App of the Week | Canvas Mobile App

Though you are all likely to be familiar with the web tool Canvas (to both your delight and dismay perhaps), our App of the Week is the Canvas Mobile App, with which you might not be as familiar. It offers almost all the features of the full site, but on the go on both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.

We think it is elegant and intuitive.

Because our particular academic community at The New School is heavily dependent on Canvas for course materials, distributing messages, organizing and planning, it may be helpful to have instant access to some of those features on your mobile device, sparing yourself the inconvenience of opening your laptop or logging in to a desktop.

From the student’s perspective, the Canvas Mobile app is hugely convenient for those of us who are forgetful, disorganized, or simply overworked. The ability to access, read, and print files, to refer to the course syllabus, and to quickly retrieve messages greatly reduces the amount of stress of preparing for class. Though the app requires an internet connection (“data rates may apply”), it makes a huge difference to be able to quickly access Canvas without hopping onto a computer. Other features that will appeal to students include: instant messaging to other students from the class roster, and access to Starfish (though it’s worth noting that the robustness of Starfish gets a little lost on an iPhone screen). Additionally, a color-coded calendar and a To-Do list are available if your courses’ professors choose to use them.

This brings us to the professor’s side of things. Though it might be easier to manage the Calendar or To-Do list functions from a computer, the Canvas Mobile App does give instructors the convenience of creating announcements, uploading/organizing files, and even uploading from Dropbox.  So if it happens that you need to make a last-minute announcement to the class that you’ll be late due to service on the L, there’s no need to open your messy email app — keep it nice and tidy all within Canvas. You’ll find that the clean interface and easy-to-use functions might save you some time and energy.