What *IS* innovation?
This is the FIRST question the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) co-chairs, Karen Vignare, Paige McDonald and I, asked each other as we started to organize the *NEW* OLC Innovate Conference (#OLCinnovate). Innovation is a BIG word. It means so many different things, to so many different people. Before putting out the call and promoting the #OLCInnovate conference (happening April 20-22, 2016 in New Orleans, LA), we thought carefully about who we wanted to join the planning team and how to design a conference experience to live up to the “hype” of the word INNOVATE. This conference was formed to merge the best ideas of blended learning (from #blend15) and emerging technologies for online learning (from #et4online); however we expect this meeting in NOLA — OLC Innovate 2016 — to be SO MUCH MORE! Thanks to our AMAZING #OLCInnovate Steering Committee (Tw-shout outs HERE and HERE) we support to hash out what innovation means for the program tracks, developed thoughtful session types for program delivery/format, and, we hope, this conference will model the learning design we all strive for at our institutions and organizations.
So WHY should you attend #OLCinnovate 2016? [What’s in it for me? you ask.]
- Advancing learning requires continuous visionary leadership from all disciplines
- Connecting with multiple stakeholders (i.e. learners, educators, administrators, trainers, researchers, administrators, faculty, policy-makers, designers, and industry leaders) to strategize about the evolving needs at our institutions and organizations
- Sharing learning and development ideas for all levels – K-12, higher education, & industry
- Implementing solution-based approaches to learning design, support, and structure
- Researching and developing evidence-based practices for learning is now more critical than ever.
Our #OLCinnovate planning team thinks this conference is a great opportunity to bring ideas, perspectives, research, and practices to the table to truly support innovation in education. The program tracks are structured around areas we all face with learning and development in K-12, higher education, and industry:
- Workforce Innovation – connections from K-12 to higher ed to the workforce, curriculum to meet industry needs, partnerships for learning & work
- Structural Innovation – systemic challenges, organization of education, learning spaces, partnerships between educators & technology solutions
- Pedagogical Innovation – course & program approaches, methods, design, assessment models, etc.
- Challenging Barriers to Innovation – digital divide, OER, Open Access, sharing evidence, ethical research collaborations, opportunities and areas for learning growth
- Propose Your Own Topic – Tell us what YOU think innovation IS or what is missing!
Program Format (Session Types) include:
- Conversations That Work – why have a panel, when you can facilitate a discussion on the topic with others in the room? Think of questions, discussion prompts, and ideas you want to chat about for this 45-minute session.
- Emerging Ideas – Forget the “traditional poster session” we want you to share your practice, research, and work-in-progress ideas in 10-15 minutes to get ideas, feedback, and suggestions during this networking event with both on-site & virtual attendees.
- Innovation Labs – 5-minute chat about the concept/idea; 20-minute demonstration; 20-minute applied skills for learning, technology, research, design, or other.
- Research Highlights & Trends – 15-minute presentation on your original research; abstract due in November; final, full paper due January 31, 2016 with the potential to be invited to a special issue of the Online Learning journal.
- Workshops – these are interactive 90-minute sessions with valuable take-away learning outcomes for participants (free to all conference participants).
- Education Sessions – a 45-minute lecture about an idea/concept with 5-10 minutes for Q & A at the end.
There are a number of helpful tips provided on the CFP page; however if you have questions or needs, I would be happy to support you with your proposal development/submission. It is getting the right PEOPLE and VOICES to the table that adds value to any learning and development experience. Please help us invite of institutional stakeholders from education (K-12 and higher ed), and industry (technology, design, L & D, and corporate training) to #OLCinnovate. Share this blog post with your peers, and tell me who the #OLCinnovate planning team should reach out to or invite. Thanks!
Upcoming announcements of other #OLCinnovate program features, speakers, highlights, and are coming soon… stay tuned for more updates!