Last year when I attended InstructureCarn [my first InstCon], I learned about the unconference after the shuttle and flights were booked. Whomp, whomp. Once I learned what actually happened at an unconference, I had a serious case of FOMO. But you live, you learn.
Yet, this year another oopsie. I scheduled something at 1pm thinking the unconference was ending at noon. Obviously, I did not ask any wise pandas about how long the unconference usually lasts or I wouldn't have made this slight blunder. Therefore, I was only able to attend the first session... but next year I'm likely to get it right!
Community/Advocacy - Get Connected
This session included a very informal discussion with participants seated in a circle, facing each other. I joined when others were already seated and felt welcome to join. Color me pleased, but I met the inst-famous Renee Carney and the gif-master Dave Dick . It's always good to meet in-person with folks you've been interacting with online for year(s).
The group started out with a simple introduction and the vibe was let's talk about what you want to talk about, ie the whole concept of the unconference. During this time, we learned that most likely in the near future the platform used for the community, Jive, will be changing. Change is good, right? Yaasss!
One of the topics that I brought up was how to encourage our staff and faculty to be more involved in the community, especially since our staff of over 85 instructional designers at FIU Online are doing some really great things in Canvas. Hey pandas, how do you get your faculty/staff to be involved in the community? We also learned that Instructure has revamped some of its branding to be more inclusive to their family of products. My understanding is that the Canvassador program is now the "Advocate" program. A Canvas Advocate would promote the Canvas product, Bridge Advocate --> Bridge, etc.
Based on one session, would I recommend the unconference to a friend? Oh my panda, yes! It was a great opportunity to network informally with others while delving into topics of your own interest. Based on this year's schedule pictured above, don't be like Sky and plan to attend until 1pm :-)