Students, teachers utilize new online learning tools

Lee Newell, Staff Writer

 New technology was introduced that students and staff have had to learn how to use. Things such as a new Learner Management System (called Canvas), new computers, and online textbooks have been put more into use this school year.

  Many teachers introduced students to Canvas this school year. Canvas is an online system for managing student work, grading papers and taking quizzes. Students submit much of their work and take quizzes and tests online.

 Since the school switched from using My Big Campus to Canvas, there has been a learning curve for the student body and staff. The school switched to Canvas because My Big Campus was no longer being hosted.

   District technology coordinators Shawn Crouch and Larry Ransdell cover all of the schools in the Warsaw district, and are constantly working to improve the networks and the ease at which students can use computers. There are 715 chromebooks and 560 Windows 7 computers in the whole district. Out of these, 270 chromebooks and 275 Windows 7 computers are at the high school alone.

  Several teachers like the organization and ease of assessment in the new LMS system.

  History teacher Derald Henderson said Canvas is user friendly and has advanced features that students and teachers alike can use. He also thinks it can be organized in a coherent manner.

  English teacher Shanda Miller said Canvas allows her to more easily grade work and allows students the track their progress more easily.

  English teacher Nathan Hopkins said Canvas has the same advantages of My Big Campus, but is slightly less user friendly. He likes how it saves quizzes and assignments as students are working on them.

  Science teacher and faculty technology adviser Bob Foster said Canvas allows easy access to information, allows retakes, and allows students to more readily see grades. He doesn’t like how the test settings can be confusing for teachers, but thinks it is a vast improvement over My Big Campus.

  Many students have mixed thoughts about the online system, but some are very positive about it.

   Freshman Samuel Andrews thinks Canvas is easy to use and, even more so, because if a student misses a day, he/she can work on the assignment at home.

  Students like sophomore Nathan Schindlbeck are neutral about Canvas. Schindlbeck likes that it adds technology to the school, but doesn’t like how unorganized it can be.

  Sophomore Dallas Larsen likes Canvas because it can be well organized when used properly. He doesn’t like how some teachers don’t keep it up to date and dislikes how some teachers organize the material in the system.

  “It’s ok,” junior Johna Newman said. She likes that she can see the quiz answers and is easy to access.