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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

CA Distance Learning Cooperative

What is Canvas?

The Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) is an all-inclusive, digital teaching and learning tool. It provides a familiar space for teachers to create and deliver content and for students to access coursework and grades when in or outside of school hours.
The Canvas Learning Management
Alfred Miller
Alfred Miller, CTE Teacher & Instructional Designer
Berkeley Adult School

Power of Canvas
in the Classroom

How does Canvas benefit adult learners?

  1. Accessibility: Canvas supports a range of assistive devices & enables UDL in an online environment.
  2. Flexibility: Web-based and can be connected with a mobile app anytime, anywhere with an internet connection and a supported web browser.
  3. Digital literacy: Students use technology within their coursework using a variety of applications thus improving their digital literacy.
  4. Alignment to higher education: TK-12 & Community Colleges throughout California use Canvas.
Ute Maschke
Ute Maschke, Manager
East Region Adult Education

Digital Literacy, Flexibility
& Educator Commons

How does Canvas benefit instruction?

  1. Accessibility: Scalable delivery to learners on any device, in 33 languages, and in alignment with WCAG 2.0AA and US Section 508 standards.
  2. Flexibility: Canvas LMS connects with the most Application Programming Interfaces (API) and integrates with many other tools like Google and Microsoft.
  3. Learning made Personal: Canvas allows easy, interactive differentiation for every student.
  4. Community of Learners: Teachers and administrators can share content, assessments, and even entire courses through an exclusive CDLC Commons: repository built by participants.
Thomas Reid
Thomas Reid, Principal
Berkeley Adult School

Accessibility & Curriculum Consistency with Canvas

What is the CA Distance Learning Cooperative? (CDLC)

The CDLC in partnership with OTAN provides low cost access to the Canvas LMS and instructional and administrative cost-free professional development. Any California Adult Education agency may participate in the CDLC. View additional information about the benefits of the CDLC and Canvas.
Jaemi Naesh
Jaemi Naesh, Director
Tamalpais Adult School

Piloting Canvas

What is the process and costs to join the CDLC?

What are the initial and recurring costs?

What is the process for renewal or to sign up?

OTAN pays for all initial and recurring costs of all Agency Canvas licenses for fiscal year 2024-25 and 2025-26.

The MOU outlines the fee structure as if the agency were paying for all license costs. These costs will be waived upon the approval of a fully funded OTAN contract for the next grant cycle by the California Department of Education.

While OTAN anticipates this arrangement to be ongoing, renegotiation with CDE will take place every two years.

Recurring Costs

While in past years each agency was invoiced for additional licenses over 50, with our 2024-25 MOU, OTAN will be paying for all licenses.

When your agency completes the MOU, indicate how many licenses your agency requests for 2024-25.

If your agency requests more than 100 new licenses, provide a rationale for this increase.

OTAN reserves the right to reallocate unused licenses. It is our intention to be good stewards of our public funds and be sure we are actively using and benefiting from the Canvas LMS.

All new licenses will be available as of July 1, 2024, provided an Agency’s 2024-25 MOU is on file with OTAN.

Whether renewing or signing up for the CDLC for the first time, the 2024-25 MOU is now designated as evergreen, meaning, once processed, it will remain in effect for five years or until either your agency or OTAN opts not to renew it.


The 2024-25 MOU, with renewal information, will be emailed to all renewing agencies in the spring. Agencies will be asked to confirm how many licenses they need. Agencies can maintain the same number of licenses as the prior year, or if an agency requests more than 100 new licenses, a rationale is requested.

New to the CDLC

The process to join the CDLC occurs by selecting the Join Canvas button at the top of this page. An agency’s administrator must be a part of this process.

Your agency will be asked to provide several names identifying people in your agency who will assist with making Canvas work.

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Onboarding Process & Online Support 

There are two phases to implementing Canvas within an agency. The first phase is onboarding where an agency constructs their Canvas Instance (environment). The second phase is instructional and intended for people using Canvas to either upload courses from Canvas Commons, a curricular adoption or create their own courses. Each phase is supported by OTAN in partnership with Instructure. For more information about the onboarding process, click this link.
CDLC members receive 24/7 online support as well as cost-free access to a Training Portal which offers instruction on a wide variety of topics to further support each administrator/Canvas lead. Additionally, OTAN offers smaller reviews and refresher courses, online with a Canvas practitioner, as well as Q&A sessions monthly. To view OTAN’s calendar:
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.