw the video up on youtube (or we can convert it to a more universal format to be housed on the media server). This way students can view the video from anywhere and don’t need plugins or other software to view it.
  • Be aware of what smartphones and tablets can do. You can now ask your students to record themselves (video or audio) reflecting on an experience or an assignment, and submit that as part of the course. They can submit images, engage in discussions, etc. You can even have a discussion board where all it is is recorded videos back and forth.


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