New app launches to empower parents

Canvas Parent is a new mobile app for parents to view child’s academic progress on-demand

Canvas by Instructure, the open online learning management system (LMS) that makes teaching and learning easier, announced today a new, first-of-its kind mobile app that allows parents or designated guardians to monitor their children’s education and progress at a glance. The Canvas Parent app is available to all iOS and Android users to help parents of primary and secondary students stay informed on their children’s assignments, grades and overall schooling.

Parents who want information about their children’s education and how to support them are always wondering about their learning journey progress, their current homework, deadlines and marks. Typically, these parents have to contact teachers directly, check homework diaries or wait to receive end of term reports to answer these questions. Some parents will log in to and navigate an LMS, which can prove inconvenient. Canvas Parent removes these obstacles by providing an intuitive, easily accessible app that establishes a continual flow of essential information.

“Canvas Parent is designed to lower the barriers to parental engagement. It’s simple to set up, easy to use and provides relevant and actionable information. From over a decade of research, we know that getting parents more involved in their children’s schooling increases student engagement and achievement. We want to help parents engage with and encourage their children in a way that only well-informed parents can,” said Hilary Scharton, senior director of Canvas schools product strategy at Instructure.

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Mobile Consumer Survey: UK edition, the average person checks their smartphone 27 times a day, making it an easy and convenient communication channel for schools and parents. Using the app, parents can view assignment descriptions, assignment grades, course grades and course announcements, as well as set reminders for assignments and alerts for specific grade activity, which they receive as push notifications on their mobile devices.

Canvas customer Craig Ring of Rooks Heath College commented on the importance of involving parents in education: ‘While I frequently hear about a lingering disconnect between schools and families, with parents feeling that they aren’t as involved as they should be in their children’s’ education, at Rooks Heath the crucial role of parents is supported and nurtured. Schools and colleges have a duty to involve parents in their children’s study, recognising that a closer relationship with this group can only help to further engage, motivate and inspire students. Technology plays a vital role in bringing parents and teachers together, enabling ongoing collaboration and enabling a more joined up approach to education.’

The Canvas Parent app empowers parents to take a greater role in overseeing their children’s academic work. It offers peace of mind that students are meeting expectations and insights into what teachers are scheduling in the near future. The app gives parents the opportunity to view pertinent, real-time data and information on their children’s performance and participation in school. Additionally, it provides another way for teachers to communicate with families outside of the typical twice yearly parents evening, and to save time in the feedback process. Administrators can also leverage Canvas Parent to promote a schoolwide culture of openness and transparency.

Kenny Nicholl, director, Canvas EMEA said “Canvas Parent brings a new dimension to families who want more involvement in their children’s education. The app extends the boundaries of the already connected classroom, connecting parents to their children’s education experience and, connecting parents to teachers enabling a collaborative approach in guiding their children’s learning journey”.

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