Canvas by Instructure

Announcing the Canvas App Center

Posted by Brian Whitmer on April 12,2013

I grew up playing with Legos. I loved them. I remember making my own robotic piggy bank, Marble Madness ramps, even mousetrap-powered cars. When I really wanted to get crazy, I’d build medieval castles with all sorts of secret entrances and trap doors. My little brother gravitated toward more aquatic pursuits like submarines and Atlantis-inspired cities built from our shared pile. What was so awesome about Legos was that, with the same set of blocks, we could construct totally different worlds to play in.

Today we’re announcing the Canvas App Center. Like your own set of Canvas Legos, it lets you take advantage of the Canvas platform to create your own customized learning environment. This video will give you a little better idea of what I’m talking about.

The Canvas App Center will go live at InstructureCon in the early summer. A few institutions that are piloting the Canvas App Center include the University of Washington, Nevada State, University of Utah, University of Central Florida and Rockingham County School District. Everyone else can begin using the apps immediately by going to edu-apps.org.

Also, in the same way that MegaBlocks connect with Legos, even though they’re not the same brand, all the apps on edu-apps.org are built on LTI, so they’ll also work for any of your friends unfortunate enough to be running other LMSs. Feel free to share :-).

Lego PandasIt's too bad pandas aren't LTI compliant.

The launch of the Canvas App Center includes nearly 100 free apps for media, social, ebooks, assessment, and more. Many apps can be installed in one click, no IT support required. The simplicity that allows teachers to install apps themselves, without the burden of IT help, also frees them to experiment with a world of powerful teaching tools and create a truly customized teaching experience. Essentially, you get to build your own awesome.

We’re excited to be taking one more step towards tearing down the proverbial-yet-all-too-real walled garden in the LMS space. We all knew there were tons of third party integrations out there somewhere, but until now they’ve been hard to find and way too hard to set up. With Canvas App Center, anyone – administrators, teachers, students, really advanced panda bears – can install an app in a single click. It’s like snapping educational Legos together to evolve the learning experience. And we think you’ll love it.

Keep learning,
Brian

P.S. If you have a moment, watch this short video about Ole Kirk Christiansen and the history of Legos. It's inspirational.  

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Canvas is the modern, open learning platform designed to help you transform learning. Instructure is the company who builds it. This is the blog where we hold it to a standard of openness, usability and reliability—and give you a glimpse of the fun we have doing it.

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