BD switches to Canvas

Google Classroom, itsLearning will be a thing of the past next year


Caitlin Merrill, staff writer

Next school year will be a change for Ben Davis like no other. By the end of the year renovations to the commons and the front of the school will begin.

But something happening over the summer that will take affect on Day One will have an even bigger impact on a student’s education next year.

Something happening as soon as we come back from summer is a switch of learning platforms. During the 2023-2024 school year Ben Davis will make a swift transition from using Google Classroom and itsLearning to a learning platform called Canvas.

Now you might be wondering what’s Canvas and why the switch especially since we’ve used Classroom so long. Canvas is an online learning platform very similar to Google Classroom and itsLearning. Canvas is commonly used by many colleges and universities.

Ben Davis will be switching platforms from Google Classroom to Canvas in order to further prepare students for college as most colleges use Canvas as their platform for online assignments. It’s just another way Ben Davis is preparing students for their future in college if that’s what they choose.

Justin Allison, the art department chair, iis in charge of training staff on how to use Canvas. He answered a few questions about the upcoming switch.

In your opinion do you think Canvas or Classroom is easier to use?

I think it is better to compare Canvas and itsLearning in terms of LMSs and address this question. Google is admittedly easy to use, but in that ease of use, lacks many of the features a strong LMS offers. itsLearning has all of the bells and whistles a good LMS should have, but is cumbersome and not as easy to use as we would like.

“Canvas holds a nice spot right in the middle. It is rich with features that teachers can incorporate into the teaching and classrooms, while still being user-friendly for students. We have been training with Canvas for much of the 2022-2023 school year and I have found Canvas to be intuitive not only in the way I can design lessons but in the process I have been learning the material.”

How well do you expect BD students to adapt to the change from Google Classroom to Canvas?

“I think students who use Canvas regularly will adapt quickly. Canvas works well with the Google Suit; docs, slides, etc.

“So much of what teachers are doing already will not change, only the delivery system, so even if students do not use it regularly, they will figure out what needs to be done. Many colleges and universities use Canvas as their LMS, so adopting it in Wayne is a great way to prepare our students that are pursuing education after graduation for what they may encounter outside of Ben Davis.”

How will the students be trained to use Canvas?

“I know our students are tech savvy so I am sure they will adapt to Canvas easily, but in addition, every student will go through an introduction to Canvas module in Impact next year.”

Next year will be a year of change for all Giants, but it’s a change to get us ready for the future.