Khaki: The beginning of great things

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KHAKI: it all happened so fast, and now here I am back at work with a heap of stuff piled up, but I wanted to write out a quick "10 things" like Kona did in her post reminiscing about the Khaki1.0. 

Memories from Khaki 2015 


And if this is tl;dr, let me just say up top: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Instructure for envisioning a project like this and making it happen. The best part, of course, is that it is not over... we are just getting started on all the projects we adopted!


And so here are my 10 off-the-top-of-my-head not-sure-where-to-start thoughts from Khaki2.0:


1. Meeting Community friends... wow, just wow! That was such a gift. Thank you to Canvas for believing in the Community and helping us to work together in this new way, and thanks of course to‌ and‌ who were there and to‌ and stefaniesanders‌ who are "here" every day making the Community such a great place to be.


2. Getting to work together, side by side, with Canvas engineers. I was in the Search group, and we had serious engineering participation at our table. They were amazing! I am really excited about continuing the collaboration via Khaki space here at the Community.


3. And more engineers...! it was so cool to get to talk to even more Canvas engineers at Top Golf! For example, I had a great convo with Mark who has been working on quizzes, so when that launches, I will recognize in that product the work and commitment and vision of someone I connected with in person.


4. Seeing the Instructure space: and what a great space! I loved the way the meeting rooms are named ha ha.


5. HOC STULTUM EST. made sure to alert me to the Latin poster on our tour!!! I should have taken a picture! Anyway, those of you who work there know the poster I mean. Maybe somebody who works there (‌...???) could take a picture and put it here! 🙂


6. And Canvas really created some networking magic for Gerol and me: we have been meeting each other in online spaces for Latin and Greek geeks before Canvas even existed... but it took Canvas for us to actually get to meet in person. And too: we were the Classics triumvirate of Khaki 2.0.


7. Who's got swing? I found out that not only is snufer the master of external tools, he is also the master of golf clubs. The man has a swing!


8. Ladies too! And bogardde was not only the guiding force of our pre-Khaki introductions, she also won the women's golf tournament.


9. The logistics were flawless!!! The travel arrangements, lodging, agenda: everything came together as planned. I don't know how was able to get all of that done and at such short notice... but she did! 


10. SEARCH!!!!!!!!! I'll carry on with this later because I am SO HAPPY that search was one of the features that got voted up. What initially sold me on Canvas years ago was the open and public dimensions of the vision: open courses, public syllabuses, Commons. In addition to all its other benefits, I believe that a strong search feature will go a long way to help fulfill the promise of those open, public dimensions of Canvas, and I am very eager to contribute to that process as Khaki continues through our collaborative work here at the Community.


Okay, now I have to get back to the work of the day... but again, I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everybody at Canvas who made this happen!


And of course I have a Growth Mindset Cat for this mind-stretching experience:


A mind stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions. — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


growth mindset cat

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Laura, It was fabulous to meet you in person! Thank you for this brilliant recap!  I love reading the different perspectives and experiences of individuals in the room.  I wish I could have spent hours visiting with each person, but that just wasn't logistically possible.  Post like these help extend my Khaki experience!

Community Member

What you said, laurakgibbs‌! All that and Top Golf too. I swore I could not and would not, but I actually managed to score some points with my sad 6-iron swing. Being a Canvas admin has always been, and continues to be, a tough job, a rewarding job, and most certainly a fun job. 

Community Member

I got one in the yellow. When I was aiming for something else of course. But if we ever do MINIATURE golf some year, watch out!!! 🙂

Community Member

Exactly,‌!!! There were people I missed talking to in person (it was a lot of people!) ... but the fact that Khaki started from the Community and then feeds back into the Community means we will all get to connect eventually! 🙂

Community Member

laurakgibbsthat Growth Mindset Cat is on point! I loved how you pointed out the Instructure Space being unique and the posters. We actually stopped to take a picture of one that hit home with us, too. hah


Community Member

Ooooh, that is a good one too! 🙂


Hi Laura:

I like this blog, and I like it because it is about your experiences and the networking. It was so very nice to meet you in person, and to discover that you and Gerol are old friends. As you know, I actually went over to introduce you two when I saw you sitting beside him. Like you, Gerol is an especially talented person.

My only regret was that you and I did not get time to sit down together and talk online pedagogy. Next time my new friend, next time!


Community Member I am so glad that I know the in-person-Kelley AND the Kelley-avatar now! And of course we have the entire Internet to prowl together and share ideas as we explore!!! 

I know your wife was glad to have you home... and I am so glad you were able to manage to take that time away to come spend with everybody in Salt Lake. Having Canvas veterans and newbies together makes for just the right balance of energies. And even just our quick chat about how you make medical terminology into something fun for the students proves that if we can all just pool our experiences and experiments, we can make the online world a fabulous place for learning.

And for joking! 🙂

Community Member


Community Member

Thank you Deactivated user‌ and to‌ for all the poster pictures that just popped up here. So cool!

This HOC STULTUM EST is great because I can share it in my Latin blog. Most of the readers of that blog are Latin teachers, and I am guessing at least some of them are Canvas users so they will appreciate this as a very Canvas thing in addition to being Latin fun. I'll put a link here to the post when I share the picture. Thank you!!! Or, in Latin: GRATIAS TIBI AGO. 🙂

Community Member

Isn't it amazing how simple the solution to the complex array of problems facing an innovative edtech publicly traded company can be? "Work like you give a damn, and tell us when we're doing something stupid." I don't think they mean for that to stop at their employees. I take that message to heart personally. I think you do too and a perfect example of that is the push-back you gave on context cards. Look out edtech oligarchs. Canvas and its volunteer army are coming to take our future back.

Community Member

Ha ha, I love the idea of the volunteer army awilliams

What's great about conversation spaces like this is that we can also find out when the thing we think is stupid is not stupid at all... and then move on to something better than expected, like when I thought it was stupid that I could not just run a javascript in a Page that would run in a File, and‌ went to a huge amount of trouble to explain why it was not stupid at all, but a logical security issue, and then Sharmaine (whom I can't ping here, argh, because of this private group thing) showed me how it actually worked fine to put the javascript in a File and then use it in a Page: 

That's why the conversations with the engineers on Tuesday were so exciting for me, finding out which things are hard because they really are hard... and which things are actually not so hard after all. I'm guessing there is going to be a lot of that learning going on in the months to come!

Community Member

Okay, now I am curious if I will connect in a new way with any of my Latin blog readers who might be using Canvas at their schools! 🙂

Bestiaria Latina Blog: Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: April 14 

Bestiaria Latin screenshot

Adventurer III

Glad to help out laurakgibbs. I'm especially happy that you were willing to accept that there's thought and reasoning that went into the decision and be open to revisit your opinion. Some would read the explanation and then just dismiss it and hold to their original belief that it's stupid that you can't run JavaScript.

About the Author
Happily teaching online at the University of Oklahoma since 2002.