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Reflections from a First-Time #instcon Attendee

mjoaquin
Explorer III
8 9 225

As someone who has worked in education for 10 years, I can honestly say InstructureCon was like no conference I have ever attended! Beyond the sessions, the community of attendees was quite unlike any other I have experienced. Everywhere I looked, people were making connections, helping others out, and sharing what they knew and hoped to know. I was lucky enough to attend with my awesome teammate, but I know that if I had traveled solo, I would have found kindred spirits! From the opening Keynote to the closing concert, the 2.5 days I spent in Keystone are ones that I won't ever forget. I have already started trying to figure out how I can make a return trip in 2018... With that said, let's look at my top highlights from InstructureCon 2017:

  • The Location
    • Reading the convos about altitude did little to actually prepare me for what 27% oxygen actually feels like! Those stairs will haunt my dreams for sure. I have never been more motivated to conquer the StairMaster. 
    • As a Texas Plains and Panhandle gal, I am awed by the beauty of mountains. I could have sat outside and stared at those giants for hours on end. There is something magical about being nestled with mountains all around with 2,000 other people all passionate about the same thing. It makes for an incredible environment. 
  • Spending F2F time with my CSM
    • I am probably biased, but Casey Williams in the best.
  • Connecting with K-12 and Higher Ed peeps from all across the nation
    • I met a K-12 educator from Portland in a session about Content pages that led to a conversation about how my district uses Badgr, which turned into a convo about Zoom. Organic connections being built!
  • CCR!
    • That outdoor show under the stars was so fun. 
  • Seeing how others are actively using Canvas in their schools
    • Our district is just over a year into our integration, and as our admin, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for examples from real life classrooms of how teachers are using Canvas. The sessions I attended gave me sneak peaks into classrooms from all over the US.
  • The Keynotes (all of them!)
    • Obvi the roadmap items and new rollouts were blowing my mind. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was freaking out over some of the new Quizzing engine features! 

If you were at Instcon17, please share your top moments in the comments! I would love to hear from you! 

Tags (1)
9 Comments
awilliams
Surveyor

You nailed it. It's totally about the people and everything else (including the environs) facilitates that. My top moments were the ones spent with all of you amazing people. Here are but a few of those moments captured in photography.

(Edit: Wow posting these pics from my phone, I had no idea how big they were! I've shrunkified them.)

244931_20170724_171620.jpg244932_IMG_20170728_181729.jpg244936_20170727_164415.jpg244937_20170726_201059.jpg244938_20170725_130406.jpg244939_FB_IMG_1501566530060.jpg244933_20170729_130006.jpg244934_20170729_120504.jpg244935_20170729_111306-COLLAGE.jpg

mjoaquin
Explorer III

Excellent pics awilliams‌! Thank you so much for sharing!! 

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @mjoaquin ‌, I was so happy to (finally) meet you in person! I did all the things to prepare for this year; even so, I think those stairs got steeper and longer this year! Smiley Wink 

And awilliams is spot on; InstructureCon is all about the connections we make. Your illustration of the organic conversation is a perfect example of the serendipitous knowledge that springs, virtually unbidden, from the event.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yep, you nailed it with the "Community" spirit of the conference! It's something I've only ever experienced at super small events, so to see and experience it at this grand of a scale is amazing!!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @mjoaquin ‌

This was my sixth InstCon, and each time it still feels novel. Your thoughts about the Community are shared by most, and my own final blog was all "community". I now hardly attend the regular sessions, but am still glad they are there for those who need them, and spend most of my time chatting with folks, learning from them and sharing the few little tidbits I know.

I am glad your first experience was so rewarding!

Looking at your pic, I think we met, but don't ask an old man to remember where in those hectic three days.

Kelley

mjoaquin
Explorer III

stefaniesanders‌ Yes!! It was so great to meet you in person! That was one of the other highlights from this for me, was meeting people I have interacted with online face to face! I will say I took your Calling all Flatlanders prep to heart! I used it majorly when packing and getting ready so a huge thank you for that post! 

mjoaquin
Explorer III

 @kona ‌ I saw you all over the place, but didn't get a chance to speak with you in person! Maybe next year! 

mjoaquin
Explorer III

 @kmeeusen ‌ it is very possible we met! My unicorn hair helps me stand out, but like you, I saw so many community faces that I can't place each one I interacted with! I love that someone who has gone and returned 6 times is still seeing and learning new things each year. It makes me even more determined to return for 2018!! 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Definitely in person next year!