At InstructureCon 2019 I had a chance to chat all-too-briefly with Matthew Jennings, and used that rare face time opportunity to thank him for his efforts in putting together the PDF versions of the InstructureCon Agenda that have proven so useful to so many.
He proceeded to tell me why he puts these together.
[Matt, please feel free to step in and correct anything I might be misrepresenting; this was a very quick conversation in a very noisy lounge.]
Matt is part of a seven-member team, but he’s the only member of the team his school sent to InstructureCon this year. Every member of his team is passionate about learning, but Matt is the only member of his team who participates regularly in the Canvas Community. While he could easily have selected the InstructureCon sessions that interested him the most, he chose to let his team guide his decision: what sessions would the team most benefit from hearing about? He shaped his InstructureCon schedule from the selections his team made.
Matt determined that a PDF version of the agenda was the most readily consumable format for his team’s prioritization exercise. He chose to share this asset, which he updated regularly during the run-up to the event, with the world at large in the Canvas Community.
This simple backstory immediately struck me as significant—but as is my way, I had to sit back and absorb it for a bit. It came rushing back to my head a day or two later, when I looked out over the audience of one of the keynotes and suddenly saw a collection of icebergs—in Long Beach!—with their massive unseen structures right below the surface.
Every InstructureCon attendee potentially represents an unknown number of equally dedicated and passionate learning advocates who cannot be present. And for every one of our Canvas Community members, there is a team—three people? seven? ten?—who might not be actively engaging in day-to-day or even week-to-week Q&A here, but they’re represented by Matt and thousands of others like him who amplify the impact of everything we share.
The power of InstructureCon, and the power of Community, is indeed exponential—as Melissa says, it’s Awesome to the Power of C.
So thank you, Matt, not only for the PDFs and everything else you do here in the Canvas Community, but also for sharing with me a greater insight that enriches my personal and professional mission.