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The benefits of Canvas

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
With many school systems opting for a virtual route, a new program, Canvas, is also being introduced. 
 Canvas is a learning management system, or LMS, that serves as a tool for teaching and the classroom. It is used in many colleges and universities.
 Kelly Patrick, the instructional technology coordinator for Carter County Schools, explained that Canvas goes beyond online.
 It is not just an online tool, it is a classroom tool,” he said. “Canvas gives us the flexibility to adapt to the type of environment we have to teach in. Canvas gives us the ability to quickly adapt.”
 Patrick explained that Canvas can be used by teachers who have many children in their classroom, limited numbers, or all virtual. 
 “It enables our teachers to push out assignments and assessments to their students, and their students to be able to send those back to the teachers,” he said. 
 According to Patrick, teachers have been extraordinary in learning this programming for their students.
 “Our teachers are fantastic. They’re working hard to learn Canvas and also to make sure they have their classes ready for students to start on the first day of school,” he said. 
 The current start date set for schools is Aug. 17 in Carter County at 25 percent capacity. Patrick said he believes that teachers will be ready to go.
 “As long as Dr. McAbee and the board agree that it is our start date, that will be our start date. We will be ready,” he said.
 The learning methods teachers have used to become familiar with the programming has been a combination of in-person and virtual. Each teacher has received training that has been led by Canvas, as well as being placed in classes that they experience as students and mechanics of the program as teachers.
 Patrick explained that an additional benefit with Canvas flexibility is its customization to the user and how best they can learn. 
 “There’s a lot of flexibility and there’s a lot of customization teachers can do,” he said. 
 There is also access to retrieve forgotten passwords 24/7 with help from the program.
 While this is the first year Carter County Schools have used this program, it goes beyond the pandemic, serving as a tool for teachers.
 “It is a tool that allows teachers to be better educators, no matter the situation,” said Patrick.