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Lately, it seems like Open has been such a confusing term for some organizations that have arrived late to the 'open' party. Here's our take:

OpenEd 2011 Conference, #opened11OpenEd 2011 Conference, #opened11

Last week we joined the crowd of gentlefolk and ruffians at OpenEd 2011 in Park City and quickly ran out of t-shirts. Seems that Canvas has some appeal with folks pushing the boundaries of education. This may be because when it comes to openness, Instructure doesn’t just talk the talk, we are the duck:

  • Canvas is open source. AGPL, baby. This equals freedom for DIY’ers and code junkies, and seeds a new community that benefits everyone involved.
  • Canvas has an open API. No exclusive, members-only club here; we actually want people to innovate and expand Canvas’s capabilities.
  • Canvas uses open standards. Sure, our code is standards-compliant, but we also use open learning standards like Common Cartridge for bringing learning content in and out, and LTI to let your custom tools talk to Canvas.
  • Canvas courses can be open published and assigned a Creative Commons license. Why rebuild your course as OER when all it takes is one click? (Been doing this since 2009.)
Instructure tastes like open too.Instructure tastes like open too.

This next one’s my favorite:

  • Canvas supports open learning experiences. Students in Canvas use whatever web services they want for communication and creation. Let students publish course work in their own digital spaces, then use Canvas’s SpeedGrader (along with the URL submission or Google Docs or Etherpad integration) to painlessly manage assessments. (Again, old news for Canvas.)

Instructure is open. It’s part of who we are. It’s what we believe in.

Keep learning,

Jared Stein