Utilizing Cloud Storage to Enhance your Canvas Experience


Several types of Cirrus clouds.

Several types of Cirrus clouds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case you missed it, the organization I work for has implemented Canvas as our LMS as of July 1.  One of the things we have changed is how we are recommending you to store content in your course(s).  The reason for this is many, many users had files that required in excess of 5 GB of storage.  And as more and more teachers begin to embrace rich content in their course(s) space requirements began to soar.

As you begin populating your Canvas course(s) you will notice you have a  space limitation.  That limit is 500 MB of storage PER COURSE.  Additionally, each USER (student or teacher) has a PERSONAL capacity of 50MB of storage.  The main culprit of rampant storage needs is VIDEOS.  One video can take up your entire storage capacity.  The reason for storing videos on your account is that many can not access YouTube from the classroom.  Also remember another issue could be bandwidth usage.  If all your students try to access a video file at the same time, your bandwidth might be throttled and it might not play well.  While that can be problematic, you can always use OTHER offsite cloud storage facilities.  And please remember, check the copyright status of ALL VIDEOS you download from ANY SITE.  Just because it is on YouTube does NOT mean it is there legally.  Here are a couple of alternatives to help you continue to use videos in your course without having to store them in your Canvas account.

1.  Consider using FREE cloud storage sites.  Place like Google Docs (15 GB FREE), Microsoft Sky Drive (7 GB Free), Box (10 GB FREE), and DropBox (up to 5GB FREE) gives you the ability to store your content, manage who can access it, and link it into your Canvas course.  One benefit is that if you need to update your content, just make the change on your computer, ti syncs to the cloud storage facility, and is automatically updated in your Canvas course(s).

2.  Consider uploading your video files to your school’s intranet.  You can create a link to that file, and it is not having to go outside to connect.  Plus, it might not eat as much bandwidth.

3.  Consider showing the video to the class from your computer.  Again, if you have 20 students in your classroom, the odds of the file playing properly are diminished greatly, not to mention the noise problems if each student does not have headphones.

4.  Keep in mind that your Canvas course(s) can be accessed OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM.  This means that any site restrictions you have in the classroom should not happen.  Most kids today have a smart phone. Canvas has apps for iOS and Android.  So kids can access the content away from the classroom.

Please consider these options as a way to continue to use rich content in your course(s) without bogging down your storage capacity.  If you have any other questions, please email me.

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3 thoughts on “Utilizing Cloud Storage to Enhance your Canvas Experience

  1. Pingback: Reasons to use Google Drive in your Online Classroom | MDE Canvas Support

  2. Pingback: Reasons to use Google Drive in your Online Classroom | Craig's Tech Blog

  3. There are many benefits to using cloud storage, most notable is file accessibility. Files stored in the cloud can be accessed at any time from any place so long as you have Internet access. Another benefit is that cloud storage provides organizations with off-site (remote) backups of data which reduces costs associated with disaster recovery.

    Free Online Data Backup Services

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