Many community discussion software applications include a "Who's Online" widget or function. The widget includes a list of avatars of the admin online, moderators, and a list of usernames with a total number provided for how many members are online.
This information could sit in the right column with permissions everyone view, teacher only view, teacher and student view.
How is this useful to a K-12 teacher?
I sent a remind.com text to students to please try out a new "practice by topic" set of quizzes. By knowing how many students are currently online then I can measure the success anecdotally rather quickly rather than diving into after-the-event reports.
How is this useful to students?
Many of my students respond when they know others are online, too. They are social online. It also helps create a better online community, with a sense of knowing others are studying, too.
Since I'm very new to Canvas and this community, maybe there is already a feature request for an online widget. A quick search didn't find it.