InstructureCon:

Gosh, yesterday was a busy day..  I am actually documenting a lot of what is happening and I am learning through Twitter but Let me recap.

Morning started with me sitting at a table with professors from Wayne State College in Nebraska (there are so many cornhuskers here!) I ended up doing some impromptu demos of Nearpod at the table.. I actually love when I share some of what I know with colleagues.

The opening session with Dan Heath was great and continued on the theme that all students matter and we should be focusing on those students who need our attention and make them feel included and important.  And let me just say, that the Canvas Community is a good example of that..  people are great about making everyone . feel included at this conference.. Which is not typical of all conferences.

They also shared some product updates that look good some analytics, Everyone Can Code resources for Apple, and new student views.  What I am hearing from people that have a longer history with Canvas than we do that many of these changes were directly requested from the Users.  it was interesting to me how even the non Techies showed that Instructure is an Agile (SCRUM) workplace, they value people and users stories and innovate based on user requests and needs.

I attended a session on LTI advantage the tool that is being updated to link apps directly into Canvas. One complaint I have from students is that I ask them go bunches of different places. I hate how the App is killed when LTI integration occurs which results in a poor IOS experience. The panel made me think this might be solved.

 

I spent my lunch tweeting with the CanvasEduChat.  I will tell you, nothing lets you find the tweeters in the house like a midconference twitter chat. I made some more twitter friends and even met one at the party at night.

The second keynote of the day recognized amazing teachers that were using the platform and how they were reaching out to students and helping to build the canvas community through peer to peer support and modeling.

I spent my afternoon in the Partner hall and to be honest it was more fruitful than the formal sessions that I attended. I spoke with a few vendors and got some ideas of new projects as we grow our programs.  I also spent time at the User Services Station and in the Developer Hut..  It really helped me to solve a few user problems I am having. It also helped me to better understand the different functionalities and priorities between browser base and app based.  It has given me a lot to think about for my course in Fall.  It is a good and bad thing how robust Canvas is.. There are too many choices . and too many ways to do things.  However, the mobile team was great at helping me understand video updates that are coming and I am excited to use.

Now the conference has a 90 minute break after last session and the . Party at the Aquarium of the pacific. This was particularly dangerous because to get the aquarium you had to walk through an outlet mall.  Suffices to say, I will be checking a bag.

The Party at the aquarium was really fun.. I was kind of done and tired for the day but I was reinvigorated by a great DJ, relaxing fish, and meeting some new people.

Overall a great day, I am looking forward . to the final day and thinking about how I will attack the day!

Day 2 in Long Beach – PreCon at InstructureCon!

What a fun day.. My apple watch approves.. Exercise ring from walking to lunch and 2x move ring..

I was fortunate to attend a preconference session by @RachelAnnEdtech  about creating engaging blended learning. There were several things I liked about the session.

  1. It was very movement oriented and not too sit and get.
  2. It was very reflective.. I tweeted out to former students during the session with . – Do I do this? Questions? and Could I do better?
  3. We explored different technologies you could use.. it was not super canvas focused – ie.. some of the tools were LTI integrated others were not.
  4. It felt good to know most of the tools and be able to help my fellow students learn.
  5. It has the opportunity badge with @DigitalPromise which makes me excited and I want to support credentialing in education for Professional Learning.

After the session, I was invited to a special lunch with some really influential people.  In fact, I did not totally realize how influential until I followed on twitter . later.  Love that I am getting to meet people out of my lane at InstructureCon.

I spent the afternoon wandering the vendor fair with a new from LA Community College.  We met walking back from lunch. He is new to the edtech and was there for the day to attend a PreCon. He asked he could tag along which was fun.. because he was really new and I got to explain why we use what we use.  I had really meaningful conversations with Zoom (fixed my link! Yeah!) , not worried about my camera, talked to some accessibility people, had really meaningful conversation about changing my badges to Badgr and met some new apps that I was not familiar with..

I like how instructurecon does the vendors.  They are there all day..  and they schedule meals and events with them..  it is not like skip a session to talk to them, it is easy to fit it into the day.

So then I went to the Keynote.. Malcolm Gladwell talked about how the world is changing and education needs to change with it. He talked about how we can shift the Paradigm. Gladwell . is a masterful storyteller. (I may have to follow his podcast now).  I really like when EdTech conferences pick speakers that acknowledge that we are about education . not just ed tech.  He asked some good questions about following up with the students that are feel marginalized or left behind in our classes. We will only grow stronger if we view ourselves as team and strengthen our weakest members.  It really made me think about how its easy to focus on the students truckin’ along in our courses, but not delving deeper into those that struggle.

After that we had the opening party.. It was pretty full with long lines.. (3000 attendees I hear). I found a quiet corner and ended up having a cross country conversation (Idaho, Nebraska and Oklahoma) about the use of badges and Badgr in Class.  Made me feel good about what I have planned.

In addition, I ran into people I used to work with in 2000 at my BS and MS alma mater Northwest Missouri State University and it really made me think about how long I have been working in computer enhanced learning and how I need to push myself to be doing more and going further!

Overall, so far a really high quality conference were I am able to get stuff done (talk to vendors, try out some things). While I am working I am planning out my fall classes… I have google doc running with ideas.

 

Day one in Long Beach #instcon Tourist Day

So I was fortunately to get a direct flight from OKC to LAX but I had leave at 6am to arrive at 7:15 in LA.

Since i did not have anything scheduled until 8am . on Tuesday, I took the opportunity to be a tourist.

 

I started with a . hearty breakfast at the Breakfast Bar. (near the convention center) Then I went to see the Queen Mary. The haunted tour was a bust but the historical was really interesting. Also was the 4D movie and the first hand accounts of how the Queen Mary contributed to the War Effort.   When in Long Beach.. At the 4-D movie I ran into my first other #instcon attendee from Phoenix..

After the Queen Mary I took the advice of every Lyft Driver I asked and went to the Attic.. which is known for its Flaming Cheeto Mac and Cheese.  (and know there is a good coupon on Yelp for free fries).

Then to be honest, I saw all the fun stuff people were tweeting about but I had been up since 4am CST and it was 8pm PST – so . I was out..

Now feeling refreshed i am ready to learn in my PreCon Session on making engaging courses.

Going to InstructureCon

So I am sitting here with my dog getting ready to go to Instructure Con.. and I am trying to think about my goals.  i rarely get to go to conferences any more where my main goal is to learn. so I am excited about that.

So here are my goals, as of now..

  • have some meaningful conversations with K12 users to better know how they are using Canvas..
    • Is it compatible with our use?
    • how are they scaffolding learning for students?
    • How are they managing deadlines and  developing independent learners.
    • How should I be preparing my future teachers to better use Canvas.
  • Up my Canvas game..
    • I hope to learn some new skills.  I am tired of my course set up.. and I have a new collaborator this fall.. It’s a good time to change.
    • Learn more about plugins.
    • Explore Badgr again.. I am currently using Badgelist but I would love to see more integration.
  • Make sure to use both the App and the web browser so I can compare student experiences.

I need to begin blogging again and use this as my opportunity..  So I will try  to take notes each night.