On Top of the Mountain

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     Processing information shared by fellow Canvas champions can best be done by riding a ski lift to the top of mountain.


     North Carolina is a fantastic state! It is where I was born, grew up, and am now raising my kids. However, up until InstructureCon 2016, the farthest west I've been was Memphis, Tennessee. The Blue Ridge Mountains have always been a wonderful place to relax and renew and hold some of my best memories. Coming to Colorado, I was mentally prepared, at least I thought. I was ready for great sessions and beautiful mountains. Boy did I underestimate both.

     Sitting in a sessions about the new quiz feature and badging lit the spark about work that still needs to be done back in NC. Following that was an amazing session about using Google App Scripts to make Canvas API calls. Next was a microphone-drop keynote shared by Angela Maiers. I found myself itching to get back home so I could get busy doing some real work. Knowing that I had just been flooded with fantastic information, fleshing out these great ideas would not be easy. There had to be some reflection and processing to make this a reality.That's where the bag lunch came in.

     It was lunch time. Sitting there on the table was a bag lunch. Easy to transport, I grabbed the bag and was off. Someone earlier had mentioned that the ski lift was open and I plenty of time before the next session. During the almost 10 minute ride to the top, I was taken back by the spectacular views only to arrive at the top where it was more than serene. I found a patch of grass, ate my prepared meal, watched boats sail on the lake below, enjoyed the birds soaring through the air, and sat in awe at the mountain view, inspired by their size. How does education and API calls fit into that? This bigger world that we live in is more than me sitting at my desk and getting a script to automate or connecting to another country via Skype. This is real. People need inspiration and greatness. People need to feel on top of the world to realize just how small we are. Education includes that enjoyment and a sense of awe.

     In a huge way, educators alike are using technology to help inspire. Not everyone can climb that mountain, appreciate the grandeur of the Rockies, or sit still long enough to feel the peace in the middle of a busy day. Educators bring people there. It's simple, but real. Leading a training gives fresh air to teachers who get stuck in the thick as I have done so many times in the past. What we do makes a difference. Helping to bring better quizzing, more functionality, more imaginations and inspiration will be the difference maker. The bigger picture is gradually brought to those who haven't sen the vision or experienced the joy of learning. That is why reflecting for me is best done on top of the mountain.


     Wherever InstructureCon 2017 is, if a bagged lunch is provided, grab the lunch, grab a friend or two, and get outdoors to talk and think about the bigger pictures, preferably on top of the mountain.