Transitioning to Canvas Learning


Credit to Anna Hollinger

By Morgan Chairs

2020 has brought problems beyond compare, including the mass breakout of COVID-19 all around the world. It brought the closure of businesses and schools raising questions about the future of education.

Getting ready for the new school year came with some difficult decisions.

Switching to Canvas was not a decision that came on the spot. The plan to switch to Canvas was about a year and a half to two years in the making. It was time for a new learning management system, so the administration started to look at what they were going to do moving forward making sure they meet the right requirements.

“Google Classroom is a good thing, but it doesn’t have all the features that the canvas does,”  FHN Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler said.

For administrators Canvas checked that box and it also has been conveniently used for Project Lead the Way, Bio Med and Computer Science for many years, so the administration thought switching to Canvas made a lot of sense. So the administration decided to roll out the new learning system in the fall, then Covid happened. However, the administration was still committed to implementing the switch.

FHSD thought it would be a good idea to prepare teachers for the upcoming year so they offered training to learn about Canvas and what the day to day would look like for teachers going virtual.

“I think that training was really great from Francis Howell and then I think, quite honestly, the best preparation is just getting in there and doing it and learning as you go,” Shelly Parks, an FHN English teacher said.

With virtual learning came a whole new set of problems and struggles for students and teachers alike.

“I think it has shown me that kids really do learn at different paces and in different ways, and virtual learning, like offers a lot more flexibility than a physical classroom does and so I feel like that I’m way more willing to take risks and differentiate for kids more than I have in the past in the virtual classroom,” Parks said.

Considering the abrupt move to this new form of education there is still a bright future for virtual learning.

“I would be kind of surprised if Francis Howell school district ever again didn’t have a virtual high school,” Hostetler said.