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Higher Ed Services

Instructure
Instructure

This was one mission you did not want to miss. However, (understandably) not everyone is able to attend the event of the year. Yes, we went there. As a first timer myself, I wanted to know what all the hype was about and, let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Buckle in as I walk you through the highlights, a few pro-tips and answer the ultimate question of "is InstructureCon all it's cracked up to be?" 

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Highlights. Stellar sessions, killer concerts, the happiest people on the plant and the most breathtaking views. How could I possibly choose favorites? The highlight of the week was a toss-up between the most informative and meaningful sessions and the amazing parties. I'm truly blown away by how brilliant our admins and instructors are. Seeing what innovative and exceptional enhancements they've made to improve their educational experience with the help of Canvas is truly inspiring. The best part is that even if you weren't able to attend a session you were eager to see or weren't able to attend the conference at all, those sessions will all be available in the Canvas Community in the coming weeks. Score! 

If there is one thing Instructure can do, aside from creating stunning software, it's throw a party. What a complete riot the night events were. From the Jewel (aka my best friend) concert, to the casino night accompanied by food from around the globe, to Creedence Clearwater Revisited; I felt truly spoiled and fully entertained during the entire conference. The days can be exhausting as you try to attend all of the festivities, but do yourself a favor and don't miss evening events at InstructureCon. *hint hint* These nightly happenings are usually where the best networking takes place!

Pro Tips. First and foremost: Network, network, network. If there is one thing you should be taking full advantage of at any InstructureCon it's the networking opportunities. With over 2,200 educators and institutional figures in one centralized location, you are bound to strike collaborative gold.

Next, it is highly recommended to plan out your daily calendar of events. The schedule is released with plenty of time to look through the session offerings, events and keynotes. Take the time before you show up in Colorado to know what sessions you want to attend. Plus, if you have never been to Keystone take the time to map out where your sessions are and when you have to be where. Keystone is larger than you think so a little extra planning goes a long way when there is so much to do. But don't worry, if you need to get somewhere fast just flag down a trusty golf cart to zip you from the conference center to the lodge.

Weather can be unpredictable and even though we were pretty spoiled with great weather all week this year, random rain showers are very real and can happen at any time at 9,000+ ft of elevation, so rain jackets and umbrellas are necessary. Just ask Jewel. 

Final Thoughts.  At the end of the day if I had to answer the question, "is InstructureCon worth all of the hype?" I'd have to say 100 percent, absolutely, positively, YES! Getting to meet so many amazing people, learning mounds of new knowledge alone was enough to win me over. I have never felt so fulfilled, excited, exhausted, yet oddly energized as I did following my first ever InstructureCon. So the moral of the story here is that if you have yet to experience this for yourself, I will see you next year for a phenomenal #INSTCON2018. 

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Instructure
Instructure

Personal Quote: 

Liv Más (insert Taco Bell emoji here)

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My mom, two sisters and I chased Karl Malone (97'-98’ NBA MVP!) through Idaho for two hours in hopes that he'd stop and let us get his autograph. You better believe we got his autograph Smiley Happy  

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

“Will laugh at anything!”

What is your biggest fear?

WHALES! (And trust me I know this is a very irrational fear to have since we live in Utah but still, I'm deathly afraid of them!)

Have you ever had a nickname? 

I think I might be the queen of nicknames but a few of my favorites are Gert (made up middle name), Klaw or Brawlor

What is your favorite thing about your career?

I love the chance we have at creating lasting relationships with all of our amazing admins. They are the best! 

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

Golf! I love to play it and I love to watch it. I'm also all about the Utah Jazz #TakeNote!

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

No questions asked, "My Heart Will go on" by Celine Dion. Let me know if you ever want to sing karaoke with me Smiley Wink 

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I can't seem to get enough of this beautiful world we live in so I'd treat myself and a few friends to a trip around the globe! 

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Instructure
Instructure

Personal Quote 

You get what you give.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Family reunions at the beach.    

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?  

Warning: laughs at inappropriate times

If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?  

Dave Matthews Band

What is your biggest fear?  

Public speaking or needles.

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

Yes, Maynard, Shaner, Shaney.

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

I like to watch Football (NFL), I like to play any sport.

Who is your hero?  

The men and women that voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to defend my freedom.

What would you do if you won the lottery?  

Travel the world with my family.  Continue to work.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

My wife, George Washington, both grandfathers that died before I was born.

What is your proudest accomplishment?   

Spending time with my kids.  I know it’s not one accomplishment, but hopefully they will be able to accomplish their dreams and will remember how much they are loved.

What is your favorite holiday and why?  

The 4th of July!  We celebrate freedom, eat great food and blow stuff up.  

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?  

Flight, strength, speed, basically Superman’s powers.  

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  

Deep Cove, British Colombia.  


What is your favorite book to read?

There’s a monster at the end of this book. (to my kids)

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Instructure
Instructure

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

I come from a family that lives by nicknames, so I have a few. Jess, G and Jeckela are the most common.

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

Being from Kansas, college basketball it’s in my blood and I can’t get enough. However, when it comes to the participation I’d prefer to play softball/baseball or volleyball.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks OR Wanna by the Spice Girls

Who is your hero?

My dad. He is my biggest inspiration, the smartest man alive, and who I aspire to be every day. Basically, he is the coolest cat around and I’m pretty lucky to have him as my father and role model.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Travel to all of the new places, make my parents retire immediately and probably buy my dream home (or two of them).

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

Definitely teleportation or maybe being invisible  — either would be so cool.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

This is the toughest question. I don’t think I’ve found that perfect place I want to live. I think I’d chose living in a new place every year or two. I’d love to experience every day living in major major cities, small towns, foreign locations and beyond. My ideal answer is all over the place.

If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?

S Club 7

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Instructure
Instructure

DELETE ME

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Instructure
Instructure

Personal quote:

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." John F. Kennedy

What is your favorite holiday and why?

I absolutely love the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. They are the time that is spent most with family and both usually are at my cabin, and least expectations.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston

If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I would love to go to Egypt. I have a strong desire to go see the pyramids.

Who is your hero?

My hero is my grandma. She loved all those around her, worked hard and went after what she wanted. She was the happiest most positive person I know and always made me feel like I was the greatest person. She was always able to see the bright side.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Abraham Lincoln, , Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Princess Diana

If you had the choice between a play or musical, which would you pick, and why?

Musical, I just enjoy the music and love being able to sing to the sound track afterwards. One of my favorite musicals is The Phantom of The Opera.


If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

If I were a superhero I would want to fly because I could travel to any place in the world. And I would also like to read minds.

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Instructure
Instructure

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Personal quote:

"Money will come and go. We all know that. The most important thing in life will always be the people (family) in this room. Right here, right now." - Dom Toretto

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would buy a country club membership at Augusta National Golf Club.


What is your proudest accomplishment?

Earning a Business Marketing degree and playing college baseball at UNLV. 


What would you sing at Karaoke night?

"I Want it That Way" - Backstreet Boys


Have you ever had a secret admirer?

None that I am aware of, maybe this is why I am still single.


Do you love or hate rollercoasters?

Love them, but unfortunately I haven't been able to visit many of the incredible theme parks around the world.


If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

"THIS MAN IS OBSESSED WITH GOLF"


Who is your hero?

Without question, my dad is my hero. I loved playing baseball as a kid and my dad made so many sacrifices to allow me to chase my dreams. He is an incredibly hard working individual and will do anything to help his family be successful. I wouldn't have the life I have today without his constant encouragement and belief in my

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Tiger Woods, Muhammed Ali, Leonardo DaVinci, and Anna Kendrick.

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Instructure
Instructure

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 10.32.45 AM.pngPersonal Quote:

Watching a movie more than once is a terrible idea. Movies are way to predictable to watch a second time...

What is your favorite subject in school?

6th grade rocket science club, although only one of us actually made it to become an actual rocket scientist (and it wasn't me).

What do you think is your very best feature or characteristic?

My superhuman ability to eat lots of chips and salsa without getting fat.

What is your favorite reading material?

At one point, my favorite reading material was the Calvin and Hobbes comic series. Nowadays, thanks to advancements in audible technology, I'm more of a podcast guy. I'm currently into Embedded, StartUp, Stuff You Should Know, Question of the Day, Planet Money, Serial, and Freakonomics Radio.

Do you like drinking from the cup or a straw?

Completely depends on the contents of the cup.

Which do you prefer you had - straight or curly hair?

I'll happily stay halfway in between with a slight wave. My hair usually doesn't ever grow longer than an inch or two though, so I'll get back to you with an update if it ever grows below my shoulders.

What motivates you to work hard?

I'm not a big athlete, but I love winning and being the best at most anything. My main motivation is helping others succeed, stay focused and achieve their goals.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

I would definitely not be singing at Karaoke night, but I would be all in on either air-guitar or air-drums!

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Instructure
Instructure

Personal Quote

"Pull a rabbit out of your hat. That is the secret of both trial law, and life"


What is your favorite childhood memory?

I went for a "walk about" when I was 3 years old.  Our neighborhood was new and not many homes had fences yet.  I ended up crossing a busy street some how and made it a half mile up the road to a gas station.  As a 3 year old I had no idea who I was or where I came from so the store clerk called the police and the officer purchased an orange cream slushy for me.  We just sat there chatting with me on top of the counter until the officer received a missing child report and drove me home. (My parents were exemplary, but there were 7 of us at that point, and I was adventurous).


Do you collect anything?

I collect both headphones and flashlights. If I see a unique pair of headphone or flashlight that fill a particular use case that is different or have a unique design, I want them! My wife informs me that I also collect shoes. I can trace all 3 of these back to events from my childhood or adolescence.


If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Don't feed after midnight


If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?

I am completely void of all musical talent, but if there were a successful group that could offer me a lucrative career to cowbell, I'd like to party with those cowboys.

What is your biggest fear?

Being mediocre... and spiders


Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

No

What is your favorite thing about your career?

Forming meaningful relationships that allow me to alleviate the burdens of those I work with and for.


What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

Anyone who knows me should know that my love for football reaches levels that could merit psychiatric evaluation.

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Instructure
Instructure

nicki.pngPersonal Quote:

Whatever you are, be a good one. - Abraham Lincoln

Who is your hero?

My father. He is the best person I know.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Anywhere that has a beach.

What is your favorite book to read?

Pride and Prejudice. I am a huge Jane Austen fan.

What did you want to be when you were small?

A radiologist.

What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?

94.9 The Vibe and 97.1 ZHT in Salt Lake City, UT

In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?

Watch a movie

What's your favorite holiday?

My birthday. Are there any other holidays where it is all about you?? Smiley Happy

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?

My family is distantly related to President Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt.

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