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The Study Hall

The Perfect White Button-Down Shirt: Canvas

I used to have several white button-down shirts for different purposes. For example, one was for layering with sweaters because it fit in the neck but failed me in the sleeve length. Another one was for wearing with blazers because it had the right sleeve length. Each had a specific purpose, but I could also tell you how much closet space they took up, how much they cost, how often I wore each of them, and how irksome it was for me to think about which part of the shirt I needed for my outfit that day. All these hassles and inefficiencies disappeared when I bought my perfect shirt—crisp, fit-me-everywhere, high fabric quality, and just works for every outfit every time!

I think about that shirt when I see what is happening in school districts and classrooms. Video conferencing tools are purchased to engage online students. Students get paper planners to develop organizational skills. Digital curriculum is implemented with a hope of providing interactive, dynamic, and up-to-date learning materials in classrooms. Content management systems are incorporated to manage digital content. Paper and copy machines have always been a fixture. Professional development platforms are brought in to deliver training to admins and teachers. Sound familiar?

"Canvas fits everywhere." 

All those items have a purpose and that’s why school districts purchase them. However, let’s step back and ask ourselves: what if there were one system that could help with almost, if not all, everything mentioned above? Just like my perfect white button-down shirt, something that serves all purposes and is always reliable. Instead of allocating $7 for a paper planner, $10 per video conference tool user, $4,350 each for PD, $100,000 in paper and a copy machine for a 1,500 student high school, it’s more efficient and effective to implement a foundational system that does all of it—a foundational system that brings everything together, supports districts’ initiatives, reduces administrators’ manual processes, gives teachers what they need, and most importantly, enriches the learning experience. Canvas is that crisp white button-down shirt for districts and classrooms. Canvas doesn’t fit you in the neck but fail you in the sleeve. Canvas fits everywhere.

I love my perfect white button-down shirt, because (to misappropriate a quote from "Anchorman") 100% of the time, it works every time. It’s a wise investment that doesn’t break the bank. It actually saves my bank because I no longer buy a new shirt only for its sleeve length. It’s simply a wise decision.

Keep Learning,

Dorin Shen
Sr. Product Strategist of K-12 Product Strategy, Instructure