Listed below are known sign-in issues we have encountered and resolved. If your issue is not listed below, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safari on Mac
Issue: When trying to sign-in to Canary with your Google Account, the Google pop-up appears, but when you select your account the pop-up disappears and you are still not logged in (it’s as though you did nothing).
Solution: The problem was related to one of Safari’s pop-up blocking features. To fix this issue, start by opening up “preferences” in the drop-down menu when clicking on “Safari” at the top-left of your screen. The configuration is under:
- Cookies and website data
- The setting needs to be “Allow from websites I visit” or “Always allow”
- We do not recommend “Allows allow”
If you are more restrictive than “Allow from websites I visit” and have one of the top two selected – you will not be able to sign-in. The Google sign-in will not work, since Google and Canary Learning will both be open – explaining why “Allow from current website only” is blocking the 2nd open website, in this case Google sign-in from functioning properly. Attached below is a screenshot of how your setting should look.
What’s the difference between sharing a Course vs. Class is a common question that some Canary users have asked us recently, so I am going to explain and clarify how they are used and the typical scenarios we see them used in.
Share a Course – if you want the recipient(s) to be able to use your lessons and assignments for their own classroom, or as a database from which they can pull from. One example would be a department head who provides all the material for teachers to pull from that allows them to create their own unique curriculum for their classrooms. Another good example would be a teacher who has lessons/assignments that they want to share with another teacher, but doesn’t want the other teacher to simply duplicate their unique lesson plan.
Share a Class – if you want the recipient(s) to have limited access to your Class. This option is mainly used by teachers who need to grant limited access to substitute teachers, classroom aides, student interns, etc. The recipient(s) that has received access will be able to view your class lessons and assignments, along with the ability to collect and grade homework.
Share both a Course and Class – if you would like the recipient(s) to have full access to all of your material, classes, grading, etc. This option is most commonly used for classes with co-teachers. Any changes made by the recipient(s) will be applied to the original owner’s account and vice-versa. The only thing that will be different is that the recipient(s) who was given access will never be able to delete the original owner’s Course/Class.
*Nothing is foolproof, so when giving access to another person always make sure that you at least briefly communicate with them what your expectations are, along with any boundaries you may wish to impose. After all, YOU are the OWNER!
** If something does go wrong and something was accidently deleted, please reach out to us immediately at: email@example.com.
Remember that giant 5 inch binder you used to have (or still have) that contained all of your assignments, tests, and handouts? The same binder that gave teachers a sense of security by maintaining a hard copy of everything needed throughout the academic year. Canary Learning is your new digital sidekick, allowing you to maintain your own personal database of lessons, assignments, and tests – all in an electronic form that’s stored in the cloud!
Click “Builder” Under the Course Name
This is Where all the Magic Takes Place
On the right side of the screen, you can methodically sort and organize all of the lessons you have created for this course. Keep in mind that you can pull or share lessons from this course to another and vice-versa.
Each lesson created can be categorized as either a unit, sub-unit, or lesson.
The great part about using the Course Lesson Builder is that it is not date specific or sensitive. When you create an assignment in the lesson builder, you’ll be asked to assign a number of days or weeks that students will have to complete the assignment.
When you are ready to schedule the lessons you have just created, click on the “Scheduler” tab located at the top of your screen, just to the right of the “Builder” tab.
On the right, select the lesson that you would like to schedule, and on the left, click on the date that you would like it assigned to. In this instance, I have selected the Introduction to the Solar System lesson to be scheduled on December 1st (November 30th is highlighted blue because it is “today’s date.”) Click the green plus button to the left of the class that you would like it assigned to, which in this instance would be my Master Class.
You should notice that two things have just happened. First, a yellow star has been added to December 1st, signifying that at least one lesson has been assigned to that day. Second, to the right of “Master Class,” “Introduction to the Solar System has been added.
So that’s it! Teachers can now fully prepare for the next term of classes over Summer break, Winter break, or whenever a teacher has free time. Once lessons are created, teachers will no longer have to start from scratch when planning subsequent school years. Lessons are like a teacher’s personal database (or that giant binder we mentioned earlier) and will only need to be rescheduled instead of recreated. Teachers have the ability to revise their lessons at any time, allowing them to comprehensively improve the quality of their class, making for the best teaching experience possible.
A Course is a single subject and can be as broad or refined as you would like (Math vs. Algebra, History vs. America to the Civil War, English Lit vs. Early Twentieth Century British Authors).
Example of Courses
In contrast, a Class is the subject, period or section that you teach under a single Course. For example, you may teach Algebra II (your Course), but you teach two different sections (your Classes). You can name your Classes Period 1 and Period 4 or Section 1 and Section 4 or whatever else helps you stay organized.
Example of Classes
All of your materials will be kept in your Course (Algebra II) but your Classes (Period 1 and Period 4) will have different student rosters, grade books and schedules.
Additionally, your Courses will include all of your information on the subject, such as lessons, materials, assignments and resources. Courses are reusable across multiple Classes as well as over multiple terms, semesters or years. At the end of a term, semester or year, your Class will be archived (you likely won’t need that same roster and gradebook next year) but the Course can be used again at any time.
Now down to the nitty gritty: how do you create Courses and Classes?
As we have said, your first step is to create a Course. To access the Course Builder, click on the Builder button on the home screen. Following the prompts on the screen, you can title the Course, add Classes and begin to upload your materials and build your lessons and schedule. You can choose to schedule all of your lessons for a week, unit, or grading period at one time or choose to schedule them day by day. You can even organize content via units, sub-units and lessons!
To change a lesson into a unit or sub-unit, swipe right (right click) on a lesson and choose Unit or Sub-Unit. You can move any lesson, sub-unit, or unit by pressing the move button and dragging the lesson anywhere in the list.
For previously entered lessons from the calendar screens, you must first import the lessons by tapping on the plus button within the Builder. Then choose the plus button next to Lessons and there is an option to “Create from section contents” or you may choose to “Add lessons from other courses.”
Select the options to navigate to any of the lessons and when a lesson is chosen, a preview slide-out will appear and choose the “Add lesson” option near the bottom of the screen.
To enter individual content to an existing lesson: click the plus button next to “Lesson Contents” and enter in any content from the options presented in the slide-out.
To add any lesson from the Course Builder into a day for a Class: navigate to the Class you would like to add content (e.g., Period 4). Click on the plus button next to the day and choose “Course Content” under the “Course Lessons” header. Your lesson is added –easy peasy!
Once upon a time there was a teacher who would wake up extra early to make her son breakfast and to plan out the lessons she would be teaching that day. She would return long after her son had returned from school, where she would then begin to cook dinner. The night was still young, for as soon as the table was cleared, out came her nightly stack of papers to grade. Multitasking between grading papers, doing laundry, washing dishes, and glancing at her favorite tv show, the evening was quickly over.
For over 20 years, this was part of the daily routine of our founder’s mother, Maria, who was not only a teacher, but also the inspiration for an idea that would eventually become Canary Learning. Like many other teachers, Maria’s day often continued beyond the final school bell and always seemed to find a way to follow her home, keeping her busy until bedtime. With full offline capabilities, Canary Learning strives to give teachers back the gift of time, by offering the freedom and flexibility to grade when they want, where they want. Little did we know at the time just how useful this feature would turn out to be.
In southern California’s rural Coachella Valley Unified School District, many students do not have internet access at home, yet each student was given an iPad. As soon as they left campus, the devices were basically rendered useless, unless the student managed to connect to a free public wi-fi or if they were one of the lucky few that had internet at home. Students whose teachers decided to try our iPad app still managed to complete and hand-in assignments, which would then automatically sync and be submitted to the teacher once they got on their wi-fi enabled school bus or reached school. Although Canary helps out those who may not have internet at home, it can be just as beneficial to those who are always on the go and for those trying to go paperless.
During a recent field trip, a teacher in Bend, Oregon managed to grade 400 assignments during the six hour bus ride, all without internet access. Another teacher said she loved the ability to grade assignments in the gym during her son’s basketball and daughter’s volleyball games.
Need to Grade While on Vacation to the Grand Canyon?… No Problem!
Canary Learning gives all of our users the equity of access, without internet, regardless of personal demographics. We give teachers and students the freedom to do their work at the times that conveniently fit their schedules.
Google has two very powerful tools in their Docs and Sheets; there’s no denying that. So how can you incorporate them into your own digital classroom? Well, it’s simple with Canary!
First, start by creating either a Google Sheet or Doc; in this case we will use a Google Sheet as our example. Here, we have a Sheet titled “Class Introductions,” followed by some simple and straightforward instructions. After you finish setting up your Sheet, you are ready for the next step.
See the blue and white “Share” button at the top-right corner of your screen? Click it when you are ready.
Here, you want to focus on the top two boxes. Make sure the top box is set to, “Anyone with the link can edit.” Once that’s done, go ahead an copy the link provided in the lower box.
Next, open up the Class or Course in Canary where you would like this assignment added. Go ahead and click the big green add (+) button.
Now you should go ahead and fill in all the applicable information for this assignment. Click on “attach Website URL,” then enter the link you recently copied. Finish by clicking the Save button.
Voila, that’s it! When your students click on the link in the assignment, the following dialogue box will pop up. Clicking ok will take them straight to the assignment.
This is an excellent and easy way to encourage students to collaborate amongst the class or in smaller groups. This can also be used to encourage class participation (including for students who are absent or may be sick at home.)
CanaryFlow’s interactive guided tour allows you to actively participate during our step-by-step tutorial that will get you acquainted with everything you will need to get you up and running.
Turn the Guided Tour On/Off by Pressing the Settings Icon
Feel free to wander off the beaten path and explore Canary for yourself!
Simply tap the play button to re-enter the guided tour.
Whether you are new to Canary or a seasoned expert, the Guided Tour is always accessible by clicking the settings icon.
*Please note that the Guided Tour is currently only available on the iPad (iOS) version of Canary.
Planning for the upcoming term or school year has always been a source of stress for educators. There are a countless number of things a teacher will prepare for class before the school year even begins. This list is often unfathomable for those who do not teach.
Tasks teachers are responsible for include, but are not limited to:
- Setting up curriculum guides and calendars
- Teacher collaboration and professional development
- Creating a course overview and unit plans
- Creating a syllabus or planner for students
- Making sure the classroom is in order and ready for students
- Introducing yourself to parents and students
Having a “master journal” is one of the most common solutions teachers have to aid them in this planning process. This journal is best characterized as a large binder or computer folder containing an assortment of assignments, tests, notes, and any other resources teachers may need during the year. Updating this journal is a process that can span a teacher’s career, and serves only as the building block of planning. Teachers will still have to make copies and calendar adjustments with each subsequent year.
What if there was a simple solution that could manage this teacher’s personal database, along with doing a whole lot more? A solution that would allow a teacher to comprehensively make the necessary amendments to improve their classes while also taking away the blatant redundancies that accompany the school year cycle. Well, look no further…
Clean, Simple and Organized
Canary Learning is that simple and organized solution that will serve as your planner, database, and gradebook. Create your essential building blocks – assignments (homework, classwork, projects, tests and quizzes), along with teacher and student resources that can be used time and time again, never get lost, and certainly never get eaten by a curious puppy.
Pull up your calendar view or today screen and simply drop in the assignments you would like to assign that day. Add a few notes for instructions and that’s it! You’re all set! Start your day by grabbing a coffee and mingling in the teacher’s lounge, knowing that you’re already completely prepared and equipped to run your class. Everything you will need to collect and grade will be accessible from your home screen “dashboard,” so you’ll have more time to engage with your students and less time to worry about things going wrong.
Although Canary Learning allows teachers to annotate directly on pdfs while grading student assignments, we are still currently in the process of working to make the same possible for students – with the goal that they would never have to leave our app or web portal. Until then though, many teachers have asked us what is the best way for their students to annotate on a pdf. While there are a number of ways that this can be accomplished, I have listed below our recommended ways on how to annotate pdfs, based on whichever platform you may be using.
iPad: if using CanaryFlow on an iPad, I would highly recommend using Notability (paid) for its powerful and comprehensive annotation tools. But if you would prefer a free or basic app, my suggestion would be to go with Adobe Acrobat Reader (free), which is simple and reliable.
Mac/MacBook Air/Pro: if using Canary on an Apple Mac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, please refer to the instructions below that detail how to annotate pdfs using Preview (note: you can also click on the description to make it full screen.)
ChromeBook/Chrome Browser: if using Canary on either a ChromeBook or on a computer that has a Google Chrome Browser, I would highly recommend using Kami (formerly Notable PDF), which is a free Chrome extension available on the Chrome Web Store. There are many annotation tools included, and importing and exporting is simple and straightforward. What’s even better is that this extension allows you to annotate pdfs offline as well. The picture attached below shows a pdf downloaded from Canary that has been annotated using Kami.
**If you do not have one of the devices listed above and cannot figure out how to annotate on a pdf, try Googling the name of your device, along with “How to annotate on a pdf.”
Offline mode FAQ:
Q: What url should I bookmark for offline operation?
Or you might just keep the web tab with Canary running.
Q: How does offline mode work?
A: We keep a list of commands to be sent to the server that maintains the state. As soon as we reestablish a connection to the Canary server, we automatically start sending information back to the server.
Q: Are there any special considerations or circumstances?
A: 1) You need to initially be logged into Canary in order to use the offline mode, as you cannot login while offline.
A: 2) All your work will be lost if you “logout” in offline mode. DON’T DO IT.
Q: What happens if I restart the browser or the browser crashes?
A: The data is saved in the browser’s persistent storage and will still be there once the browser is restarted to the bookmarked url. JUST DON’T LOG OUT.
Q: What browsers are supported?
A: The browser technology we are using is supported by most browsers.
It has been most thoroughly tested on in Google Chrome and Firefox.
Q: What are the big “Do Nots” during offline mode?
A: 1) Don’t logout.
A: 2) Don’t use ‘Sync Now’.
A: 3) Don’t clear your browser cache or storage.
Q: How does offline mode affect me when I’m online?
A: It should not affect you, some documents should load faster though. If you haven’t logged out for more than 8 hours, we start prefetching/preloading documents that you might use once you are offline, this is all seamless.
Some of our active users have asked us how to reset their Canary Teacher account password, along with their students’ Canary account passwords, so here is a quick guide to resetting passwords.
Logging into Canary Learning with Your Google Account:
If you signed into Canary Learning using your Google Account, simply reset your Google Account password using Google’s own Account Recovery. Once you’ve completed the password reset, just return to Canary Learning’s Login Page and click the Google Sign-in button.
Canary Learning Teacher Account – Password Reset:
If you created your Teacher Account using Canary Learning’s registration page, resetting your password is quick and easy! Simply click the blue “Forgot?” icon located in the password box.
Canary Learning Student Account – Password Reset:
If you created your Student Account using Canary Learning’s registration page, then you must contact your teacher/instructor to have them reset your password. If your teacher does not know how to do this, tell them to select the Gradebook tab, click on your name, and select the “reset password” option. Your teacher can then reset the password to one of your choosing.
** If you have attempted the options listed above and still have issues resetting your password, feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the surface, Canary Learning appears to be just a simple app, but look a little deeper and you will find that it can be an extremely resourceful tool for both teachers and students. Canary Learning is a “digital sidekick” for the teacher in the classroom that helps facilitate handing out materials, collecting student assignments, and managing the grading process all in one platform, on any device, with or without internet access.
Run Your Class Seemlessly With Canary
As you can see, we have designed our “today screen” using a minimalist approach. Teachers now have a dashboard that is simple and organized, yet has all the functionality to properly run their classrooms.
Notice how we subtly divide the today screen into two halves: the left side and the right side.
The left side is filled with the things you will be covering today in class, along with any additional materials or resources that you or your students may need. You’ll soon become well acquainted with the “Big Green Plus Button (+)” as this is what you will use to add anything pertaining to the left half of the screen.
The right side is composed of widgets (buttons that perform certain actions). These keep the most important tasks readily available for your convenience.
- Messages – send messages to your entire Class or Course
- To Be Collected – everything that will be collected today
- To Be Graded – everything that has been collected that now requires grading
- Past Due – always know which students owe you what assignments
- Coming Soon – reminder of scheduled assignments that are coming up
- To Be Collected – to collect an assignment and to find out which students have/have not submitted the assignment
- To Be Graded – to immediately begin grading that assignment
- Past Due – to go that assignment for that individual student in the Gradebook
- Coming Soon – to preview an upcoming assignment
Teachers understand that there will always be an amount of uncertainty that will occur in their day, but dealing with it can often lead to distractions, disorganization and frustration.
Distractions and frustrations can include:
- Students who have weeks to do an assignment, yet still hand it in late.
- Students who are late to class everyday.
- Students who choose not to hand in assignments.
- Parents who write excuse notes for why their child didn’t do any homework.
- Students who bring personal items to school and play with them all day.
- Students who don’t listen to instructions and ask to have them repeated again… and again… and again.
- Students who show up to school without any of their supplies, devices, or books.
- Students who are sick or absent, forcing you to compile everything that they have missed, get it to them, and collect it at a later due date than originally assigned.
Although many of these things are unavoidable, Canary Learning can help minimize the negative impact these circumstances could have on your day. We do this by creating widgets that highlight important tasks and those that need immediate attention. These are always visible on the right side of both the Home Screen and Today Screen. These nifty buttons allow you to take corrective actions and stay ahead of the game. You’ll never again forget that Thomas from 3rd period still owes you his science paper and that Samantha from 7th period (who was sick for two days) still has to turn in her History midterm.
On the right-hand side, under “To Be Graded,” is every assignment that you will need to grade across all your Courses/Classes that are listed on the left-hand side.
If a student is sick / absent / or simply can’t make it to school – not to worry! Students can view their assignments, complete them, and submit them from anywhere at anytime. Those distractions and frustrations listed above are now a thing of the past! Students will know well in advance when things are due, you can send messages or announcements instantly to your entire class or course, and you will realize that Sarah forgot to hand in her test before you get home and begin grading. Take back control of your day, all without sacrificing another minute of your time!
On the right-hand side, neatly organized are sections titled “To Be Collected,” “To Be Graded,” “Past Due,” and “Coming Soon.” These will help you keep track of what you’ll be collecting today in class, what needs to be graded for this class, who still owes you what assignments, and what is coming up soon. Actions can be performed on these widgets right from the home screen.
Canary Learning enables you to quickly and easily add assignments, along with teacher and student resources. These three items are what we consider “the building blocks” of Canary Learning, as they comprise everything that a teacher will be creating.
Assignments are those materials that you upload to be distributed to students for completion. These can be PDF worksheets, links to Google Docs, documents held in Dropbox, etc. Assignments are those items you expect your students to complete and return to you. Homework, Projects, Quizzes, Tests, Classwork, and Labs are all categories that fall under Assignments.
Student Resources are those materials that you upload for students to refer to or to study from. Examples include PDF files, Google docs, or links to videos or websites. The expectation is that students will be able to use these materials to study, but will not need to return for grading.
Teacher Resources are those materials that you upload for your reference as the instructor. These materials are visible to you only and not to your students. You can use these materials to help you lead the lecture or class for the day or use answer keys and rubrics to assist in grading assignments.
On the Today or Calendar screen/tab, simply press the “Big Green Plus Button (+)” located at the top and center of the screen.
This button also gives teachers the flexibility to add last-minute assignments and also works great for teachers that prefer to schedule assignments and lessons on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.