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June 16, 2015 Previous day Next day

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Every good Jazz Hand Dancer knows that all 5 fingers are crucial to your success.  All That Jazz: Canvas Essentials presenter Leslie Stark summarized her session today by emphasizing the 5 ESSENTIAL areas that need your attention when building a Canvas Course:  Pages, Discussions, Quizzes, Assignments and Modules.

IMG_0063.JPGSee her session updates and check out all the template resources she shared in this workshop. Get Your Essentials!

Last night (or more accurately, very early in the morning), I was thinking about why we do what we do as employees at Canvas. I can't speak for everyone at Instructure, but I can probably speak for a good majority of them. I used to work in an industry where I felt like my job really didn't matter, where people were completely consumed with their own achievements and more or less lived in an isolated bubble. I realize not everyone agreed with my philosophy, but I was just grateful to have a job. When I was lucky enough to land a place with Instructure, my whole world brightened and for the first time I felt like my work mattered to people—that it mattered to me. I love coming to InstructureCon so I can get to meet people in real life, not just on Twitter or in the Community (Kona Jones I'm looking at you). InstructureCon also creates a palpable atmosphere that can't be experienced or re-created anywhere else. Our customers are our heroes; what we are doing is literally changing the world and making a difference in education. What we do matters. What we do—together—matters. And coming to work every day is a privilege for me. To our customers, thank you for trusting Canvas in assisting with your educational pursuits. I love being a part of what you do.

Chris Long

#JoshCoates Keynote Bingo

Posted by Chris Long Jun 16, 2015

Let's face it JOSH COATES always delivers an awesome keynote, but you know what might make it even more b-e-t-t-e-r?

 

Play #joshcoates #instcon #bingo.

 

Everyone has the same card so pay attention and yell BINGO when he utters that last word. Here's the official unofficial keynote playing card. I have a limited number of printouts if you see me before 6:30, ask me for one. (thanks to Kona Jones Adam Williams James Kocher and Gerol Petruzella for your creative contributions)!

 

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LENAYA HOGAN

Preconference Funk

Posted by LENAYA HOGAN Jun 16, 2015

Taking this opportunity to explore park city before the main event!  Picked out some souvenirs on Main street, had lunch a Draft meeting some fun peeps, che ked out the gondola view, and met some awesome canvas employees.  Getting ready to go meet the vendors and take in the scenic view!  Let the good times roll!!

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How many Minnesotans are at InstCon?!

 

Let's start a conversation here. It would be great to connect.

Looks like a panda-rific forecast for InstructureCon 2015!

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Hey google heads,

Looks like these are the sessions that will discus google apps in some way.

 

WEDNESDAY

 

> 10:15 - 10:45 AM

Location: HYATT:ESCALANTE

Teaching With Video In Canvas

 

> 10:15 - 10:45 AM

Location: SILVERADO:SILVERADO 1

Course Setup Using Google Docs and the Canvas API

 

> 4:15 - 4:45

Location: SILVERADO: SILVERADO 1

Course Analysis Tool

 

 

THURSDAY

 

> 11:00 - 11:30 AM

Location: WESTGATE:BISON 3-5

Canvas & Google Apps - The Dynamic Duo

 

> 2:30 - 3:00 PM

Location: Bobcat

The Golden Ticket to eCommunication: Google Hangouts

 

>3:15 - 3:45 PM

Location: WESTGATE: BISON 3-5

Cool Lessons for Cool Kids

 

> 3:15 - 3:45

Location: GRAND SUMMIT: WHITE PINE
Cool Tools for Canvas

 

> 4:15 - 5:45 PM

Location: SILVERADO: SILVERADO 1

Course Analysis Tool

 

> 5:00 - 5:30 PM

Location: WESTGATE:BISON 3-5

Templates, Themes, and All That Jazz!

 

 

 

Thank you: Michelle Lattke, Justin McCutcheonJosh Blumberg, Krista LeBrun, Diane Woodard, Janet Hurn, Leslie Ceballos, Justin Ball

Sarah Smith-Robbins

B-Schools! Bravo!

Posted by Sarah Smith-Robbins Jun 16, 2015

If you've never had the pleasure of working within a Business school, it may be tough to imagine just how different things can be in that building across campus. Today's Business School Roundtable session (pre-conference) was, if nothing else, comforting to me. To be surrounded by folks from various schools who had all had that "But things in the Business School are different"- moment was awesome. Whether it's accommodating the strange schedules of executive ed programs or trying to figure out how to ensure that case discussions are more than just regurgitating the same-ol-same-old responses, the pedagogy in a Business school can be a different kind of beast. Comparing experiences both positive and negative is such a valuable part of helping us all make the learning experiences of our students just that little bit better. It was worth the flight from Indiana just to be among my peeps!

Can't get enough mobile? Missed the Get Your Mobile on the Dance Floor pre-con session? Wanted to attend the session but couldn't? Have some insights to share about mobile? Or, just wanna chat it up with these mobile guys?

 

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Ryan Seilhamer and Luke Bennett will be at the Grand Summit - White Pine room from 2:30-3:30pm TODAY talking all-things mobile.

 

Come one, come all! impromptusession

 

 

MEET THE COMMUNITY TEAM (instcon15)

 

At least two members of the The specified item was not found. will be on-site at any time.  Find them wandering around and take a selfie to earn 20 points and a super exclusive badge!  To earn your badge post your selfie to MEET THE COMMUNITY TEAM (instcon15)

 

Where will we pop up next?  Follow this post and we just may tell you...

 

Karli Woolley earned her badge!!!!

Shauna Vorkink

Group Party

Posted by Shauna Vorkink Employee Jun 16, 2015

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HOLLY WILLIAMS and Sharon Klahn along with 7 other colleagues from Duneland School Corporation attended the All That Jazz: Canvas Essentials.  Some of them have been using Canvas previously and others are new!  They all agreed that it was a great way to start a discussion on how they are using Canvas. Some have relied on Quizzes and Discussions, others on Modules and Assignments.  They are excited to go tie it all together and take their courses to the next level.

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Shauna Vorkink

Fabulous Foundation!

Posted by Shauna Vorkink Employee Jun 16, 2015

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Robin Bagent and Dawn Wendland from the College of Southern Idaho attended the PreCon Session, All That Jazz: Canvas Essentials. They agree it was a Fabulous Foundation and as Brand New Canvas users emphasized, "So Much to Learn and So Little Time!"

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They are making the most of their InstructureCon time by attending both preconference workshops today

Hi, my name is Q. Wade Billings and I am the Sr. Director, Global IT Shared Services for Instructure. In other words, I am the guy, who along with his amazing team, stresses nonstop about the performance, availability, and security of the services that Instructure offers to our 1500+ customers.

 

This year will be my second InstructureCon, but it will be my first where I feel like I have something valuable to offer to our amazing customers and users. Last year, I was in learning/sponge mode trying to attend all of the sessions I could in order to learn why our customers have an almost fanatical relationship with us.

 

What I learned last year was that the fanatical relationship flowed BOTH ways, and that everyone in attendance was obsessively focused on making education better, engaging, and more fun.

 

So this year in order to get even more out of this unique opportunity, I am resolving to do some things differently.

 

This year, I promise to:

 

- Listen more than I speak

- Seek out impromptu opportunities to engage with our customers and learn about how they are using our services

- Reinforce that we love and cherish our customer's data more than they do

- Dance

- Thank my fellow Instructure teammates at every opportunity for their hard work and dedication to putting on an amazing user conference

- Brag about my amazing team, who work tirelessly to ensure that Instructure's services are performant, available and secure

- Form calluses on my hand from all the hand shaking I plan on doing this year

 

I am very excited for the next three days and I expect that when all is said and done, we will all come away from the conference even more excited and dedicated than we already are to the pursuit of making education accessible, available, and engaging for the life-long learners we serve and support.

 

Student Centered Learning, forevah!!!!

I Dreamed a Dream: Creative Creation in Canvas

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Jeremy Perkins Started the session sharing his dream - Easy creation of beautiful content that does not involve html - Per Les Miserables, some dreams cannot be.

 

However, Jeremy has shared some simple tips to make beautiful creation easier using simple html, Canvas Style Guides, and LTIs (or External Tools).

 

As I sit in the back of the room I see excited Canvas uses of all levels and abilities that are comfortably toggling between the rich content editor and html editor to modify and manipulate the look and feel of a content page.  The greatest takeaway is to get connected in the Canvas LMS Community and keep learning together.  Join the Instructional Designers group to connect with like minds!

 

I'm hoping Jeremy will create a blog post sharing his custom worksheet developed using the style guide!  It allows for immediate response as students interact with content - so cool!!!

Charlie is the audio-video tech guy in Silverado 2. And a self proclaimed 'vidiot'.

 

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He (like many of the room techs) gets to see me running around the Canyons during pre-con, as I make sure our pre-con presenters (and attendees) have everything they need to deliver successful sessions.

 

When I asked him "What are some tips we should share with presenters to turn them into rockstars?" he said one thing: "Come to your session 10 minutes early to get your mic on." Apparently, many presenters aren't used to sporting the lavalier on a regular basis... and putting on the mic on early gives them a chance to acclimate to the foreign object by their face and get mentally and physically prepared to deliver their arias and solos.

 

So, to all session presenters... listen to Charlie!

 

 

This is my fifth InstuctureCon.  Each one has been better than the last. This one promises to be the best so far. I look back at all the things I have learned at these events and I am really thankful that I have been able to attend. I get excited every January when the announcement comes out, I try to book within the first week of the official announcement.  \

I hope that everyone can be as enthusiastic as I am about this conference

in_sl_webinar1_2.jpgBack in June of 2003 I was excited.  Soon I would start my first full time position at Lower Columbia College in Washington State as an IT Technician working to install Smart brand boards and other technology paid for by a federal grant.  Among the new technologies was our first "Course Management System."  Nobody at the college really knew what a CMS was, other than that the guy who wrote the grant application has seen something called Blackboard and wrote funding for it into the grant application.  We didn't end up going with Bb but instead contracted with a little company out of Indiana called Angel Learning.

 

We got ANGEL up and running on a shiny new server in IT and I went off to IUPUI for summer camp.  Some awesome people at Angel helped me get started, guys like Phil Miller and Steve Brunner.  I was like Jasmine in a whole new world.

 

But after I returned from Indiana and we convinced a few brave nursing instructors to venture forth into online learning, I was mostly on my own.  I pored through the manuals and emailed back and forth with a few friends from previous IT gigs but was mostly in the dark and feeling a lot of pressure to excel at a job I didn't really understand.  Then I found the ANGEL-L listserv and my world started to expand.  You could ask a question and quickly get back 4-5 responses from really helpful people - not just point and click or How do I... questions but also bigger policy and strategy questions.  Over time I wanted to become one of these helpful people - People like Rick Murch-Shafer.  When I got to go to conferences and meet them face to face I felt like I was seeing celebrities and my heroes.

 

Flash forward a few years... ANGEL my trusted friend and first LMS was reaching the end of its life.  We were sad, tired, and a bit demoralized.  Wandering the halls of a technology conference in Las Vegas in 2011 I met Canvas for the first time.  As soon as I could I was up in my room, trying to learn all that I could.  In the coming weeks I would try to read every post and comment in the Canvas Community.  It was like the listserv from the old days, only better.  The site was easier to use.  I found the same caliber of helpful people, like Matt McGhie and Jason Gilbert who called me one day out of the blue to help me work through a problem. Going to Instcon later that summer in Snowbird I met many people who genuinely wanted to help us get started and become friends.

 

Now, four conferences later, we are rolling out a new community platform.  This is tremendously exciting, scary and, so far, a joyful experience.  I hope that many people who are themselves just starting out find friends and help in the Canvas Community like I did years ago.

Gathering in the Grand Summit for pre-conference fun, InstructureCon first-timers and returners alike had the chance to hear from Kenneth Larsen and Travis N. Thurston about how we at the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction at Utah State University use the Canvas API. Those in in attendance were able to view examples of the API uses and how USU utilizes this powerful tool daily. Kenneth and Travis started out with an introduction to the API by asking who has put it to use and how it has helped their processes. From there the discussion moved to the instances of Canvas (test, beta & production) that can be utilized in congruence with the API. There are two more sessions of this workshop today and if you're set to attend be prepared for some hands-on work and a great conversation about what makes the API so powerful when used with the amazingness that is Canvas! Come knowing your Canvas domain URL information and your JSON converter added to your Firefox or Chrome browser.

Don't forget to snap your sneakyselfieswithkenneth while you're here! Also, once the pre-conference sessions are over the page dedicated to those workshops will be available to all conference goers.

See you soon!

Erin

 

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Shauna Vorkink

All That Jazz!

Posted by Shauna Vorkink Employee Jun 16, 2015

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Awesome jazziness shared in the Canvas Essentials Pre-Con workshop today.  Have you ever wondered why your table columns seem to auto size themselves and throw all your formatting design out the window?  Stress no more - we have a move for you.  After creating your table click inside the table somewhere, then click on the table icon in the RCE. Select cell properties and assign it a percentage (%) value.  5 columns evenly spaced = 20% each

 

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Leslie Stark teaching in action.  Find her and check out all the materials she is sharing today - All That Jazz: Canvas Essentials

I've been walking in and out of pre-conference sessions and WOW - so much goodness happening here! Sitting in the Spoonful of Sugar Helps Canvas Go Down: Adoption Strategies right now and they are sharing things like "Four easy steps to help in the adoption of Canvas". Mindy Hintze and Agnes Chiao are offering strategies on ways to implement Canvas on your campus and effectively increase adoption.

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Interested in learning about these 4 steps and more? Connect with the presenters by reaching out to these ladies, personally (you can @mention or follow them in the community). Or, click on the session Spoonful of Sugar Helps Canvas Go Down: Adoption Strategies page on Wednesday where the conversations and resources related to this session will be open to everyone and active.

 

Oh, yeah... there's also this great group -- be sure to join: Canvas User Engagement for more good stuff!

 

julian@instructure.com

And I'm here

Posted by julian@instructure.com Employee Jun 16, 2015

IMG_0066.JPGOkay, so.....lets be transparent! I work for one of the best companies on the planet. Yup, I work for Instructure.

 

My name is Julian and I am the "Open Education Evangelist" (Best job title eva right!) based out of the Instructure Sydney office. I bet you didn't even know we had an office there.

 

This is my second Instructurecon and I can't wait to catch up with everyone and her their stories. This year we have more international attendees than ever before and it is really adding to the fantastic community through the sharing of even more diverse challenges and awesome achievements from teachers from around the globe.

 

So, if you want to chat with an Open Education Junkie, want to hear stories from Canvas use in the Land of Oz or maybe just want some TimTams (limited amounts) then track me down. Can't wait to catch up with you all.

 

See you around the con!

 

JR

For those of you who have been paying attention to Twitter in the recent months you have noticed a new trend to compliment instcon , that is sneakyselfieswithkenneth ! Those of use working in Academic and Instructional Services at Utah State University were looking for a way to recognize our amazing co-worker, Kenneth Larsen, and I think we found the best way to do that! Kenneth is awesome to work with and as soon as you meet him you will wish you were the one sitting next to him every day. Not only is he the creator of USU Design Tools, aka Kennethware, but he is so generous with his knowledge - he is always willing to help!

So, here we are at InstructureCon and we want you to get to know Kenneth! So, go say hi and take a selfie, sneakily or otherwise. You will be met with a big smile and a 'Hello!' from Kenneth.

To get a successful sneaky selfie with Kenneth you want to make sure Kenneth is in the photo. Then make sure you're in the photo - we want to see you, too! Then head to Twitter and use the hashtag sneakyselfieswithkenneth - and don't forget to also tag InstructureCon by using instcon !

Kenneth will be all over this conference, so say, 'Hi!' and get to know Kenneth!

Happy InstructureCon!!

 

Erin

 

Kenneth Larsen

Travis N. Thurston

 

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bb3ec0f02f32a0719d1084ebb121a516.jpgWhat makes someone keep coming back to a conference?

 

I've been thinking about this question lately, since 2015 marks my 4th InstructureCon. I work in academic technology at a small public liberal arts college in the Northeast; and like the rest of us, I'm sure, I see plenty of different conferences throughout the year which I could attend. And I do attend others; yet I always reserve a week in June for The Con (and as a member of various geeky fandoms, I smile every time I refer to it as The Con... :-)

 

Anyway, four years in, I have to ask myself: am I in a rut? am I getting complacent? is the lure of the familiar outweighing the chance to branch out?

 

I think I've figured out what keeps me coming back. It's a 3-tiered answer:

 

1. The foundation of everything that follows: Canvas is a great piece of software. Sure, I mix it up in the Canvas Community debating various features (and the lack of other features) just as much as anybody; but at the end of the day, I use Canvas daily as an admin, an instructional designer, and a faculty member. And on all three counts, Canvas rocks.

 

2. So we have this great software. That and $6.50 will get you a mocha at Starbucks, right? But the people at Instructure have fostered a community. Like, that's been part of their mission or something. And Canvas users grok that. There are few things as soul-sucking as wandering a conference in bleak anonymity. Now take a look around InstCon - not just the physical space, but the groups  and conversations on social media. We've built a shared set of experiences that let us connect on a human level - a culture.

 

3. Not all cultures are the same, of course. The defining feature I see in Canvas culture: openness. I'm a mega fan of open/free (harking back to Richard Stallman), and it's gratifying to see "open [thing]" becoming mainstream in edu! Instructure made a conscious decision to make "open" a core part of their ethos, and this has attracted and encouraged many of us to take that standard as our default. The forthcoming Canvas Commons is just one (pretty awesome) example of this decision in action. But we don't stand around waiting for Instructure to open up resources: so many of us - IDs, faculty, admins - form our local networks of sharing, and these often blossom out and include the broader community.

 

So why do I come back? The great software is a solid foundation. What we (the good peeps at Instructure AND the users) have built on it is a human community, characterized by a commitment to open sharing and development. Whether you're a teacher or a techie, there's something about this that sets it apart from the generic "conference experience". And as many of us are making the case for connectedness and community as integral parts of education, it only makes sense that I'd keep coming back here. We need more of this. Being part of InstCon, and the crazy awesome Canvas community, is one way I can help.

Due to a 2 hour time difference, I am awake at 5:30am Utah time.   As I look forward to my first InstructureCon, I wonder if there can be a focus on newbies like myself for future conferences? Here are a few thoughts I've had about how InstructureCon can help first timers.

 

1. A meet and greet hour:  Maybe I speak for myself, but I am excited about this conference, but really have no idea what to expect. I think it would be cool if all first-timers could get together and share our expectations, excitement, uncertainties, etc.

2. A tips session:  I know some of you are pros out there (I'm talking about you Kona Jones and Chris Long). I would love to have tips, tricks, and insights from those who have Attendee+Button.png

I also think there should be an early-arrivers hang out space as well. It may be small but for those of us who arrive early to mid-day on Monday, it would be cool to meet as a small group. Perhaps the early-arrivers could do a group trip to Park City or SLC for shopping, sightseeing, and good eats.

 

But then again, what do I know? I'm just a n00b.

Matthew Jennings

What is community?

Posted by Matthew Jennings Jun 16, 2015

As I sit in the airport waiting on my flight to InstructureCon 2015 I am reflecting on what it is to be a community. I think many people never stop to think about this in the busy day to day of life.

 

Looking around this terminal at this early hour I see many families or friends chatting. Strangers striking up conversations about baseball or current events. Others are sitting eating breakfast.

 

Is this a community?

 

In education, we tend to think of community as the class or cohort of students, maybe even the faculty or overall campus community. My favorite community though is this community. The Canvas community.

 

I get asked a lot about what I like so much about canvas and what makes it a better LMS. The simple answer is this community!

 

I have met so many people all over the country that are some of the most helpful, friendliest and smartest people. If you have participated much in the community, you need too! You will meet people like Kona Jones, Jordan Dayton, and Scott Dennis. I have also been able to connect via Twitter to many Canvas users that I am excited to actually get to meet and have a conversation with more than 140 characters.

 

As we start to gather in Park City, make that connection. Start a conversation at dinner. Ask a question at HACK NIGHT (instcon15). Play a game at GAME NIGHT (instcon15). Meet your community.

The alarm went off at 3:15 this morning. InstCon 15, here I come. Emily Beckman and I are currently at MSP headed to DEN...then onto SLC. We will be there in time for the 3rd and 4th Pre-Cobference sessions. I'm excited to network and collaborate with others in the K-12 realm who love tech. Here we go!!

USU Design Tools

Be prepared to hear the term "kennethware" used not only in conversations, but also in many presentations at InstructureCon 2015. If you don't already know, Kennethware is the project name for a product that Utah State University’s Center for Instructional Design Innovation (CIDI) developed called USU Design Tools. USU Design Tools is a set of tools for Canvas that provides an easy way to build out the module structure of a course including quizzes, discussions, assignments, syllabus, themes, and template pages. It significantly reduces the time it takes instructional designers or instructors to complete these tasks.

 

USU InstructureCon 2015 Presentations

In addition to the Design Tools, the team at USU is presenting on a variety of other innovative and interesting topics:

 

 

Two Challenges: Cards & Sneaky Selfies

In addition to the USU contingent that will be presenting at InstructureCon 2015, you can also talk to Travis N. Thurston, Elisa Taylor or Erin Wadsworth-Anderson to get your own Design Tools card, and learn more about USU Design Tools. Your challenge is to find Kenneth Larsen (creator of #Kennethware) and snap a sneaky selfie (like the one below), and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #SneakySelfieswithKenneth. The @UtahStateCIDI team will be picking our favorites and handing out digital awards.

 

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I can't believe this will be my fourth time at Instructure Con . Through the years I've attended lots of great sessions and learned some great things that I've been able to take back home and share with my colleagues. So as I looked through the session guide and saw Jordan Dayton's tweet about writing a blog post I took a moment to pause and reflect on what the best session at instcon15 will be.

 

I'm super excited about all of the keynote speakers and I'm a huge science geek so you might think my top pick would be the KEYNOTE by DEREK MULLER and I'm sure that is going to be great, but no that's not it! I'm also jazzed about the new Canvas Swag we will get and all the great meals that are sure to be waiting, but that won't last too long and even the awesome swag will fade away. So what is the BEST Session (that is not on the schedule)? You ready for it? Okay.. I'll let it roll. The best session is connecting with the people that go to #instcon. The first thing you should be thinking of when you make your schedule is when will I get to connect with some of the amazing people that have come to this conference! There will be plenty of opportunities, but you have to plan for them more diligently than you are planning what sessions you go to. If you need to miss a session to go take a walk or have a conversation with some people don't feel bad about it, do it! In the end all the sessions will be on YouTube so you won't really miss them, but what you will miss is making new connections and have great conversations about learning with your peers and Instructure peeps. Those authentic moments aren't YouTube-able so make those a priority this year! I know I will, and that is the session I'm looking forward to the most!

 

Here are some good networking opportunities for you to put on your to do list:

1) Sit by someone you don't know at meals and strike up a convo and exchange contact info.

2) Go to GAME NIGHT

3) Do something totally and unexpectedly nice for someone else every day!

4) Come to the the free unconference on Tuesday, where things will be much more interactive and collaborative.

5) Share your best tips in the comments or write a blog post of your own.

6) Take a sneakyselfieswithkenneth

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At InstructureCon 2014, Canvas reached out to some Instructional Designers to join Hack Night for support with integrating Open Educational Resources into courses.  This year, Instructure will move from dipping a toe in the water to diving in the deep end as you hear all about Canvas Commons  Not only are there two great sessions on Wednesday discussing different layers of Commons, there will also be an OER Canvas Commons table at COURSE HACK NIGHT (instcon15)!  Come collaborate with us as we design courses without an expensive text.  Hear how OER makes an amazing impact on student success that goes far beyond the $$$ savings.

 

Reduce, Re-Use, and Re-Commons: Content Sharing with Commons

 

 

Canvas Commons, Collaboration, & Sustainable OER Adoption

SundialTent.pngFor those those who've attended InstructureCon before, you probably noticed the Keynotes and other General sessions are being held in the Sundial Tent and not the Forum. I know when I saw this I wondered if this tent was really a tent and decided to check it out the first chance I got. The tent wasn't too hard to find - in the middle of four of the conference hotels - and looked huge from the outside. They were still setting up when I was there, but a very nice gentleman allowed me a quick sneak peak inside.

 

Inside the tent it seemed even bigger than from the outside and there were huge screens up front and then rows and rows and rows of chairs. I asked some of the people who were setting up and they said the tent had seating for 2,000! Yes, 2,000! It doesn't have the ambiance of the Forum, but it will protect us from the elements (namely the heat and possible rain this year) and would have been hugely appreciated last year when it snowed! Overall it seems that Instructure is upping their InstructureCon game and I'm looking forward to seeing this placed filled to capacity and rocking!

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Or to be more precise, a clack of thunder!

 

Those of us here early experienced some of the same varying and powerful weather that brought the famous snow last year. The astonishingly close bolts of lightning and torrential rain that hit repeatedly this afternoon seem to be an apt representation of the energy and excitement surrounding InstructureCon, from what I've seen on the Canvas Community and Twitter. Not to mention the enthusiastic reports of previous InstructureCons I heard from the Canvas team in London.

 

This is my first InstructureCon and though it's not quite begun yet, I'm already suffering from the FOMO that David Lyons mentioned. There are so many sessions I'd like to attend, and too many that overlap. So if we meet, please take a moment to let me know which speakers and sessions are on your do-not-miss list!

 

Even more than the informative sessions I'm most looking forward to talking to other Canvas and education enthusiasts who are just as passionate about learning and getting others excited about their education as well. I'm counting on the great community that's built up online being just as friendly and helpful in person!

Robin Bagent

Hello from a newbie

Posted by Robin Bagent Jun 15, 2015

As a newbie (we signed our contract a couple weeks ago), I'm excited to attend my first InstructureCon. just reading through the schedule makes my head spin...in a good way. Pre-conference events start first thing tomorrow. So much to learn!!

David Lyons

Third Times the Charm

Posted by David Lyons Employee Jun 15, 2015

This will be my third InstructureCon but it will be my first as an employee. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

 

During a meeting with some of my new coworkers I said that InstructureCon causes severe FOMO but in the best possible way. FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) is normally not a good thing, but we get a special brand of it here. Everything is amazing which leaves you constantly wondering what other amazing things you're missing out on! "This session is amazing," you think, "I wonder how good that session I almost went to is." Or "this is a great discussion... but oh! What are they talking about over there?" Even the meals and mid day snacks will leave you wondering what tasty treats might have been, lest you risk gorging yourself!

 

My advice, as much a remind to myself as it is to anyone reading, is to revel in the moment. Engage. Be present. You can't possibly see it all, and that's okay! (Not just because all the sessions are recorded and available online later...) If you truly engage the people and things going on around you at the conference in the moment you'll get far more out of it then you will spending your time daydreaming about the session you could be sitting in.

 

See you at Josh's keynote. I wouldn't miss that one for the world.