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I've kind-of sort-of been writing the blog posts in order of events, and since I am getting to the end of my 30-blog-post plan, I want to write about the ending event of InstructureCon/InstructureCarn: the carnival itself! It really was a carnival, with rides and food and everything.


I loved it all, especially the performance by the acrobats. That was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in person, and thanks to a tip from  Biray Seitz , I got myself a seat right up front, in the second row. The whole performance was fabulous; there were acrobats and jugglers, and also a clown who was so sweet and charming; I'm not even a fan of clowns usually, but this guy was great: his moves, his music, it all was so funny in a way that made you just relax and feel good... which was important as a calm-down interlude between the acrobatics which made me literally hold my breath, especially the acrobat at the end who was performing on impossible stacks of rolling tubes that went higher and higher and higher until I couldn't even believe it anymore... but it was REAL, and I was there. It was incredible! Does anybody know the name of this troupe? I would love to link to their website here if anybody from Instructure has that information.  They came out and posed for pictures at the end of the performance, so here is a picture that I took:


screenshot of acrobat troupe


I remember during last year's InstructureCon when Credence Clearwater was playing, and I was listening to someone sharing the music remotely just using their phone as I was sitting on my couch at home; even my husband wanted to listen -- he couldn't believe it was CCR for real. Attending InstructureCon this year, I was thinking there would be cool stuff, but that nothing could top something like hearing Credence Clearwater in person... but these acrobats managed to hit the top for me. It was unforgettable, especially the juggler who was on next-to-last before the acrobat who was performing on the rolling tower of tubes. There was just something about that juggler who had me completely mesmerized, and I was thinking, what an incredible skill he has: he could be transported back in time to any culture in any era, and he would dazzle them with what he is able to do. He could probably be transported to alien civilizations on other planets and amaze them with his performance. It was spectacular.


I also have to include here the HUMAN CANNONBALL, which was also unforgettable. When I first showed up at the carnival, I couldn't help but notice the cannon: it was huge! And I asked an older gentleman who was setting it up if they were really going to shoot someone out of the cannon, and he said yes. So I did most of my wandering on that side of the carnival field, knowing that I didn't want to miss this; I had seen Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters getting shot out of cannons in cartoons... but a real person? in real life? As it turned out, I was standing with Sean Nufer right next to the net where he came down. It really was incredible to watch, and people captured it on video with their phones, like this video from Michelle Lebsock at Twitter -- I can't embed a Twitter video, but just click on the link to see the video at Twitter.


screenshot of tweet


When I went to write my "introduction post" for my class, this semester it was really cool to be able to include InstructureCon as a what-I-did-this-summer item, and I was able to embed that cannonball video in the blog post, yay! Because I enrolled myself as a student in the class (more about my #TotalCoLearner experiment), that means a lot of students will be reading my introduction post as the semester goes along (the students are all reading each other's introduction posts at random all semester long), so I hope that will add a fun new dimension to their perception of Canvas, and also inspire them to share their thoughts about Canvas with me over the course of the semester, knowing that I really am excited about what Canvas has brought to our school and how important it is to me as a teacher... and as a carnival-goer!

Laura Gibbs

25. Michelle and @ONE

Posted by Laura Gibbs Sep 1, 2018

You can see the embedded video here: Michelle Pacansky-Brock


* I'm typing the word on-line with a hyphen for reasons having to do with a tech problem at this platform; I know it looks weird, but otherwise the word disappears.


Now that I have figured out how to make use of the InstructureCon videos by embedding them in Canvas Pages (details), I wanted to share Michelle Pacansky-Brock's session, which is one I did not get to attend. Watching it via the video worked great! I am so impressed at how the video shows both Michelle speaking and also the media she used (slides, plus some video), and Michelle did a great job of repeating the questions at the end since the one thing the mic could not pick up was the audience questions. So, what I did was to make a Canvas Page with her video, and I'll include my main takeaways here in my blog post, just like I did for the sessions that I attended.


Here is the video Page I made, with my notes down below:

Video: Michelle Pacansky-Brock: InstCon Remote Control 


screenshot of MPB video


Both for those who were there and missed sessions (schedule conflicts, full rooms), and for those who were not able to attend, I highly recommend watching the videos, and maybe you will even want to share your thoughts in some Canvas Pages (here's how to embed) and/or Community blog posts of your own. :-)


Taming the Lion:
Innovative Practices for Supporting Canvas at a Large Scale


You can find the slides and other materials for this presentation at a site that Michelle created: 

#INSTCON 18: Taming the Lion 


We are on-line twins. I've often joked about Michelle and I being on-line twins who were separated a birth, and it really is true in so many ways: watching her introduction at opening of the video, I learned that she started teaching in 1999, which is the same for me, and we both fell madly in love with on-line teaching. Both of us decided to share all we were learning in the open, using all kinds of tools over the years, and that sharing is central to our learning, and it led to amazing things for both of us (the whole reason I ended up going to InstructureCon this year was because of a blog post I wrote and shared in Michelle's Reflective Writing Club this winter; details). "Sharing is central to my learning," she says, and now she is bringing the power of sharing to 60,000 faculty and 30,000 admins and staff in the California community college system. WOW.


California systems. After listening to this video I think I am finally starting to understand how the California system works. Michelle use to work at one of the CSUs (Channel Islands), and I know other people in the CSU system, and I also have on-line friends in the CCC, California community college system. Now Michelle is heading up this @ONE On-line Network of Educators which is a project of the community college system, which is in turn connected to the OEI, On-line Education Initiative. Sharing everything is very much the mantra of what they are doing, and their enormous range of professional development opportunities are available to all (not just people in California) at low or no cost. I also learned that there are 114 community colleges in California (wow!) and now that the community colleges can choose Canvas (I think at no local cost?), all but one of those schools is using Canvas, so that is 113 campuses on Canvas that Michelle is working with: wow again! That is why Canvas is very much at the heart of the work they are doing as part of both @ONE and the OEI. And across all those schools, Michelle is working with 90,000 faculty, staff, and admins: wow yet again! In the spirit of sharing, much of the @ONE content is Creative-Commons-licensed, and that CC-licensing is actually part of the condition of their state funding. What a great model for other states to follow!


Networking. That is a huge number of schools and people, but in many ways they are not well connected. Michelle made a Game-of-Thrones comparison, with the colleges as castles, built with features that isolate them from one another. Yet given limited resources, they just cannot afford to have people working alone, reinventing their wheels, spending precious time and energy recreating resources that already exist (even if not actually warring with one another like the houses in Game of Thrones, ha ha). There is also a culture of scarcity, along with the fear that things diminish in value by being shared, as if that makes them less special or precious. Yet at the same time, faculty seeing other faculty actually using technology is often the key to adoption and growth. We have to find ways to encourage and support people in sharing their work, and that is exactly what Michelle is trying to do, and with 60,000 faculty, they need to find on-line solutions; f2f just won't have the reach. That's how we get to the N for networking in @ONE: On-line Network of Educators, a network for sharing and free or low-cost PD, by educators for educators.

@ONE On-line Network of Educators


@ONE offerings. Michelle went into lots of details about all the webinars, "Bite-Sized Canvas," YouTube channel and on and on: so much great stuff! They offer courses for people to take in Canvas, which has the added benefit of them experiencing Canvas from the student point of view and with dedicated facilitators who actively care about their learning. There is also a Course Design Academy for the OEI / peer review of on-line course development. At the heart of all of this is a blog which has social networking features (in the past, the website had been very static). Michelle explained the different ways she helps faculty become active contributors to the blog, either by writing guests posts or by participating in video sessions that get shared via the blog as well as at YouTube. We got some behind-the-scenes information about how Michelle manages the blog and also her content development flow, how she helps faculty with the blog editing and with the video editing (all of which might be something very new to them). It all sounds really great! Here is the blog:

@ONE Blog

And here's a screenshot of what just happens to be there at the moment; I love the term "autocurate" that Michelle used to describe the way she uses the power of blog categories to manage the blog site navigation and to help users browse the content while making it easy for Michelle to keep adding new content to the blog all the time:


screenshot of @ONE blog


OEI rubrics. Michelle also gave us a quick tour of some of the features of the rubrics used for on-line course development in the OEI initiative. This is something I know about indirectly from friends I know who teach on-line in the CCC system, so it was really helpful for me to hear about it from the system-level perspective. The idea is that there are all kinds of successful design approaches, so the rubric is not meant to constrain development or even push it in one direction, and that's why they have been reluctant to present anything labeled as a "sample" course. That has made me really curious to investigate the rubric and see how they have designed it to promote this open-ended philosophy. I also really like the fact that they treat all faculty as designers; there are very instructional designers in the CCC system, so it really is up to the faculty to learn about design and find the design approaches that will work best for them. As a faculty member who does all my own design, I can really appreciate that approach; the most important things I learn about instructional design are what I learn every single day as I watch my students working their way through a course.


I would really encourage people to watch the full video if you want to learn about this extremely proactive and supportive faculty development process, and also if you are curious to learn about all the great work that is going on in support of on-line education in California higher ed. And don't forget that Michelle has shared all the support materials in a website too! Yay!


Video: Michelle Pacansky-Brock


#INSTCON 18: Taming the Lion website with slides 


screenshot of MPB website



(testing the word  to see if the gremlin is gobbling it... that is a real problem for this post because "" also appears in some of the URLs: fingers crossed -- maybe the gremlin will leave this post alone!)

(argh: this is one of the posts that the gremlin is editing; that's why the word  appears as on-line, and I will have to use a URL shortener for all the links that have "on-line" in the URL... this is just so weird, Stefanie Sanders! but at least I know to be on gremlin-defense ha ha)