June Newsletter

FHS Library Media Center

Canvas and you: Making your life easier!

The other day I went to the Canvas training offered at the RCSD County Office. Several of our teachers were there leaning how to work in this learning management system. One trick that I knew several teachers could use was how to link an outside website to their Canvas Navigation. If you aren't sure what I am talking about, do not fear - Gunter is here! Truthfully it took me a while to understand what they were explaining. This tip is not subject specific but I am going to use the math teachers for my example. The math teachers have been working with Math XL all last year. They have developed lessons, tests, quizzes, ect. all in Math XL. They also already have a school website that is linked to Math XL. Now they are being asked to use Canvas. Rather than redoing everything, how about adding a link to their Canvas page that takes students straight to Math XL? Sounds hard right? Nope, it is not. This can work with almost any website you use on a regular basis.


1. Log into Canvas
2. Choose course you want to work with
3. Look on the left side of the screen at your Navigation bar.

This is Important - there are two Setting buttons. One is on the top right and one is on the bottom left. They can not be used interchangeably. The one on the upper right allows you to set your preferences for what you see. The one on the lower left allows you to set the preferences for what your students see.

4. Click the setting button on the lower left side of your Canvas course.
5. Choose the Apps button in the middle of the screen
6. The Apps that have already been added will show up. Don't freak - there are tons and
they are all arranged alphabetically. Scroll down to R's and look for a plain white box with
a blue arrow. This is the Redirect App. As you hover over it, a description will appear.
7. Click the Redirect App and choose Add App
8. Enter the name you want to appear on your Navigation that students' will see. Example:
Math XL
9. Copy and paste the url of the website.

Be careful here. Make sure your url starts with a https:// - if not this will not work. I have an email to Amanda and Josh about how to work around this.)

10. Uncheck box "Force Open in New Tab"
11. Check "Show in Course Navigation"
12. Click Add App
13. Refresh and your website should be added to your Canvas Navigation.

How Can I Help You?

One of the challenges that a library media specialist face how to create content and resources that is relevant to the current needs of teachers. One thought, for me, was to create a Canvas Course that all teachers could use a resource. My idea was to have modules designed that you could add to your Canvas Course on an as-needed basis.An example of this would be if you wanted to have students write a paper in MLA formatting, but don't want to teach students how to create a MLA formatting Template in Google Docs. I could create a single video on the instructions that you could copy and add to your Canvas course. If you wanted students to create an iMovie video but don't have time to set aside two or three days for instruction for in iMovie, I could create a video on instructions that you could add to your Canvas Course.
In order for me to make this resource effective, I have to have feedback from you! I am embedding a link to a short (1 question) survey about what you would like to see in the FHS Library Canvas Course. We are the only school in the district that is trying this, so please help make this a relevant resource that reflects YOUR needs.


Check your Self-Service for new softwre

Several teachers have mentioned that they have never been able to get software on their school computers. RCSD has listened to this complaint and made some changes. When you received your new computer, one of the first things you had to do was to go to the Self-Service App. Please make it a habit to check this periodically. ITD has already added several packages that you may need. If you aren't sure what the program does, feel free not to download the program. If you had the program on your old computer and the district has a site license for it, request that ITD add it to the self-service. Software currently available on the Self-Service App includes Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Promethean Software, and Photoshop. It also looks like ITD is connecting self-help guides, printer installation instructions, and work orders to this system. I have had trouble connecting to the Self-Service from home, but it took no time to download software at the school.