Canvas has many nice features, such as the preview pane for document files and the HTML embed capability in the Rich Content Editor (RCE). Google Drive makes it easy to share live or dynamic documents that can be continually updated. Combine these two qualities and you have a dynamic duo, with live Google documents displaying in your Canvas courses.
Dynamic (aka live) documents in Canvas can be a timesaver for instructors, due to the nature of the live document and its ability to instantly display your edits. Edit your Google Document once, such as your syllabus, and it immediately updates everywhere you have placed it in Canvas. Canvas can also display other dynamic document types that have been created in Google, including Drawings and Presentations (slide shows), etc. Student viewing of these documents is simplified because Google Drive provides secured site storage, so your files loading in Canvas won’t trigger the mixed content blockage with a browser security shield. A dynamic Google Document can be linked to in a module or anywhere the RCE exists in Canvas.
This dynamic duo can also come to the rescue if your Word documents, PowerPoints, or PDF files aren’t displaying well in the default Canvas preview. You can simply upload those files to Google Drive and harness that to display your files in the Canvas preview pane instead. These uploaded document files would not be live documents like those created in Google until you edit and convert them to Google documents.
If you’d like to give this a try, click to view one of the documents below, or use the links in the left sidebar under Canvas to access the live Google Document with the directions.