Thousands of Charlotte Mecklenburg students, families prepare to use Canvas starting the year remotely

Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 9:07 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of Charlotte area families are getting ready to start the second half of their school year.

But students wont be going back to their classrooms just yet. CMS is fully remote until January 19th. That means they’ll be using the online system, Canvas, for remote learning.

“Canvas is a very good learning management system,” says CMS parent and teacher Becky Gregory. “It’s a good system to use.”

Since Gregory is both a CMS parent and teacher, she uses the online learning platform Canvas, a lot.

But Gregory says using the platform can sometimes get confusing for her sixth grade daughter.

“Its really confusing to know what’s due and what’s not,” says Gregory. “As a parent its frustrating when I’m going in there and trying to figure out what missing work she has. But I can’t tell because there’s like 50 things that she has to do.”

“Its hard to know... at the end of the day, did my kid do what they were supposed to do?” asks parent Nikki Perry.

WBTV spoke with Trenton Goble, Vice President of K through 12th grade strategies at Canvas, about what improvements are being made to Canvas to ensure a smooth second half of the school year for students.

“That’s really important,” says Goble. “We don’t want students to fall behind, we don’t want students to be stressed out…knowing when things are due.”

Goble says with mass numbers of schools using Canvas, they’re constantly tweaking how the system can be more user friendly, for students and teachers.

“We’re making it a lot more user friendly for our younger students in particularly our younger grade levels, our K-5 focus.”

But parents say its also important for teachers to get the proper training on how to use it.

“There there needs to be consistency,” says Perry.

Goble says as we head into the new year its important for teachers to manually check within Canvas that they have their settings catered to the grade level their teaching. He says this can help with an easier experience for students interacting with the system.

“We work really hard to make sure that Canvas is optimized for all devices,” says Goble.

For students who have disabilities, Goble says Canvas has spent a large amount of time on accommodations.

“For students with who are colorblind or who have sight issues or having hearing impairments, the ability for teachers to be able to change font size, color,” explains Goble. “To make sure that those accessibility features are there.”

Heading into the new school year Goble gives these tips to families using Canvas:

“Remembering to be consistent, I think, is really important,” Goble says. “That consistent time of getting students up in the morning, consistent time to be working consistent time to be playing and taking breaks. I think breaks are really important.”

If teachers or families have issues with Canvas, CMS does have staff within the district who can help with questions relating to Canvas.

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