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Online platform extends learning beyond classrooms for Mesa students

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Mesa Public Schools is using an online platform that brings the learning to students wherever they go.

It’s called Canvas.

Nathan Myers, the director of educational technology for Mesa Public Schools, said to think of it as a digital classroom.

“It allows us to extend the learning beyond the four walls of a classroom and into students’ homes or wherever they are,” he said.

Students can use Canvas to interact with teachers, submit assignments, take quizzes and track their grades. They can also use it communicate and share ideas with their peers through a discussion thread or board.

Canvas is also proving to be effective in helping teachers post grades and provide feedback soon after students complete assignments, which Myers said is “an essential component of effective learning.”

Mesa Public Schools started using Canvas as a pilot program during the 2014-2015 school year. Now, all students in grades 7 through 12 are using it.

In addition, the district provides laptops to all high school students. That makes it easier for students to access Canvas when they’re at school or off campus.

Myers said all this is part of the school district’s mission to prepare students to be globally competitive.

“We very much believe and feel that the success of our students as citizens in a global society very much depends on their ability to navigate and leverage technology for learning,” he said.

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