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Canvas FastTrack Ep. 2 - Video Announcements

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The Canvas FastTrack Video series is a collection of quick videos aligning Canvas with Dr. Puentedura’s SAMR Model of Technology Integration.  This model has been used by many institutions as a framework for infusing technology into teaching and learning activities.  In the video collection we will dive into the various tools in Canvas and how they align with the SAMR Model of Technology.  Watch this four-minute video introduction to SAMR if you aren’t already familiar with the model.

Episode 2 is a 2 1/2 minute video about Video Announcements; at the Substitution level of Technology integration how a teacher or instructor can quickly communicate with Students, T.A.'s and Observers about upcoming events, units or immediate notifications in the course. Even some tips and tricks about creating video announcements from your mobile app!

Thanks for watching and please feel free to leave feedback, requests, and suggestions in the comments below!

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Community Contributor

Nice idea! Audio and/or video should liven up announcements quite a bit. I'm going to try it out!

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New Member

This informative short video made me think of how to meet Accessibility guidelines and browsing the Canvas Guides I found a fabulous link to Amara. I plan to have fun with that this weekend adding subtitles to videos I create.

Thanks for this interesting way to keep up-to-date teaching with Canvas!


Thanks for the tip Meg.  I am looking at Amara now.

Thanks  @lstark ‌ for this great series.  This is an excellent resource for our teachers. And thanks  @myanalunas ‌ for the tip about Amara.  I am going to figure out how to use it with RCE videos, because right now teachers are not using this capability much because of accessibility concerns.  Leslie, would you consider a video about captioning videos and audio recordings too?

Hi  @Nancy_Webb_CCSF ‌, 

That is a great suggestion! We are working on adding some videos to the series based on Office 365 Integration and Google Integration for some new applications of these.  

I will add the captioning to the list and see what I can come up with. 

Thank you so much! Smiley Happy 


Community Contributor

Nice idea! Audio and/or video should liven up announcements quite a bit. I'm going to try it out!

Community Contributor

Apart from my Economics and Business Studies courses, I also teach British Sign Language courses - it will be fantastic to include signed videos in announcements to those students - thanks for the tip!

New Member

The video tool is not available to me as an account Admin when creating an account-level announcement for all users from Settings > Announcements.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 11.06.42 AM.png

Hi  @delester ​

You have brought up an excellent point! I too thought there was a media link for the Global announcement settings, but alas there is not.  When I asked why? I was given a response that Global Announcements are not viewed as a location for blogging or vlogging.  They are to be utilized for those big announcements like "Classes Cancelled Snow Day." 

So, long story short, it is not hidden from you, it is something that is missing in the Global Announcement functionality of the Rich Content Editor.  Maybe a feature request for it would help?



 @delester ,  @lstark ​ has pointed you in the right direction, and you might be interested in adding your feedback and vote to , which is in the "Under Consideration" stage.

Community Member

Has anyone had success adding a video from the Canvas app via their iPhone?  I get this funky message:  file.jpeg

Community Coach
Community Coach

Video announcements are a fantastic way to engage students and facilitate an online community.  ADA and accessibility may be issues.  Just from this thread, I'm looking at amara.  What else do people do in order to caption videos with minimal work?

I downloaded them with RealPlayer. Download RealPlayer for Free Then I uploaded it to and requested captioning...

However, I don't know if your schools pays for 3C Media or not. If not, it is totally worth it.


You can also upload them to YouTube, they have captioning now. But you might have to edit some of the text.

Another idea, use Camtasia to download the videos (or download them with Real Player and then import them into Camtasia) and add captions in Camtasia.

New Member

This feature has so much potential!  I especially liked the suggestion to have students create video announcements.  I'm not a one take wonder when it comes to making recordings, but I think the students & teachers could up the engagement by creating & using their own videos.  I think  I'm gonna love this feature.

Community Contributor

If accessibility were not on the forefront of my mind, I would LOVE this feature. But, without captions being available at the time the announcement was posted then the idea lacks the equality of attaining the same information for allSmiley Sad. If live transcribing was a thing it would PERFECT!

Hi  @kari ‌

I'm planning next month to research some closed captioning options and creating a fasttrack of leveraging some "outside" items to help with the quick creation of videos. Smiley Happy 

Hopefully we can find a little bandaid for this so that it becomes a better and more accessible for all. 

Thanks for the feedback and insight! 


Community Contributor

YES! A closed caption transcription utility would be great! Accuracy checked against the script that played out in the little screen tele-prompter utility during production.

Here's an idea for the teleprompter utility from Free, of course, and it might work as a little side window next to the screen being recorded.

Community Champion

Hi Kari,

Does your district use something like cccConfer, or Zoom? Those ones have live captioning capabilities.

Community Contributor

No. But, we are looking into them but conferencing is different than posting a video announcement. Usually, a video announcement would be one person. The user would still have to take the time to caption the video before uploading the announcement to the entire class, and from my perspective, the only way to add subtitles is after the fact of posting. 

Community Champion

Usually it is used for conferencing, however you can do the same thing but just without an audience. Have a live captioner and record your announcements.  Some of our faculty do that, and they are pretty successful with it.

You could also record multiple announcements during that same if you want to. Either have individual announcement sessions, or do all of them in one session and then edit the session into single announcements.

Hi there:

We recommend faculty have a script when they record Announcements. This would be an alternative to captioning. The script could be used as a transcript for the Announcement, which would be accessible. 

 I was also curious how to add CC tracks to videos recorded in myMCPS.  Personally, I use Google Slides for lessons - then Screencast while on present mode ( after turning on Closed Captioning). 

   Now unfortunately many tutorials are not via G:Slides...So I have found another hack.

  • As opposed to writing and trying to follow a script (so I don't sound like I am reading ...or it's hard to simultaneous read while doing a tutorial, or because I forget a line, or  I think of something else to add then adlib and then the captions are all wrong : /) HERE'S WHAT I DO INSTEAD...
  • I make videos using Screencastify (saved to Google Drive vs. YouTube) - so I can clip and edit 
  • Open a Google Document and activate Speech-to-text (CTRL+SHIFT + S)  >
  • Play the video- the Google Doc will transcribe whatever I say! 
    • (You would still need to download the file as Plain Text .txt to be able to add it to caption tracks)
      • I usually use my phone for one or the other-since Chromebook doesn't allow you to record while a video is playing.
  • P.S.  All of the aforementioned just adds to the growing body of evidence that Canvas should find a way to CC automatically ... and screen-share when doing videos)
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Our Zoom accounts  through our school system does have the CC option...but I have to invite someone in to transcribe what I write (so not too useful) - whereas Google Meet does the CC automatically (but our school is pushing Zoom instead

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