Openness is in our DNA
Canvas is open in a 24/7/365/99.9% uptime kind of way, but it’s also open for educators and admins to take a big-sky, cloud’s-the-limit, across-the-universe approach to education. Our platform was built on the belief that everyone in education should have open access to high-quality information, content, data, and resources. So that's what we do.
Canvas is built on an open API, meaning users have access to our software. This allows you to integrate custom tools, extract your usage data, and discover new and exciting ways to use Canvas. Canvas integrates with most SISs (Student Information Systems), and we work with 100+ like-minded partners to ensure you have access to the technology, tools, and services that can help you build your ideal learning ecosystem.
Canvas is extendable through open standards (see also: LTI) and web services (also see also: our open API), because no awesome learning platform should try to be everything to everybody. Instead, we enable solutions to institutions' unique challenges by providing a variety of standardized hooks into and out of the learning platform. By focusing on making Canvas both full-featured and highly extendable, we move from a traditional learning management system toward becoming a true learning platform, whatever that needs to look like for your institution.
Is the idea that educators should have unrestricted access to educational resources revolutionary? We don't think it should be. It's open education. It's the future. And it also encompasses the idea that education should be available to anyone who wants it.
We didn’t invent open education, but we’re its biggest fans. We’re doing everything we can to support it—including offering a MOOC hub that provides open entry to learners worldwide and also provides continued access to course content after the course end date, allowing instructors to share and reuse content through open licensing. It’s called Canvas Network. And we think it’s pretty neat.
In short, we want to make sure your faculty have the academic freedom to teach the way they want to teach, and the tools to push the boundary of what's possible. Like we said, open is the future of education and we want to support our partners every step of the way. So, again, that's what we do.
Open content means educational resources and learning materials that are available to anyone and free to be reused, remixed, revised, and redistributed. Open content fits right in with the Canvas worldview. That’s why we a) have partnered with tons of open content providers, b) have created Canvas Commons, a learning object repository that allows educators to share resources and course content, as well as import it into Canvas courses, and c) now offer over 100,000 learning objects for higher education through the Canvas Commons.