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All Places > Canvas Mobile Users Group > Blog > 2017 > August

Hello my CMUG friends,


I hope everyone is enjoying the Teacher App so far. As you begin using it in the fall semester, please continue to share your experience, good or bad! If the app is missing a vital feature, create an idea! If you are lost, ask a question! Kristin Lundstrum and myself are looking over these everyday! 


Teacher App - Part Deux


In case you missed it, the Teacher isn't done and the mobile team needs your help to get over the finish line! If you are interested in the next round of Canvas Teacher beta testing, well here's your chance! 


Canvas Teacher Beta sign-up 


Once again, good luck on the semester and feel free to use this group to share and grow you knowledge with all things mobile! 


UPDATE: Canvas Teacher 1.2 released to TestFlight!



Now that Canvas Teacher is released (with over 100,000 downloads in its first two weeks of life!) and the focus group that helped us build it has wrapped up, we're looking for volunteers from CMUG to help us test pre-production versions of the app, usually a few days or a week before we release them to everybody else in stores.


There are two things we might need from you:


  1. Most importantly, we need you to tell us if you experience catastrophic failures. Here are some examples of catastrophic failures:
    • "Wooooah, I can't log in anymore on the beta version."
    • "Wooooah, the app is crashing every time I do [x] on the beta version."
    • "Wooooah, this new beta feature is garbage."
    • "Wooooah, I left my coffee on the counter and now I've gone too far to turn back."
  2. Sometimes we'll want to test a feature to see if it's working or not. In these cases, I'll post something in CMUG about what we're testing.


iOS users will get beta access through Apple's TestFlight app. Android users will get beta access directly from Google Play. TestFlight restricts the number of external testers we can have, so -- no hard feelings -- we may boot you from testing if you never look at beta versions.


We'll import new beta registrants on Fridays, and we'll leave this sign-up sheet available for the next few weeks, depending on how many responses we get. You'll receive an email from TestFlight or Google Play -- depending on your response -- when we get you added to our testers list.


Canvas Teacher Beta Access Sign-up 

A few years ago in my face-to-face history class I started flipping my instruction. Each time the class meets there is a group activity. Students are grouped based on their interest in a course theme, as there is a theme-related capstone assignment for the class. I like to use the LMS for all assignment submissions, and doing that during class allows me to take roll concurrently. Having a mobile-friendly system like Canvas makes things a lot easier for my students. It also means I can use a broad definition of "mobile" to include any networked device a student can bring to a classroom, from laptops to smart phones. 


I am concerned about the digital divide and whether a particular group will have a mobile device in hand, so the "get to know you" form that students complete on the first day of the semester asks whether they have a device they can bring to class. I then make sure each group has at least two students who can do so. 


It would be great if I did not have to think about device availability. Last fall I applied for and won a mini-grant from my college foundation to purchase some cloud books. I would have them ready for my students to use, and so I was excited about the next semester. 


Can you guess where this is going? Last spring I again divided the class into groups based on their interest in a course theme. Even though I did not have to worry about device access because of my mini-grant, I still asked my students if they could bring a device to class. All of them said yes. 


Each class of course is different and drawing conclusions based on two classes does not make for a change in practice, even if the change was progressive over time. This is especially true for a community college, where so much diversity in every way exists. But it is always good to challenge assumptions, especially those that encourage us to treat people less empowered than they actually might be. 


*This blog entry composed on a mobile device, natch.* 

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