Teacher Professional Development

Canvas Practice to Help Teachers in PD

Instructure has released Canvas Practice, a video-based learning tool for use in professional development areas. The program is an addition to the Canvas learning management system, intended for use in teacher training programs. Instructure acquired the Philadelphia company that originally developed Practice in 2017 to be part of Bridge, its workforce development software line; now it's moving the program to the K-12 education side of the house.

The idea is that teachers can use Practice to film themselves practicing a given instructional skill, assess their own work, share the video online for asynchronous peer feedback and receive "expert coaching."

The platform "distributes the work of mentoring" said Jonah Rockoff, a professor of economics at Columbia University who researches teacher performance and has used Canvas in his own classes, in a statement. "In essence it 'crowdsources' mentors. In doing so, Practice multiplies the opportunities for high order apprenticeship learning that previously depended on non-scalable, face-to-face interactions."

"There isn't enough time in the day for teachers to really focus on their individual growth in the way we know helps people grow," said Practice Co-founder Emily Foote in a video about the program. "The biggest benefit of Practice for teachers is it allows them to not only receive feedback from their peers and also experts, but it allows them to see others and pick up nuances that others use, whether through classroom management or through their instruction and then bring it back to their own classroom practice."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.