Canvas introduces Teacher Tools, a new app that helps teachers do the awesome things they already do and make their jobs easier.
Teacher Tools requires a Canvas account. If your school is not yet using Canvas by Instructure, create a free account and leave your notecards and popsicle sticks at home.
Download Teacher Tools in the Play store. Version 1.0 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.
Because of the simplicity of this app, documentation is not currently available in the Canvas Guides.
The Hot Seat option helps teachers randomly choose a student in the class; no longer do they have to mentally remember who they’ve already called on. Just tap the icon, select a course, and the app selects a student for class participation activities. In the Settings menu, teachers can choose to have the app remove a student’s name after the name has been selected.
If an institution allows profile pictures (avatars), the Guess Who option helps teachers learn names and faces for students in their courses. The app first shows the photo of the student and includes a link to flip the card and see the student’s name.
The Student Notes option lets teachers make notes about a student. Notes automatically transfer to the Canvas Gradebook.
This looks spiffy! I am downloading it now. Does it have a way to view a student's grades? Of all the things I can do with the Canvas apps, I have not yet found a quick and easy way to access the grade book on mobile devices, but students, coaches, etc. will often stop me and ask about grades, especially the current average.
After playing with this for a bit, this could be a neat little app. One thing makes this super difficult to use though: I have to pick a course each time I want to do something, and right now every course shows up. It would be good if only my favorited courses showed up in the list because this would make the app much quicker and easier to navigate.
I mentioned your comment to the lead Android developer last night and he can see how that would be a problem. I'm sure they would look at making that workflow a little bit smoother.
@robin_galloway and @chofer , this app was built by one of the Android developers during the last Canvas hack week, where engineers are given time to build whatever they want, which may or may not end up being part of Canvas. Currently it's considered experimental to see if it gains any traction and if people like it and use it. If the team sees that there is a demand for it, they could possibly create an iOS version, but for now there are no plans to do so.
To follow up with erinhallmark, I asked a developer specifically about iOS. He said "we'll see". I assume we'll see how well this hack day project takes off on Android first. Essentially if people don't use the tools in this app, then it will probably not be developed on. If the tools in this app are used, they will be rolled into other Canvas apps. This was echoed by Deactivated user in her mobile SOTU session.
Exactly said, Ryan.
I happen to know the mobile team started a list of all the things they were asked about at Instcon. The list is kind of long, but the fact they have a list is a very good thing.