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Explorer III

Getting Teachers On Board and Using Canvas (Really)

So, I know there have been posts about this, but I am looking to you all to be honest about what is and is not working for you right now. Here is what is going on with my district:


  • One shining elementary course in a dual-language class being used thoughtfully and regularly. 
  • Professional development courses
  • Testing and Accountability courses provide consistency of content and delivery across the district
  • Pockets of great use in 6-12 


  • Overall still at a small % of active and regular users
  • Pockets of use, not ubiquitous 
  • Very little interest in moving over from old platforms (Google Classroom, Edmodo)
  • Not a requirement
  • Professional Development--some courses need to be thoughtfully redesigned
  • Course overload? Teachers feel like Canvas is just for PD and testing?? Maybe?
  • Only 2 people at the district level for support
  • Time--no required face to face time to work with users

So that is the good and the bad. I am feeling a touch less optimistic because we are at the mid point of year 2 and I am seeing stagnation rather than growth. So rather than just focus on the negatives, I am hoping to hear from you all about what has really really worked when it comes to getting teachers on board and using Canvas both thoughtfully and regularly with their learners. I look forward to this discussion! 

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3 Replies
Explorer III

Anyone? Thoughts? Haaaa



As an instructional technologist in my district, which is in year 4 of Canvas, I have been actively engaged at marketing Canvas to teachers and campus decision makers, and here are a few pointers that helped my campuses reach nearly 100% adoption:

  • Teachers: always point out the benefits of making their lives easier. 
    • digital work turn-in is so elegant in Canvas, way better than a stack of flashdrives, emails, Google Doc shares, and stacks of paper
    • Speedgrader- there is no faster method to grade the submissions of 150 - 200 students.
    • If possible, build assignments or templates for common assignments and make them available  to the teachers, either through importing into the teacher accounts, OR through the commons
  • Admin: 
    • Very simple conversation- have them poll their parents about how the parents access student resources. This is the impetus between two of my campuses adopting mandated Canvas- parents would often have 4 - 6 separate logins to monitor student work. Canvas offers a one-stop shop where a parent (assuming you have activated this feature) can actively observe the student resources that teachers have made available.

Apologies for the verbose response; Ben Stein brings it out in me. Hope some of this helps.


Jay Jackson

 @howardjackson ‌ thank you for the reply! 
We have tried sharing how it makes life easier, but many are hung up on using what they have always used (Google Classroom, Edmodo. nothing). I am going to keep going though and I appreciate your reply!! The admin and parent perspective is a great one! 

Thanks again!