Afternoon Keynote

Jared SteinVP, Canvas Higher Education Strategy


Jared started with a phrase coined by Alec Couros, “Thinning the Walls.”

How can we make Canvas so flexible that it allows for different teaching/learning styles and be useful for K-12 and Higher Education. 

My concern is that their only focusing on K-12 and Higher Education — What about corporate users? As a corporate trainer, the LMS needs to be flexible enough for corporate training needs as well.In order for Canvas to continue to remain flexible and useful in a variety of environments, Jared has announced 3 new apps for Canvas:

  • Canvas Parent – including custom notifications for parents on their child’s status in the course.

Ability to try new apps for within Canvas – EduApps.

  • 20% of courses have at least 1 EduApp installed by instructors.
  • 96% of courses have at least 1 EduApp installed at the institution/account level.

One of the EduApps that was referenced is Yellowdig – an app that allows students to share articles on the web. This tool has me wondering, is this a viable alternative to Evernote shared notebooks,, etc.? I need to take a look at this site/tool and see what it does.In addition to the vendor-designed EduApps, there are over 170+ EduApps created by end users. One of the next integrations that Jared is displaying is an integration with Office 365. This looks like a great idea – the ability to share documents in a user’s OneDrive without having to worry about email addresses. Unfortunately we don’t use Office 365, so I’m not sure that’s useful. Going further into the Office 365 integration are Cloud Assignments. The ability to use the Office 365 files as a template which can be edited on the website and submitted as a student submission. This could be great for my corporate training needs, if and only if, students don’t need a 365 account. The ability to display a Word document or Excel sheet within the Canvas course (rather than downloading the file) would be much easier. Pushing this one step further, Instructure is working on a similar integration with Google Docs. Sweet! passing, Jared showed a quick snapshot of the new UI for SpeedGrader. Definitely looking forward to that one! is now talking about Canvas Commons, a tool that I just recently (1 hour ago) learned about. This can be a game changer for me. There are modules in courses we teach that I’d love to be able to reuse, like company history, navigating an online classroom, etc. I am dying to start using Canvas Commons! Not only can teachers/admins create content to share within your institution or among other Canvas users at other institutions, but now…!! Game changer.


I’m very happy with this session, as my CSM said I would be. New products, innovative ideas, etc. While this session did focus on K-12 and Higher Education perspective, there are quite a few things that I plan on exploring further for implementation in our corporate training environment.

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