With a few more tweaks we'll be done with Canvas Parent 2.0, so here's a final pre-release post! Anything to do with pairing codes or self-registration in this post is only relevant if self-registration is enabled at your institution.
To summarize the changes coming:
- We modified the parent self-registration flow to use pairing codes instead of student username and password, which comes with two benefits:
- Pairing codes enable self-registration regardless of how students authenticate with Canvas (username/password only worked as long as students were using Canvas authentication)
- Pairing codes are more secure than password sharing; they last 24 hours and can only be used once. After the pairing code is used, it expires, the observer remains paired with the student, and anyone who tries to use that pairing code again to self-register will receive an error.
- We made self-registration work from the parent app. Now parents will be able to self-register as observers from Canvas web or the parent app, and the account they create will work on both platforms. No more duplicate parent accounts, and no more need for parents to connect to a student from web and mobile separately.
- We added an account permission to allow pairing codes to be generated on behalf of students. By default, this permission will be off for all roles (i.e., admin-only). But if you're an admin and you want your teachers, for example, to be able to facilitate parent self-registration on behalf of their students, you can enable this permission. Students can always create pairing codes for themselves.
- Parent app works for all observers, regardless of whether the observer was created through self-registration, manually by an admin, SIS import, or whatever else.
As usual, our friends on the documentation team are working on creating/updating Canvas Guides to explain these updates in full detail, but I made a quick (super-duper high-quality) video to show how this all comes together:
The new pairing codes and the new permission are on beta now, so you can mess around with them if you want. The 2.0 update to Canvas Parent will be rolling out to stores on/around July 18th.
This has been a deceptively large project to make the parent/school experience fundamentally better -- more reliable, more secure, more consistent, and more scalable than it was. We hope it helps kick off the '18-'19 school year in the right direction!