Another great InstructureCon is in the books, and we are as happy as ever to be a part of the Instructure Partner ecosystem. This year, we got to experience InstructureCon from two different perspectives: as an exhibiting vendor, and a peer in the break-out sessions. Being a part of Startup Alley, we had a fast-paced, dynamic three hour window for educators to ask questions about our authoring tool and explain ways that they are looking to improve the learning experience for their students. For the remainder of the conference, we were able to attend a variety of sessions hosted by Instructure, but also by Canvas users. The thing that stood out to us the most was the mutual passion for learning material as well as for the learners.
One of the most crowded Sessions that we attended was to talk about the anticipated addition of LTI Advantage to the Canvas platform. LTI Advantage is a package of services that build on LTI 1.3 to add new features that facilitate deeper integration of any tool with any LMS and offers more advanced protection of the exchange of sensitive student data. Currently, the three LTI Advantage services are Names and Role Provisioning Services, Deep Linking, and Assignment and Grade Services.
From both the Canvas side as well as the many institutions represented, LTI Advantage will impact the student and faculty experience in a number of positive ways, all potentially enhancing the learning and teaching experience. With the rollout of three new services, there can be more opportunities to contextualize the user, to streamline the learning experience, and to spend time and energy leveraging technologies rather than managing technologies.
The attendees of InstructureCon are a group that loves to be on the leading edge of the learning and instruction experience. They are creative, resourceful, and willing to use any and all available resources to deliver learning in the most effective way. We attended several lively sessions centered around tips and tricks for using the tools native to the Canvas platform. We also attended a Keynote which highlighted educators at several levels who have gone above and beyond to innovate in the learning space of their respective institutions. It was in this Keynote that a quote from Fabiola Torres summed up the passion for pushing the instructional boundaries on behalf of the learners that we felt from all of the educators in attendance.
“We have someone’s child. Or we have someone’s wife. We have someone’s husband. We have someone’s grandchild. We have a social responsibility to use all tools available to enable success.”
Well said, Fabiola! knowbly™ has always been motivated to empower the learner, and we feel the same type of responsibility to be an active part of learning success. Put simply, we just want to be one of the tools helping to enable success.
There was an unmistakable theme of inclusion throughout the conference. Accessibility is always an area of concern in the education space. However, accessibility can also be seen as an arduous undertaking. We were immediately impressed with the amount of passionate conversation regarding accessibility and inclusion, not as work that needs to be performed, but rather as an opportunity to engage with and value everyone equally.
It is refreshing to hear so many people truly excited to deliver learning in a manner that is inclusive. It was also great to hear that Instructure as an organization is committed to being a role model through their own hiring, accessibility, career development, and culture initiatives. knowbly is similarly dedicated to democratizing education: making digital education accessible to all by providing tools to create content designed within the UDL framework. Whether it is work to ensure WCAG or 508 compliant content, facilitating Multiple Means of Representation through support for contextualized mixed media, Multiple Means of Expression through alternative forms of assessment, or Multiple Means of Engagement though freedom of design in learning material, an overarching goal of the knowbly tool is to support the creation of inclusive content.
InstructureCon is always an event that fosters a strong sense of community, and this year was no different. Whether attendees were engaged in a technical conversation, a panel discussion, a live demonstration, or even a conversation over a meal, a common thread of InstructureCon 2019 was the passion to provide learners with the best experience possible. That is a message that definitely resonates with us here at knowbly.