New site to replace Moodle

By Julia Aizuss

The Software application Canvas will replace Moodle next year as the school’s learning management system, a program which supplements classroom education, Educational Technology Committee Chair Jeff Snapp said.

Canvas will also replace Course Materials on the school website and departmental websites, becoming students’ one-stop location for online resources, Snapp said.

Moodle, which the school has used since spring of 2008, was one of the first learning management systems created, Upper School Head Librarian Shannon Acedo said.

“It did better than what we had before, which was nothing,” Acedo said.

However, Moodle eventually became difficult to use as it became more outdated.

“Just making it work was more and more cumbersome,” Snapp said.

Teachers had begun using digital features like video and audio files that Moodle was not set up to support well, and some teachers required more features and storage than Moodle could provide.

“Moodle is based on an older technology,” Technology Integration Specialist Jennifer Lamkins said.

She said teachers’ attempts to use Moodle with current web advances was “sort of like taking Web 1.0 and throwing it into a Web 2.0 interface.”

The Ed-Tech Committee visited Marlborough and contacted other Los Angeles private schools this past fall to explore the systems they were using and their experiences with them. The committee eventually voted unanimously to use Canvas.

“Canvas all across the board seemed to have the combination of flexibility, functionality and customer support,” Acedo said.

Lamkins said that everyone on campus should be able to quickly learn how to use Canvas no matter their fluency in technology because of its “low learning curve.”

She will be holding workshops training the faculty in the system in August, Snapp said.

With the decision made and the teachers excited, “now it’s like flying,” Lamkins said.