MCPS 2020-2021 creates a new online curriculum

Aidan Carr

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Photo by Aidan Carr

MCPS student logging on to MCPS classroom to start her school day

After the decision to continue remote learning for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, MCPS made the decision to require teachers to utilize myMCPS Classroom as opposed to allowing a choice between that and Google Classroom as was the case in the spring. To say the least, it has not been smooth sailing.

MCPS stated that the decision to switch to only Canvas was to keep students more organized., especially now when students aren’t in school with their teachers to ask for help.

Canvas was adopted for the 2017-2018 school year to replace the previously used Edline. Canvas made it easier for students and parents to check grades and for their grades to be more accessible than Google Classroom. It was also to better the communication with parents, teachers and students.

“I’ve never liked MCPS Classroom in the years past because I was always confused on how to turn in assignments or where to find them. Last year we used Google Classroom which was easier to use,” senior Yolita Barreto said.

In Canvas teachers are able to customize their classes and set up how their main page looks for students when they click on their class. They are able to decide how they want it set up to ensure that they can explain and help students locate where work is and what they need to do that day for class. Canvas also has a calendar feature built into the system, allowing students to look ahead to when quizzes or tests may be.

However, despite these “improvements”, students and teachers are still struggling with the interface.

“Yeah MCPS Classroom is a joke, especially for using their own website over a better more well known platform for what? Money?” senior Thomas Byrnes said.

The difference between the two systems, Google Classroom and Canvas, is that Google Classroom was connected to Google Drive. This made it easier for students to be able to access their work. Students also have access to the gradebook for their classes and can see if they have any work missing, not graded or what assignments are coming up for their class ahead of time.

“Canvas has caused a considerable amount of confusion and stress because of Canvas’ poor interface. Canvas also doesn’t even sync up with Synergy either,” senior Marcos Gregorio said.