ADMHS implements Wake County Public Schools LMS transition

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OCTOBER 12, 2022 – For the first time since 2015, Wake County Public Schools is taking a step away from Google Classroom as its primary learning management system, and Athens Drive Magnet High School is pioneering the county-wide switch to Canvas.

 

Wake County Public School System authorized the switch in the spring of 2022, citing several key reasons for the transition including improved communication between students, families, and teachers, greater efficiency for students and staff, and increased functionality and support for all users.

 

“These goals align with the pillars that will guide our new Strategic Plan, specifically Family and Community Engagement, Effective Operations, Services, and Facilities, High Quality Instructional Core, and Equity Focused Practices,” said Drew Cook, Assistant Superintendent for Academics at WCPSS.

 

ADMHS has implemented a mandatory transition from Google Classroom to Canvas LMS a year earlier than required by WCPSS. Reactions to the transition vary. For some teachers, Canvas presents an opportunity to improve communication with students outside of the classroom and create multidimensional lesson plans.

 

“Canvas is going to offer more options and is a better, more inclusive LMS. Google Classroom really is functioning as a place to turn in work and not actually build out and control the delivery of content,” said Elizabeth Luna, teacher. “I think Canvas is the right way to go no matter what.”

 

For others, the transition has been less than graceful.

 

“The user interface for Canvas can be a lot more confusing, but I think there’s ways around that,” said Sophie Weston, teacher. “I don’t really mind the transition. Some of the older teachers might have more trouble with Canvas though.”

 

Students at ADMHS are split in their opinions of Canvas as well.

 

Valentina Camareno, senior, isn’t bothered by the transition. “I don’t think it’s quite a big change whatsoever. As long as there’s somewhere I can see my work, I don’t mind the switch.”

 

Other students are yet to adjust to the switch, as Google Classroom has been WCPSS’ primary learning management system for almost a decade.

 

“I have been using Google Classroom since middle school and the application makes more sense to me,” said Caleb Hall, senior. “With Canvas, there’s a lot of items and sometimes teachers don’t know how to use them. The information they’re giving you can end up very unorganized, and each teacher has a different way of doing things which makes transitioning from class to class more difficult. On Google Classroom, each teacher usually does things the same way.”

 

Despite the learning curve, WCPSS is confident that the switch from Google Classroom to Canvas will be a net positive for students and teachers alike.

 

“As with any new initiative, we understand there may be a learning curve and some uncertainty which is why we built a long runway for school implementation,” said Cook. “Schools have over a year to plan for the implementation within their building. Additionally, the district is providing multiple resources, professional learning opportunities (both virtually and in-person), and FAQs to support all WCPSS staff members in the gradual implementation of Canvas.”

 

For students and teachers who have questions about Canvas, visit https://canvas.wcpss.net/.