Announcements are sent to the entire course and can not be restricted to a section or particular student. A message can sent to a course member, set of course members, section, group or the entire course. See the chart below for a quick comparison.
|Message Location||Within Canvas course shell||Within Canvas; Outside of course shell|
|Notifications||ASAP, by default||ASAP, by default|
|Can the whole class see the message?||Yes||No, only intended recipients|
|Can be deleted?||Yes (can't retract email notification)||Only from your view|
|Rich Text Editor||Yes||No|
|Can students respond?||Yes/No - instructor can restrict students from responding||Yes|
|Multiple Attachments||No, but can embed multiple downloadable files||Yes|
|Draft mode||Yes - delay posting (can edit up until the post date and time)||No|
To create an announcement, follow the steps in Canvas's How do I make an Announcement in a course? guide.
To send a message to your students, please see How do I send a message in Conversations? for step-by-step instructions and screenshots.