On July 31, 2021, Canvas SMS notifications for Announcements and Grading reached their end of life. Students used to be able to get a text message to their mobile phone when an announcement or grade was posted. Some instructors encourage students to turn these notifications on as a way to help them keep up with course happenings and check for grading feedback. But SMS notifications no longer work.

So now what? Students still need reminders!

Email or push notifications via app

Canvas still sends notifications for Announcements, Grades, and many other events. Users have the choice of getting email notifications or push notifications to a mobile device via the Canvas Teacher or Canvas Student apps. Users can also override account notification preferences by customizing notifications for a specific course. Faculty can encourage students who own a smartphone or tablet to install the Canvas Student app and enable the appropriate push notifications.

Here are some helpful links for you and your students:


What about students who don’t have a smartphone or tablet and still want to get reminders via SMS text message? Consider setting up a free account with Remind.com. You can create up to 10 classes on a free account – enough for any semester. Remind lets you invite students into a text group that keeps all of the phone numbers anonymous. When students opt to join (either on their own or you enter their phone numbers) you can message them individually or as a group. You can also schedule when the texts go out. There is a free mobile app (not required, but handy if you want to communicate while away from your computer). You can sign in with Google so you don’t need to create yet another username and password.

Once you create a Remind account, here is the basic process to set up Remind for one of your classes:

Use what works

We recommend surveying or checking in with your students about their communication needs and preferences at the start of the semester. Then use this information to support your students in the way that works best for you and for them.

For the curious, more information about this change:

Shared by: