Canvas on the Campus

Theodore Weiss, Senior Reporter

The 2015-2016 school year will be the fifth year that Manitou Springs school district has implemented the iPad. There’s no doubt that it has improved productivity, however after 5 years with the same iPad it has definitely slowed down and hasn’t been working as well as it was at the start. Switching from application to application takes longer than it used to.

“When I was sixth grade I really liked it, but as I use them more I try not to use them as much, ” says Taylor Holladay, a junior who has gone to Manitou since the iPad was given to students in the fall of 2011. Holladay added “I feel like if you make them a distraction they are, but if you use them right then they aren’t.”

Canvas by Instucture has been implemented for all classes for all Manitou Springs High School, and all teachers must use it as well. There are applications that might tempt students to stop what they’re doing and play a game, however Canvas is hoping to increase productivity for not only students, but teachers.

Although for the first couple days, students and teachers had issues such as uploading assignments from home, the application crashing, and settings issues that needed to be adjusted in order for students to operate Canvas at home.

Even though it’s only been just over two weeks, it’s completely changed the aspect of teacher- student relationships and how students learn. It’s taken time to adjust to a whole new system at Manitou Springs High School, instead of turning assignments in via email.

The Media Center has made small tweaks to the settings and servers, such as changing a proxy server so students have a filter at home. Another issue was uploading PDFs from home, and the solution was downloading an application that helps students download PDFs at home, Adobe Acrobat.

As with the iPad, Manitou is a trendsetter. Manitou is one of the only high schools in Colorado to implement Canvas, however just across town at Colorado College it’s been implemented for over a year.

A Colorado College student, Reed Young, says, “Some days it’s hard to download things or upload things or it’s working slowly. Even though some issues have occurred throughout CC’s implementation of Canvas, it is still used daily.”

Young later added, “I think the idea of canvas is really good. On a really practical level it saves paper and makes grading more green. I enjoy getting my assignments back graded on paper, but I am getting used to canvass. I think it would of been good in high school.”

The fact that a majority of colleges use an online system over 1,400 schools and colleges nationwide, according to Canvas’s website. So maybe will Canvas prep college bound students at Manitou for what’s expected at a higher education work place.

Canvas has already changed the definition of how a teacher teaches and how a student learns at Manitou. Whether that is good or bad change, it’s happening.