Instructure will perform its monthly release of new features to Canvas on Saturday, August 17. This month’s feature release is going to affect both Canvas Conferences and the Course Card dashboard organization by providing some enhanced features to each without inherently changing them in a significant way.
Canvas provides new features to all of it users on the third Saturday of every month, without interrupting access to the system. More information about how Canvas releases work can be found here.
Use UnSplash to Easily add Photos to your Course
Earlier in the Summer, Instructure stopped using Flickr as a provider of Creative Commons images within your Canvas Courses. Now, the image search function is provided by UnSplash, a consolidator of free images, all of which are safe to view for all audiences. So, you no longer need to worry about the appropriateness of images in your Canvas course, especially in those moments when you may be building on the fly in front of your students. :)
While UnSplash has been available as a way to embed images in the Canvas Rich Content Editor for several weeks, beginning on August 17, users will be able to access UnSplash to add custom images to their Canvas Course Cards on their dashboard. To do this, visit the Settings menu within your Canvas Course, then at the top of the Course Details tab, you will see an option to Choose image. After clicking on the button to choose an image, you will be given the option to either upload an image from your computer or choose one from UnSplash. Adding an image to your Course Card can allow you to personalize your course and make it stand out on your students’ dashboard while also providing them with a preview of what they will learn in the course.
Updates to Canvas Conferences
Canvas Conferences is also gaining a few new features in August! These are the latest in a string of enhancements to this tool for online conferencing—it is now mobile browser compatible, can allow for call-ins, and will accommodate participants from outside the class. Beginning August 17, Conferences will also allow for the setup of breakout rooms within the conference and for a stenographer to provide captions in the moment for added accessibility.