Canvas is the modern, open learning platform designed to help you transform learning. Instructure is the company who builds it. This is the blog where we hold it to a standard of openness, usability and reliability—and give you a glimpse of the fun we have doing it.

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Roadmaps Are So Yesterday

Rotary Phone

Rotary phones used to be awesome. And by “awesome,” I mean clunky and annoying. First off, you had to actually turn a dial to call someone. If their number had two zeros, you could probably walk to their house faster than you could dial. Then there was always the whole “my finger slipped out of the number hole halfway through the turn” thing. And once you passed through the dialing gauntlet, your conversation was held within a tangled cord’s distance of the phone jack. And untangling the cord? Uh, no. 

2013 Instructure Year in Review

what does the fox say test question

The holidays are a thing of the past and 2013 is officially in the books, so now it’s time for a little reflection. 2013 was a year of changes and opportunities, along with selfies, contemplations about what a fox might say, and an obsession with the croissant-donut hybrid, the Cronut.

Canvas’ Third Annual Open Security Audit

Security Camera

2013 was a rough year for data security and privacy. In the last 12 months, 2 million Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter passwords were stolen in a massive hack, nearly 40 million Target customers’ credit and debit card numbers were stolen, 250,000 Twitter user emails and passwords were compromised, data for 3 million Adobe customers’ credit cards was stolen, and the list continues with names like LivingSocial, Evernote, Federal Reserve Bank, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security all having breaches that affected hundreds of millions of people.

Tips to Move from Testing to Resting


For those of you who work in education, the stress of December goes way beyond holiday shopping, freak snowstorms, busy airports, or even year-end tax woes. That’s because you’re also faced with finals, the end of the semester, and the last leg of a months-long academic relay race. (And you’re hoping like crazy your students don’t drop the baton.)

Observations of a New CTO

Early DJ

I'm a wannabe teacher. Growing up, I wanted to teach (or be a DJ). My dad told me there was no money in either so I chased my other passion: technology. I never got the teaching bug out of my blood, though. In the last 25 years I've taught classes on and off at elementary schools, junior highs, high schools, and universities. And I love it. I've just never had enough guts to make it a full-time gig. With my new role at Instructure, I’ve found a perfect fit—being involved in both technology and education! When I go to work I help create software, which is used for teaching and learning in elementaries, junior highs, high schools, and universities.

Course Home Pages with Purpose


Life can be confusing. Or, at least things that happen in life can be confusing. According to a recent survey, algebra is second on the list of the 50 most confusing things in the world. Other noteworthy areas of bewilderment include Stephen Hawking's theories, packaging on kids toys, Twitter, and people who crack their knuckles. Most surprising, and contrary to popular belief, was that men are more confusing than women (by 5%).

Walking in a Holiday Help Desk Wonderland

Canvas Holiday Traffic

The holidays are upon us. This week it’s all turkey and stuffing, but within a few days the elves will have taken over. They’re the unsung heros of Christmas. While the big man gets most of the credit, it’s actually the elves who are in the trenches, making all the preparations for the big day.

#OpenEd13: We were totally there.

1st World Scout Jamboree poster

For those who’ve been in the education industry for a while, you know not all conferences are created equal. Some are expensive, some are free. Some are national, some regional. There are summits, symposia, seminars. You might sit at a roundtable or just meet up and talk with a dude named TED. Un-conferences are not anti-conferences and under no circumstances will Bill Gates send you a $5,000 check for sharing your ideas. If you’re lucky enough to go to one of these events, I’d strongly encourage you to avoid the trust fall.

Plugging Canvas into a K-12 Initiative


If you’ve traveled internationally, you probably know that North American electronic devices, which use plug types A and B, can’t be plugged into sockets on most other continents (and vice versa). So taking your laptop from the U.S. to Spain means carrying type C and F adapters in your suitcase. And if you cross the border into France, you’d better have a type E adapter, or you might as well leave your MacBook in Barcelona.

Bucking the pumpkin status quo

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween has always been a big deal at our house. Growing up, pumpkin carving was second only to trick-or-treating on the Halloween activity spectrum. With three siblings running around wielding knives, we did our best to strike a careful balance between carving pumpkin Picassos and keeping all of our fingers. The finished products weren’t much to look at, but they were always worthy of display on the front porch. But that was then.

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