District to implement Learning Management System

At its May meeting and with the recommendation of Superintendent Tom Wilsie, the board of education approved the purchase of Canvas, an online learning management system to be used by all students in grades Pre K-12 starting in August 2020. 

The system which will be accessed by computer, is a one stop location for students and their parents for instruction, homework, lunch accounts, attendance, grades and even extra-curricular activities. Each teacher from all grade levels, coaches and/or sponsors will have specific Canvas accounts that only their students will be able to see and gain information from with proper login credentials.  Parents can sign up for access accounts, so they can monitor each of their children's progress in school. They will also be able to do things such as schedule face to face conferences with teachers via the interactive features offered.

Canvas is designed to help both styles of learning which are in person and virtual and will be in use daily in classrooms across the district. The system is specifically designed to assist schools and students with seamless transition from in person learning to virtual in the event of a mass school closure or specific classroom quarantines. It has the added benefit of allowing Tecumseh's virtual learners the opportunity to have a more personal and valuable experience with the traditional classroom teacher each day.  They will be able to interact in real time with the teachers or view the recorded lessons later in the day.  This required daily login by virtual students enables the district to hold online learners to the same state mandated seat time requirements of so many hours in a classroom to gain credit for finishing the class or grade level.

"The educational needs of students are changing rapidly in the 21st century and Tecumseh Public Schools wants to be with its students on every step to help in meeting those needs," said Wilsie.

"These are trying times for students, teachers and parents during the pandemic," Wilsie told the board. "We looked at and visited with several representatives from numerous learning systems before settling on the Canvas plan.  It was the best in our opinion as far as meeting a variety of needs including being user friendly to all stakeholders. We want to cut down the confusion for all involved and streamlining the academic lessons, school communication and educational updates via Canvas is the most efficient way to do that.”

“Schooling in a pandemic presents a set of challenges that require we be flexible every day and every hour. This learning management system will help us handle the unimaginable that can come with a school wide closure,” Wilsie added.

Teachers have been training in the Canvas program since late July and will be ready to help students become accustomed to the new system from day one. With the conversion of the district to a one-to-one technology policy all enrolled students and teachers will have access to a working computer device throughout the entire school year for every day of learning.

Look at Canvas at work here:

Introduction to Canvas Learning Management System