Good morning, @-_ ...
I am not sure if you are an instructor or a student. I cannot answer the "why" question (this would be something you'd need to ask someone at your school such as your local Canvas administrator or someone from your school's Online Learning/eLearning department). I will assume, however, that Pronto is a third-party integration that has been installed within your school's Canvas environment. An information page on Pronto can be found on the EduAppCenter website. If you are a student, most of this information below the "Installation Instructions" section will not apply to you, but the top-half of that page would at least give you a brief description of what Pronto is. Pronto is considered a third-party LTI external tool, and applications like this are typically installed by your school's Canvas administrator at the account level rather than the course level.
I hope this will be of some help to you. Let Community members know if you have any other questions about this...thanks! Take care, stay safe, and be well.
Thanks chofer. The Pronto link looks like part of Canvas, yet it isn't mentioned anywhere in the Canvas support system. If Canvas allows third parties to insert software into their system, they should make that clear to users. Nobody these days wants to risk a surprise from uninvited software. And if Canvas allows third party software, it should come with a privacy notice and instructions for use.
Good afternoon, @-_ ...
There are written Guides here in the Community for both Instructors and Canvas administrators on how third-party LTI external tools can be incorporated into Canvas. These LTI external tools are not added on their own. Rather, in most cases, your school would need to purchase some sort of subscription or license in order to incorporate the product into your school's Canvas environment. Many times, schools will evaluate the need for using third-party LTIs and may even be able to have a short trial of the software before a school decides to move forward with a purchase. So, I'm not sure that your comment about "uninvited software" would be accurate ... assuming that your school's Online Learning/eLearning department has done their vetting of the third-party software. I would suggest that you reach out to someone at your school such as a local Canvas administrator or someone from your school's Online Learning department if you have additional concerns about this. They may be able to give you further details about the various LTI tools they have chosen to incorporate into your school's Canvas environment. Before I forget, here are the links to the Canvas Guides about LTI external tools:
I'll also mention that may LTI external tools that can be integrated with Canvas make it appear that it is part of the Canvas environment. For example, Pronto might appear in a frame within your Canvas course. This is generally "by design" so that students aren't taken outside of the Canvas environment...yet they can complete the necessary work for the course using whatever LTI tool the instructor has chosen to use in his/her course. Other LTI tools that integrate seamlessly into Canvas would include software like Zoom (video conferencing) and Turnitin (plagiarism checker). Both of these include interfaces directly inside of Canvas, and you never really need to leave Canvas in order to use them.
I hope this helps to clarify things a bit. Sing out if you have any other questions about this...thanks!
I have no idea how to reach an 'administrator' (probably a part time IT geek) at my school who manages Canvas. I'm just one of thousands of students who have to use it. As far as 'uninvited software'--Pronto runs in MY computer, MY browser and it accesses personal information about ME and other students. None of us are informed of what that information is used for.
Canvas, by approving this software, has some responsibility for how it effects Canvas users. Since it pretends that this software is actually part of Canvas, does that mean that Canvas accepts responsibility for any liability it may incur? If not, MAKE IT CLEAR that this is a separate program and require it to provide privacy information and instructions for use. Canvas investors will agree- liability is a serious problem here.
Thanks for looking into Pronto. It is great that you want to be aware of everything within your Canvas and we commend you for it! Pronto is designed to feel very comfortable inside of Canvas to provide a quick and frictionless communication experience inside of CanvasLMS, a web browser, or through our mobile applications. We allow for instant written communication as well as video and audio calls and collaboration.
For peace of mind, there is definitely a privacy notice the first time a user clicks on Pronto and everything that takes place inside of Pronto is secure and limited to those who are enrolled in the groups or participate in 1:1 messaging.
Please don't be shy if you have any questions.