Canvas – A new LMS at Ivy Tech Community College


This will be brief, and it’s really intended for a very specific audience out there.  I am one of about 80-100 full-time faculty members from Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana who will be asked to lead training seminars with other faculty and staff throughout the state.  We are a state-wide college with campuses in over a dozen main campuses around the state.

Our college is switching from BlackBoard to Canvas in the coming months.  If anyone out there has college/university experience with Canvas and would like to offer information that might be useful for me, my department and other colleagues, I would greatly appreciate it.

Specifically, I would like to hear what students and faculty (adjunct or full-time) like and dislike about Canvas.  Feel free to post comments below or send me an email.

Creative Writing Class – Assignment #1


I’m taking an online creative writing course through Ivy Tech to fulfill a course requirement to keep my teaching license active.  I’m very excited to be a student again!

Our first assignment was to post three short stories that introduce us to the class.  The caveat is that only one of the three may be factual.  Here are my three short stories.  Feel free to guess which one is real!

1.  As a kid, I was not much of a troublemaker.  If anything, I avoided pretty much all conflicts whatsoever.  My first real act of rebellion as a teenager, however, got me in some serious hot water with my mom.  I went to my junior prom with a sophomore girl I had been dating for a few months.  We had an okay time, but the event did not pan out as I had pictured it would.  The time came for us to leave, and I assumed I was just going to take her back to her parents’ house.  She, however, had a different plan.  Evidently, everyone else in the school knew about this enormous party one of the seniors was having out in the country.  She led me to it, which turned out to be quite simple due to the large bonfire that served as both a signal and warming device.  In short, we stayed way too long and I got home at 3:15–over three hours past my curfew.  I didn’t drink at the party, but I was in severe trouble for being out without permission.

2.  I never owned pets as a child; that is, unless you count goldfish (and you shouldn’t, honestly).  When I was in my twenties, however, I got my first dog–unless you don’t count Shih-Tzus as dogs (but you should!).  We named her Kenzie (short for Mrs. Kensington, a character from the Austin Powers movies), and I really became quite fond of her.  One morning, however, an outside observer might have assumed otherwise.  My in-laws at that time had a long driveway, so one chilly Sunday morning, I offered to drive down to get the paper.  My wife had let the dog go outside while I was on my brief excursion.  As I pulled back toward the house, I saw that the dog was yelping and jumping around near the car.  Even though I slowed down, I ended up running over her tail!  We had to have the tail amputated, and I think it’s fair to say I was no longer Kenzie’s favorite parent.

3.  Years ago, roller skating was wildly popular.  Once in a while, our elementary principal–of all people–would organize a Friday evening trip to the old Wigwam on the north side of Terre Haute.  While parents were encouraged to accompany their children, they were not required to do so.  My older brother had found some rather taboo print tee-shirts during a recent vacation with friends, and I took one to wear to that night’s skating night.  I arrived well before the required time and was very excited.  That is, until my principal suggested I take off my jacket.  As I unzipped, I revealed the risque shirt–a cartoon duck with the words SHIT HAPPENS emblazoned above his head.  Needless to say, my mother was called and I was not allowed to attend that night’s skating party.