We're new to Canvas and I'd love some pointers from more experienced users!

Discussion created by on Oct 14, 2015
Latest reply on Mar 14, 2019 by John Kirkland

Hi everyone!


I'm the ICT Administrator of a K12 school in New Zealand and we're making the move to Canvas in 2016. We will be the first primary (K12) school in the country to adopt Canvas so we want to get things right!


We're not a big school - under 200 students - with around 25 teachers and admin staff who will use Canvas. We've been using Google Apps for several years, and are moving away from a previous LMS that was good in its heyday but is now not modern enough, and very simplistic compared to Canvas. Our students from Year 6-8 (Grade 6-8) bring their own laptops every day, and younger students use computers regularly from Year 3 (Grade 3). We are using the new user interface too.


As the ICT Admin I've spent many hours learning Canvas and am pretty comfortable with it. I've set up all the courses and enrolled students and staff in them so staff have a realistic environment to begin experimenting with. They are free to experiment this term and the Canvas team we have formed consisting of myself and half a dozen staff from various areas of the school are basically in charge of supporting the members of their teams of teachers from various specialties/year groups in learning Canvas. This is because the time all the staff have together for a full session is extremely limited, and as different teams have different requirements for Canvas they'll be able to learn together. I'm a bit skeptical of this approach because it's much like Chinese Whispers, and will depend on the skill and understanding of the Canvas team members, which probably isn't advanced enough to be teaching other staff with confidence.


What I'm after from the community is any suggestions on what the important areas are that we need to hit hard and with confidence when the Canvas team is teaching others how to use Canvas. Ideally they would be the sorts of ideas where we spend 30% of the available time to teach 70% of the system, or a similar ratio. Our old LMS didn't have functions such as modules or assignments, so those are on the list, but as I'm not a teacher I can't really foresee what our teachers might see as relevant.


Any answer is a good answer! If it's completely unrelated but still relevant I'd love to hear it! Thanks in advance