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A story about our biggest virtual event yet told with the help of our Canvas community.

Educators opening their laptops on October 15, 2020 in preparation for the first CanvasCon Online emulated the feeling of Christmas morning, with so much to look forward to and plenty of connections to be made.

The day started by gathering around the virtual keynote stage to hear from Instructure executives about their vision for the future of both K12 and higher education, and how communication and community continue to be the most important factors in building an equitable foundation for learning.

Our CEO, Steve Daly said it best when he said, “Canvas is not simply software. It’s an ecosystem of people, passion, culture, best practices, and technologies that connect in a beautiful way at the point of learning." reinforcing our commitment to education as a company.

Building upon this commitment to education, Trenton Goble, VP of K12 Strategy and Jared Stein, VP of higher education Strategy shared their perspectives on how the COVID-19 pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities for meaningful change. Both emphasized the ways online learning has both pressured and pushed us all to find new methods for connection and make learning personal.

Following their insights, attendees heard from Instructure Privacy Officer, Daisy Bennett, about our guiding privacy principles and the importance of transparency. 

And then, suddenly, Levar Burton took the stage and none of us could contain our excitement. He reminded all of us that our imagination is our super power, literacy is a human right, and that our stories deserve to be told. We could go on and on about his brilliance, but it seems we weren’t the only ones inspired by his remarks.

To keep the greatness going, Sal Khan reminded us of the importance of enthusiasm in education and the way it makes the world go ‘round.

And although Canvas is so much more than software like Steve Daly said earlier, everyone loves some good, old-fashioned, reliable software. Attendees shared their excitement about the innovative features we are building and adding to our products this year.

Of course, we were all reminded by our Chief Customer Experience Officer, Melissa Loble, that technology doesn’t put the magic in learning, teachers do. In her segment “Some Good Yous” (SGY), she shared some of the ways teachers have come together to overcome adversity, create consistency, and ensure equity in learning.

A fan favorite that made everyone’s day a little brighter? Mr. Miller’s 2020 Back to School song.

Although we couldn’t be experiencing this year’s CanvasCon in the same room, there were many opportunities for collaboration and networking—all from the comfort of our own homes and offices where dogs and babies could join in on the fun.

After a brief technical issue (because it wouldn’t be 2020 without one) attendees were back at it! Because if this year has taught us anything, it’s that educators are resilient.

Even in an online format, the conversations and connections never stopped. We shared our selfies with one another, earned badges, and made the most of every moment.

To everyone who attended CanvasCon 2020: Thank you! We are honored to be a small part of the work you do everyday and we can’t wait to see what you do next.

To access the recorded sessions and keynotes, we invite you to access our post-event website below.

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