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Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas by Instructure Logo

Canvas is the Learning Management System used by students in grades K-12 in the Penn Hills School District. A learning management system (or LMS) is a software-based platform that provides a framework and tools to help students learn both inside and outside of the classroom.

Canvas integrates assessments, grading, state standards, messaging, learning data, and more—all while keeping things simple, easy, and all in one place. Canvas was chosen as our Learning Management System by a team of administrators and teachers due to its wide range of user-friendly tools for teachers, students, and parents. Canvas enables our teachers and students to make better use of their 1:1 technology.

The system not only engages students both inside and outside of the classroom, but it also allows parents to participate in their children's education by providing access to important class information.

Create a Parent Observer Account

Families can view their student's course content and progress by creating a Canvas Observer Account. If you have multiple students, you can link all your students under a single Observer account.

Get Started

Animated GIF showing link to create a Canvas Observer Account
  • First, your student must log in to Canvas on a computer (not a mobile device) and generate a pairing code. View a tutorial of how to generate a code for a parent observer account.
  • The student must be enrolled in courses before you can sign up to observe the student. (Wait until after the first day of school.)
  • Once you have the pairing code, you can create your account. Go to https://phsd.instructure.com/login/canvas and click the link Click Here for an Account.
  • When using the Parent App (iOS and Android), search for Penn Hills School District

Canvas Observer Account Explained

As an observer, you will have limited permissions that allow you to see what is going on in a course without interrupting or participating in the course. You can:

  • See the calendar 
  • See the modules page 
  • View course announcements 
  • Preview documents in course pages 
  • See Quiz titles
  • See Canvas grades and assignment due dates
  • Access conversations in the Inbox

Canvas Observer Guide

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