My phone rings. It’s our Vice Chancellor. He’s approving travel requests.
“What will you be doing on July 24th at 6:00 pm?” he says.
“I’ll be at InstructureCon!” I quickly answer. Because yes, I have the dates memorized.
He says, “You’ll be attending a reception at InstructureCon. And one the next day. And the next day. And there’s something called ‘Game Night’. I’m looking at a picture of a tent. It’s just one giant party, isn’t it?”
He’s joking, but I assure him that while – undeniably - opportunities for fun exist, there will be important stuff going on, too. Work-related stuff. Stuff that will fire up my neurons, so I come home with all sorts of bright, shiny, wacky notions. And I can’t wait.
More Than a Conference
I attended InstructureCons in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. They were four of the best edtech conferences I’ve ever attended. In 2014, I even wrote an embarrassingly sentimental essay comparing InstructureCon to summer camp. I suspect I even shared it with some people. The gist of it still holds true – it’s more than just a conference, it’s an experience. The newbies and the cool kids and the counselors (that’s you, Instructure employees) all get together and spend a messy few days connecting, reconnecting, engaging in (100% work-related) shenanigans, and sharing and stealing amazing ideas with and from each other.
The other thing that's fun about InstructureCon? You never know what might happen. The conference planners do their best to throw in surprises and secrets, but sometimes even they can't control the crazy. It snowed one year. In June. And I'm really not sure where those snakes came from, but sure, I'll drape one around my neck, thanks!
InstructureCon 2018 (aka InstructureCarn) is coming. I’m excited to be headed back after missing InstCon 2016 and 2017. The FOMO was real. I wrote another embarrassingly sentimental piece about it last summer. I know for sure I shared that one, because it’s right there in the Canvas Community. It was a great realization, though, that even if you can’t make it in person, you can stalk enough streaming sessions and social media to feel the energy.
This year, I am hoping to run into some of the folks I’ve met at previous InstructureCons, and people I’ve connected with since. I am eagerly looking forward to the “too many choices” dilemma of session selection. And if InstructureCon 2018 is anything like my previous InstCon adventures, I will arrive home tired yet energized, weighed down by swag, and buoyed up by the enthusiasm of my fellow Canvas lovers.
Instructional Technology Manager, Alamo Colleges District (Texas)