Just like Joan Jett, I love rock 'n' roll. Some of the things I love about rock music are the same things I love about learning. Rock music is collaborative—everyone brings different skills and abilities, yet all learn from each other while creating something greater.

Guitar-InstructureCon

But rock music is also individual—no two bands have the same sound or take the same path. And while there are record companies and distributors and red tape, rock is still, at its heart, DIY. It requires a growth mindset—a never say die attitude—to take it forward and keep you on the path to mastery. And above all, like learning, music never dies. Once you fall for it, you'll carry that love with you throughout your life.

"Student-centered learning" can be broadly interpreted to mean anything from active learning to personalization. At InstructureCon 2015, we're focusing on student-centered learning as the development of students' capability for self-directed, lifelong learning by granting them more choice, control, and responsibility for the learning process.  

Student-centered learning has been at the heart of Canvas from the beginning, and so, of course I'm excited that SCL is this year's InstructureCon theme. Actually, it's SCL: The Musical, because making progress toward increasingly student-centered learning requires the same kind of energy, experimentation, and coordination between players as a stage production or rock 'n' roll band. And, hey, why not mix in a lot of fun?

Like any great live music event, we hope InstructureCon will inspire you to do more and share more—with Canvas. Because just having technology with the potential to support student-centered learning experiences isn't enough. We need to reflect on examples of how this can actually work, for real teachers and real students, across disciplines and grade levels.

InstructureCon may be the studio album of SCL, but there are already jam sessions happening around the world, and many a great bootleg tape to be shared after the conference is over. To get things started, there's a new discussion in the Community forum for student-centered learning, answering questions like:

  • What teaching practices have you seen that are truly student-centered?

  • How have teachers or designers leveraged Canvas to facilitate student-centered learning?

  • How have real-world student-centered tools and services (personal web sites, blogs, wikis, social media, etc) been connected to Canvas?

  • How have students themselves taken advantage of Canvas features to support their own learning?

So put another dime in the jukebox, baby. Share your examples to either the Community thread I've started, or start your own. Just be sure to use #student-centered in the post or as a tag.

Keep Learning, 
Jared Stein
VP of Research & Education