Collaboration & Community Prevalent At OTC’17

Nearly 1,100 educational professionals attended the Online Teaching Conference 2017, June 19-21, 2017, at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, Calif.The Online Teaching Conference 2017 (OTC) — held June 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif. — featured sharing of online knowledge among educators from across the state. It was an amazing event and it’s time to mark your calendars for next year!

OTC participants exhibited their enthusiasm for online teaching throughout the three-day event. Sessions included a range of topics from equity to course exchange to course development covering both pedagogic and technologic aspects of online learning. All sessions had an emphasis on students and student success.

The keynotes were inspiring and started each day with us thinking about online learning and innovations from different perspectives. And the sessions were supported by that other important benefit of a conference like this: those conversations that happen between practitioners in the hallway and at meal times. Talking with colleagues, the common themes were a deep appreciation to all the people that made OTC happen and a recommendation to immediately save the date for next year’s conference.

OTC will return to Anaheim June 18-20, 2018. Certainly this year’s record attendance will be topped as word travels of the success of this year’s conference.

Distance Ed Coordinators Connect

The conference started for many with the California Community College Distance Education Coordinators Organization (CCC DECO) DE Coordinators’ Retreat. This annual retreat was a rich day of idea sharing and presentations and, for many, began their OTC week with inspiration.

Lisa Beach, Director of Distance Education at Santa Rosa Junior College, and current president of the CCC DECO, said OTC this year was “definitely one of the best I've attended!” About the DE coordinators meeting, she said: “I would emphasize the importance of this retreat in giving us the ability to connect with other DECs in the system. It’s great to discover how other colleges are handling the onslaught of new technologies, regulations and resources, as well as to discuss the ways our unique campus cultures dictate how we present new ideas to faculty and administrators.”

CCC DECO is an important voice for online coordinators, and for all of us that teach online. (Visit CCCDeco.org to join this vibrant and important organization.)

Hands-On Demos, Tools

The Online Teaching Conference 2017 ran from June 19-21, 2017, at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, Calif.Also popular was the Exhibit Hall, giving participants a chance to talk with companies and initiatives that are working to make online learning richer and more student-supportive.

There were over 30 exhibitors this year sharing their products and their passion for online learning. Hands-on opportunities to try new products, demos and discussion of teaching tools made the Exhibit Hall a busy and communal place.

In my role as Director of Strategic Planning & Operations for the CCC Online Education Initiative (OEI), I spent much time in the Exhibit Hall talking to colleagues about the OEI and the part we all play in improving online education, and visiting the other booths to learn more about current innovations and projects.

The conference sessions were diverse, and many were standing room only! You can see the full agenda here. A full array of topics from Canvas to Course Design, Accessibility to Equity, Online Student Services to the OEI Course Exchange, and more, kept participants busy. The mobile app was an important tool to see all the events and sessions. It also was a wonderful hub for sharing pictures and thoughts throughout the conference.

Inspired By Colleagues

Talking with some of the people and connecting after the event, I heard the enthusiasm for online learning, and for this event. James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Educational Technology, Learning Resources and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons said: “Like many of you who attended the Online Teaching Conference, I’ve returned home inspired by my colleagues and grateful for the TTIP South folks who make the conference better each year.”

Martha Kanter, Keynote speaker on Tuesday and Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign, also pointed out the valuable opportunity and importance of faculty leadership and the OTC as a place where these skills are fostered.

“For unparalleled online learning in the 21st century, faculty leadership in transforming 20th-century teaching practices, pedagogy, content and materials is more important than ever for unlocking student potential and talent to reach higher levels of achievement and a better life in the decades ahead!”

CCC Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the Keynote speaker for Wednesday, said in his speech: “Thank you for doing the work you do, being little engines of innovation, not only in your colleges and your communities but throughout the system."

Session Archive Online

If you could not join us in Anaheim, you can watch the webcast of selected OTC sessions at www.3cmediasolutions.org/events/otc. And, without question, plan on attending next year! Visit OnlineTeachingConference.org for more information.


Kate Jordahl is Director of Strategic Planning & Operations for
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative


 

 

 

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