CanaryFlow – The Next Digital Classroom Experience Plenty of speculation still exists about what a digital classroom “looks like” and how the learning occurs. In many cases, a computer is used as a platform for students to readily view assignments, videos, and explore websites. Canary Learning is a software company that has developed ways to transform the classroom experience. Developments include the use of a cloud-based software that allows multi-platform resources to be used and accessed through computers, smartphones, and tablets. Canary Learning functions on the basis of two applications: CanaryFlow for Teachers and CanaryFlow for Students. CanaryFlow for Teachers “CanaryFlow is a classroom workflow platform that was built to automate mundane tasks in the classroom, giving teachers more time to teach. With schools cutting back and spending less money on aids in the classroom, teachers need tools that support them. CanaryFlow features include assignment distribution, collection, grading, and much, much more.” Upon downloading the app, users will be given a detailed tour. Users can create courses for each subject they teach. For teachers, this application maximises thoughtful planning: resources can be added such as pdf files, saved documents, Dropbox and Google Drive documents, as well as files from the web. Teachers can readily assign homework, tests, and worksheets. Students will then have the opportunity to view and complete the assignments via an iPad or computer when opening the CanaryFlow app for Students or by visiting the website. After completion, students can “hand in” the assignment with a simple tap. Once collected, teachers are able to digitally grade the assignments. The grading tool allows users to quickly mark up the worksheets with comments as well as corrections. Once graded, the results are migrated into the teacher grade book. When assignments are created, teachers are instructed to categorize each of them. Upon doing so enables the grade book feature to keep track of student work. All resources are completely digital: therefore, students and teachers needn’t worry about printing or scanning files. CanaryFlow for Students Students are added to a course by signing up via a class link code when they download the app or visit the website. This is the only way students can be added to the roster of the course. Each student sees the assignments and the lessons that the teacher displays for each day. Students look through resources and digitally hand in work without the use of a network connection. Pros CanaryFlow goes above and beyond to help teachers keep track of student records. Worksheets no longer need to be printed, scanned, or photocopied in mass. Homework can be assigned and completed at home when students sign in at home via the CanaryFlow app or website. The grading tool can be used to grade as many assignments as possible all at once; if a question is marked incorrect, the following worksheets with the incorrect response will automatically be marked. Even more helpful is the automated grade book. The results can be displayed to the student. This is almost comparable to an electronic portfolio. Cons Although much is available for teachers to use, it can be easy to ask students to complete the work on the iPad or laptop without the actual teaching. Students may stray from working in cooperative learning groups and partners if they own an individual device. Education In The Digital Era CanaryFlow was developed in the hopes of improving the learning experience for K – 12 students. Teachers hold the final decision on how they might utilize technology during the lesson. Learning might change in the years to come. Digital classrooms appear to be the next big breakthrough in saving time and money for students and staff alike. Personally, I found that the app was more of a fit for middle school and high school students. I would love to see it leveled for the elementary grades as I see great potential and would like to utilize an app like this with all it has to offer. For more information on Canary Learning, visit their website at http://canarylearning.com Jessenia Morales is currently teaching 3rd-grade dual language at Southampton Elementary School. Ironically enough, it is the school that she attended as a child. Traveling is at the core of what inspires her to teach Spanish and English as a second language. When she’s not teaching, she is reading books in French, studying video tutorials for cooking recipes, contributing to TeachersWithApps, maintaining her own cooking blog, hiking, and rigorously “googling” answers to the many questions thrown at me about life!
Written by Jess Morales