My journey as a Canvas Admin began in the fall of 2019. I was hired to be the Canvas Admin for a school district just starting to use Canvas. This was a new role for me as well as for Warren Township, so there was much to learn as the year progressed. The initial plan was to focus on training high school teachers in the fall and then grades 5th-8th teachers in the spring for them to begin using Canvas by 2020. There wasn’t a definite plan for grades K-4th. My time was dedicated to showing teachers how to utilize Canvas in the classroom. The time to spend on the admin side of Canvas and setup was not a high priority at this point.
In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 impacted the schools. This forced the district to implement changes and the focus shifted to include all teachers grades K-12 to learn and use Canvas by the fall of 2020 in preparation for virtual learning. Most of the time was spent training administrators and teachers, both virtually and in person. At the same time, I enrolled in the Canvas Certified Educator Program. It helped me design valuable training resources for teachers. I started building a support network, utilizing Twitter, became a Canvas Contractor, and spent time in the Canvas Community chat. At this point I had a beginning level of information about Canvas Admin.
My fourth year as a Canvas Admin was full of professional growth. I was invited to be a beta tester for the Canvas Certified Technical Admin Program. This was the first opportunity to focus on the admin side of Canvas. The structure of the course helped me to understand and make sense of the settings, what all of the permissions meant, and best practices for providing an effective learning environment for the staff and students in the district.
The Canvas Certified Technical Admin Program consists of 2 CORE courses and an elective.
- CORE 1 – Account Organization and Authentifications – addressed questions about how our account was organized, how to manage courses/users (their permissions), and data provisioning.
- CORE 2 – Canvas Account Setting & Management – contains settings/tools, analytics/reporting, and shared resources. I became familiar with the support and training we have available and how to increase engagement.
- Elective – Using the Canvas API – showed possibilities of the API and how it can be used to automate some of the daily tasks.
During the CORE courses, I was able to create a Canvas Admin Plan for the school district. It contains all of the information about decisions and settings for Warren’s Instance of Canvas. I decided to log all of the LTI’s and other tools we have connected to Canvas in here. It is a foundation to continue to build on as we move forward with the use of Canvas.
The resources in the Canvas Certified Technical Admin Program equipped me to be more effective in my role. The slide decks and interactive infographics helped to explain the different parts of what it takes to be an effective Canvas Administrator. All of the information was organized making it easy to locate and use. I have made connections with Canvas Admin from around the world.
I became a facilitator for the Canvas Certified Technical Admin program to assist others in enhancing their knowledge regarding Canvas. It is a remarkable opportunity for any Canvas Admin whether an individual is just starting or has been using Canvas for years.
To learn more about the program, click the link: https://www.instructure.com/services/certifications