Memories from Khaki 2015

Community Coach
Community Coach
9 16 435

A little over two years ago I got a chance to participate in Canvas' first Project Khaki! The purpose was to bring together some of the most active Canvas users (of all types and from all areas) and talk about how to make Canvas even better! It was an amazing experience that I've been reminiscing about as james@richland.edu‌ prepared to take part in Project Khaki 2017. 

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So what were some of my favorite memories?

#10 - Getting to hangout and spend time with snugent‌! We are fellow central Illinois Canvas users and got to travel together, which made the experience even better!

#9 -Deconstructed s'more! Yes, I'll leave that one right there and let it speak for itself!

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#8 - Dinner with fellow Project Khaki participants and Instructure employee's! It was great to talk with people in such a relaxed atmosphere and the food was excellent and the conversation was even better!

#7 - Josh Coates taking us on a tour of the Instructure headquarters. What an eye opening experience to see where the magic happens and to see just how much fun the employees incorporated into their work space.

#6 - Chatting with Brad Koch (Sr Director of Product Management at the time) in the airport when we were heading home and then ending up sitting right behind him on our flight!

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#5 - Not realizing who A00364575‌ was even after he introduced himself and I sat at a table with him all day. I thought he was a super nice guy who used Canvas, but had no idea I was sitting and casually chatting with a Canvas rock star!

#4 - Being too much of a stefaniesanders‌ fan girl to actually talk to her! I was totally in awe of her and how cool she seemed in person to actually go up and introduce myself!

#3 - Sitting across from jared@instructure.com‌ at lunch! Do I really need to say anything else? Jared is crazy intelligent, interesting, and really gets pedagogy!

#2 - Josh Coates answering his cell phone in the middle of talking to the Project Khaki group. Yep, Josh was literally up front and center when his phone rang. Josh checked and saw that it was the guy working on his pool and decided he better take the call. Unfortunately it sounded like an expensive fix for his pool, but for us it was pretty funny!

#1 - Getting to meet and collaborate with so many amazing Canvas users! I'm sure I'll miss some of them, but to name a few... chofer@morainepark.edu‌, rogrant@nmsu.edu‌, Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu‌, clong@hbuhsd.edu‌, dhulsey@nmjc.edu‌, curtain@k-state.edu‌, franke@fau.edu‌, SHEBENE‌, jmay‌, mlattke@instructure.com‌, jkocher@ufl.edu‌, rgibson1‌, dittor@wharton.upenn.edu‌, & kbeimfohr‌.

For fellow Khaki 2015 users, what were your favorite memories??

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16 Comments
Community Coach
Community Coach

My greatest memory was pretty personal. My son was born 3 days earlier and I trekked across the country after barely sleeping for 5 days. Needless to say, I was in a daze and emotionally drained. Everyone there, including Instructure employees, were so awesome. Being positive, cheering me on, and giving me great advice. I found a community of people that barely knew me, were so supportive. It was something I'll never forget. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu, Wow!! I had no idea your son was born that close to when you attended Khaki! I can't imagine how crazy that must have been for you and your wife!! Definitely makes for a great story!

Lamplighter II

Ah Thanks kona@richland.edu‌. I enjoyed having you as a flying buddy too! The Josh Coates tour was fun!  We got to meet with Deactivated user and he took us on the office tour before Josh's tour. I am pretty sure the three level stairs was designed to be Instructure's exercise program and I definitely got my exercise that day!  I enjoyed talking with stefaniesanders‌ and franke@fau.edu‌. And as somebody who spends her days in the basement of the library, the views from the Instructure office are amazing! 

Josh Coates Tour

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Community Coach
Community Coach

I remember first meeting stefaniesanders‌ on our shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel.  Then, during the breakfast, I remember meeting dhulsey@nmjc.edu‌, Cosme, and you, Kona (I think you were sitting across from me at the table?).  During the actual event, Deactivated user‌ was our group leader/facilitator.  I also remember the tour that Josh took us on around their facility.  Here, he was showing us some real-time data:

Josh showing us real-time data

We also got to see some of their meeting rooms...all named after video games on one floor, robots on another floor (if I recall), etc.  Here's a few more pics...

Joust

Frogger

GlaDOS

Overall, it was a great experience to learn more about the development process and to see how Instructure operates.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Ha!  Almost the same picture of Josh!

Community Coach
Community Coach

We also sat across from each other at lunch and shared a ride to the airport!

Community Team
Community Team

I remember thinking that I definitely wore the wrong shoes. :smileysilly: Crossing the street to get to the Instructure office is a Frogger-like challenge under the best of circumstances (hey, who uses crosswalks?) that was exacerbated by my ridiculous high heels. So I loved seeing that Frogger poster!

It's so funny to read this, because I was so intimidated by kona@richland.edu, who had established such a commanding--dare I say daunting?--presence in our former community that I didn't dare approach her! We still haven't formally "met" face to face. Maybe this year at InstructureCon that will finally happen.

On a related note, perhaps my most memorable moment was when one of the many people at Instructure I "knew" but hadn't yet actually "met" took me aside to tell me that some of the people there might be kind of timid about coming up to talk to me, to which my response was "You've got to be kidding me!"

And I vividly remember sharing a ride from the airport with chofer@morainepark.edu‌!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Yes! A face-to-face meeting is definitely in order stefaniesanders!!

Community Member

The tour of Instructure and getting to meet all of you wonderful folks that I now know personally on the forums!

LOVED the tour with Josh Coates!

Also enjoyed getting to meet and speak with all the other CSMs. Really fantastic team of smart people. I almost had my resume done to hand in to them by the end of the day. 😉

Community Member

Stefanie Sanders wrote:

"Crossing the street to get to the Instructure office is a Frogger-like challenge under the best of circumstances (hey, who uses crosswalks?)..."

This was repeated this year, haha! A group had gone to the crosswalk and I was catching up (shocker) so I Froggered it right across and a couple other stragglers followed me. I felt bad for leading them astray, especially since we got caught in the tiny little median. Luckily one of them was from my home state of South Carolina so we had a good chat. Knowing you did it too is somehow comforting.

Community Team
Community Team

Teetering on that tiny median, in high heels, with ice on the ground. Good times.

Learner II

As we were touring I wanted to stop and absorb the coolness of the building, the work areas, the breakout rooms, and the vibe of the place, but Josh was hell bent on making that the fastest tour in history. So, I found myself the tour orphan several times.

Learner II

Tacos!!

Community Member

I really enjoyed holding the reins of development for a bit with the exercise to choose what features and bugs to handle with finite resources. It was informative to learn that not only were there differences between K12 and higher ed but differences among those groups as well. ( I still stay there was one dev hour left on the table that could've been used to block users from merging accounts ) Smiley Happy

Kona's top ten list hit a lot of the highlights for me too with dinner, the tour, and the honest introspection of Canvas as a company. A great experience to be sure!

Instructure
Instructure

That was such a fun event!  To piggyback off the comments above, I had a great time learning about the 'how' and 'why' with Canvas, as well as learning from everyone in the room about our unique, but not so different, worlds as Canvas admins and users!  Hard to wrap my mind around the fact that was 2 years ago!!  Thanks for sharing this kona@richland.edu‌!!  Can't wait to see others from the original Khaki at InstructureCon this summer (or maybe CanvasCon in Indy next month!! \o/ )  oh, and who can forget the tacos!?!?! yummy!

Community Coach
Community Coach

jmay‌, I look forward to seeing you in Indy and Colorado this year! 🙂

About the Author
Kona Jones is the Director of Online Learning and Faculty Academy Coordinator at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She is responsible for the assessment of online courses and initiatives, providing instructional design and pedagogical support to faculty, development of faculty and student technology training materials, and overseeing faculty professional development. She serves as a technology resource for the College as well as an adjunct instructor of statistics. Her particular passion is student retention in online courses and more specifically on assessing how different initiatives can improve student retention. She has a M.S. degree in Quantitative and Cognitive Psychology, Undergraduate degrees in Biology, Psychology, & History, and is ABD in Curriculum & Instruction.