Using Apps in Canvas

Rubik Apps by Cesar Poyatos, Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Rubik Apps by Cesar Poyatos, Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of the truly amazing things about Canvas is that it incorporates apps, which is a truly revolutionary and modern way of looking at an LMS because it makes it so…mobile-like.

Here are just 8 apps (of a great many) to whet your appetite for more.

  1. Dropbox – As an instructor, if you have a dropbox account where you keep all your documents (and, well everything), you can add this app in Canvas and on every editor toolbar (on pages, discussion forums, and quizzes) you can click this button and seamlessly add any of your content. Boom. Quick. Easy.
  2. YouTube (search) – There are a couple of YouTube apps and we’ll explore the recorder at a later time. This YouTube app allows you to import videos easily from any editor toolbar (again, like on pages, discussion forums or tests). When you click on it, you get a search box where you put in what you’re looking for. This is great if you’re not looking for something specific. If you’re looking for something particular, you may be better off going straight to YouTube and embedding the video from there.
  3. Khan Academy – This works the same as the YouTube app – editor tool in the editor toolbar. If you don’t know what Khan Academy is, it helped start the latest flipped classroom movement (I say latest be caused the concept of flipped classrooms has actually been around a while). The site has tons of recordings that explain things through a whiteboard-type presentation. Topics include tons of math, science, economics and finance, history, art history, American civics, computer science, computer programming, test prep, and many more.
  4. Redirect – This amazing tool allows you to put any website as a button in your class’s left hand navigation, which you can then hide or not from your students based on what you want. Do you have an Adobe classroom that you meet your students in for office hours? Boom. Easy button takes them right there. Want your students to have easy access to a website resource your class uses? Boom. Easy button right there in your classroom. Magazine subscription? Boom. Flipboard? Boom. Anything on the Web? Boom. All you need is the complete url to where you want to direct your students (or yourself) and Boom. There it is.
  5. Flickr Search – Another editor toolbar tool, you can search public photos to easily put on your pages, discussion forums or quizzes.
  6. Google Charts – Another editor toolbar tool, you can create charts and embed them easily in pages, discussion forums or quizzes. You have a choice of lots of different types of charts and graphs. And you can easily change the data set if you need to. This is so much easier than any other way I can think of.
  7. LTI (Google) Maps – Embed an interactive map right in your page, discussion forum or quiz with this editor toolbar tool. Put in an address and you get a map that is movable to other areas on the map, zoomable, and you can switch to satellite view. What could you do with that?
  8. Internet Archive – Our last app for this week is another editor toolbar tool. This app searches public databases for pictures, soundbites and video that are in the public domain (no copyright worries) with a keyword search. Here’s the slightly wonky part. It then puts a link inyour page, discussion forum or quiz. I used the link to go to the actual website and get the super handy embed code and put that in the page’s html editor to have the movie right there on the page (or discussion forum or quiz). And it’s public domain. That’s better than free. That’s free and a get-out-of-jail card all in one.
  9. I hope you enjoyed this week’s “Focus on Canvas Apps.” Stay tuned for more and happy educating!



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