Breaking Down OLC Innovate 2016

 · 2 mins read

Wow! Just wow. There was so insanely much good stuff happening in New Orleans last week. It’s an exciting time to be in educational technology/online learning.

Some of the highlights for me included learning from Julie Larsen about First-Year Interest Groups at University of Washington, which are peer-led, student-driven classes that have proven results in higher retention rates and community building among students. I also got to participate in a great discussion about the concept of Digital Redlining, led by Chris Gilliard, where we debated the pros and cons of certain IT policies that block students from accessing information and tools while on campus, and the unintended ripple effects these policies have on underprivileged students whose only internet access is on campus. I also had a really great time having real conversations with women in the IT field about the challenges we face and how we can help our colleagues help us and each other be successful in the field. That session was facilitated by the #3WEdu ladies, a group of “Women Who Wine in Education” (get the hashtag now?) who host virtual meetups that are shared on their YouTube channel. I can’t wait to jump in at some point in the (hopefully) near future!

I heard about Open SUNY’s OSCQR Rubric and the initiative surrounding that, and I also had the chance to try a VR headset to experience a U2 concert, which was definitely cool. I have a whole list of tools to check out, and topics to explore further. And I had a fabulous time participating in the OLC Innovate Solution Design Summit, which ran for the first time at the conference this year. We got a half day to work on our pitches, and then each team shared their ten-minute “sales” pitch to conference attendees AND stakeholders (who acted as consultants during the workshop portion and judges for the pitch portion). We’re still waiting to hear on the results of the competition, but Alex and I were able to talk about CaptureStudio and ELMS LN and the implications for the future of the #pedagogyfirst initiative. It was fantastic! I hope to have a podcast version of the presentation up soon so that we can share it with others.

Look for more follow-up blogs later! Until then, enjoy some photos I snapped of the great things happening at OLC Innovate!

The conference schedule, prominently displayed!

That presenter ribbon looked great with my outfit!

A couple of pre-conference highlights since my flight got in Tuesday morning.

Attendees got Google Cardboard during a VR session – but it was “some assembly required!”

A sampling of VR tech tools we could try out… Talk about information overload!

This snazzy jazz band played us off as the keynote ended.

NOLA in the early morning. We had gorgeous weather.

#pedagogyfirst #OLCInnovateSDS

Keynote takeaway: Four types of thought patterns… it’s important to have a combination of all these types on your team!