Julie Daniel Davis

Free Apps that Integrate with Canvas LMS

Blog Post created by Julie Daniel Davis on Sep 26, 2019

Free External Tools

Our teachers are beginning to feel more confident with the not so basic “basics” of using the learning management system, Canvas. Viewing this confidence has inspired me to look for App integration options (LTI tools) for Canvas courses.

If you want to see what Apps are available to embed in Canvas courses:

  1. Go into your Canvas course
  2. Click on “Settings” at the bottom of your vertical course navigation list.
  3. Click the tab that says “Apps”
  4. On the “External App” page you can see “All” apps but right above that word is a link that says “See some LTI tools that work great with Canvas.” You can filter this page to see what works with Canvas and what is free.
  5. You can then go back to the “External App” page and add the app to work within your course as an external tool when creating assignments. (In most cases you will need to set up your account in the third party app in order for this to work seamlessly.

Below, I am sharing just a few free third party apps that I can’t wait for our teachers to take a look at for integrating into their Canvas courses:

  • Scootpad — Create an administrator or teacher account and access pre-made Math, ELA, English, Spelling, eBooks, and Writing lessons, assessments, practice, remediation, or intervention from students in grades k-8. We do NWEA testing, and teachers can enter NWEA MAP RIT Scores and generate personalized learning paths for students aligned to their MAP Goal Performance Areas! We talk about the benefit of data often but this puts testing data to practical work.
  • Merlot — Are you looking for information or an article on a topic that you would like your students to have access to? An Open Education Resource (OER) that “The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community, who have either authored the materials themselves, or who have discovered the materials, found them useful, and wished to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the teaching and learning community. All the materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability for retention in the collection. Many undergo the more extensive “peer review” for which MERLOT is famous. MERLOT presents annual awards for various categories of materials added to or used in the collection. As described in Material Link Checking and Removal, all material URL’s in the collection are reviewed frequently for [sustainability.]” (http://info.merlot.org/merlothelp/topic.htm#t=MERLOT_Collection.htm)
  • Screencast O’Matic — “Record, edit and share video to connect with students, parents and faculty.” (https://screencast-o-matic.com/education). This is a great tool to screen record explanations of steps in accessing something on the web or annotating of math problems! The possibilities are endless. Anytime you feel the need to show students your desktop, use Screencast O’Matic to do so. It embeds seamlessly into assignments in Canvas.
  • Quizlet — is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes (https://quizlet.com/89313049/what-is-quizlet-flash-cards/). Create flashcards for your students to use or have students create flashcards and share them with you. Either way, Quizlet is a great tool for test prep and integrates well with Canvas.
  • Flipgrid — “…is simple. Engage and empower every voice in your classroom or community by recording and sharing short, awesome videos … together!” https://info.flipgrid.com Flipgrid is my absolute favorite! Today I watched foreign language teachers create Flipgrid prompts for their classrooms seamlessly in Canvas. This integration is a great way for foreign language students to not only practice fluency but to hear themselves and others. Flipgrid has created this handy tool to help you set up your integration.

It had been over a year since I had really spent time looking at the external tools list available to Canvas. What I learned this week is that it makes sense to visit the site occasionally to see what new offerings are available for Canvas users. The beauty is that there are often free integrations that make your classroom experience more seamless because they can be integrated inside of Canvas. These integrations make it easier on both the teacher and the student for access and grading. There are plenty of apps out there, the above are ones that I am currently looking at more deeply for our school. Check out the list yourself and search for Canvas platform to see what might work for you!

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