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The third annual OLC Innovate conference, held April 18-20, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee, generated a great deal of energy, enthusiasm, and new connections. More than 1,200 onsite and approximately 550 virtual attendees participated, representing 49 states and 18 countries.

“OLC Innovate was awesome! I loved meeting the amazing range of curious and connected educators excited to explore and try new things!”
Adam Parker Goldberg, Engagement, Flipgrid

This year’s program included a diverse group of more than 450 speakers. Attendees chose from a myriad of learning opportunities, featuring 113 Emerging Ideas sessions, and a multitude of Education Sessions, Workshops, Conversations—Not Presentations, Master Classes, Featured Sessions, Career Forum Roundtables, and more! Attendees engaged in various collaborative experiences, included the Innovation Lab, Blogger Bar, and the Innovation Installation.

“I would recommend [OLC Innovate] to anyone involved in distance learning, online teaching, or course design, because of the opportunities to learn from others, and discover products and solutions offered by the vendors.”
Celia Olson, MSN, RN, Instructor, Nursing RN to BSN Online program, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Our three Campfire Gatherings provided opportunities to network each evening, and the SWAPS exchange brought members together in order to share their personal interests and enthusiasms.

“OLC Innovate provides the chance to network with educators who are not afraid to try out new ways to improve higher ed for students and who are generous with their ideas.”
Tracey Osborne, AVP of Academic Resources, Southern NH University
OLC Innovate - Ranger Station
OLC Innovate - Networking at LunchOLC Innovate - Networking at Lunch

We hope you will join us at next year’s OLC Innovate 2019, taking place April 3-5 in Denver, CO, and at OLC Accelerate, taking place November 14-16, 2018 in Orlando, FL. Sign up for email updates of these events.

Access Recorded Sessions

The 80+ recordings are always free for registered attendees. If you were a registered attendee of the conference, the instructions and the activation link were emailed to you prior to the conference, and in the post-conference survey email. Please e-mail if you have any questions.

Campfire Ovation Emerging Ideas GroupEmerging Ideas GroupConference Handshake

SAVE THE DATE! Join us in Denver April 3-5, 2019 for OLC Innovate 2019.

Sign up for conference updates to receive the latest information on Online Learning Consortium events.

Angela Gunder, The University of Arizona, Conference Co-Chair
Angela Gunder, The University of Arizona, Conference Co-Chair
Dr Jessica Knott
Jessica Knott, Michigan State University, Conference Co-Chair

Hooooo-wee! It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks since we met in Nashville for an energizing, connective OLC Innovate experience. This year was truly special on a number of fronts – let’s reflect a bit:

  • OLC Live allowed us to dig deeply into some of the conference themes in an open, engaging way. It allowed us to experience things with some of you who weren’t able to attend – and for you to share with us as well. We look forward to more opportunities like this in the future. Make sure to watch some videos if you feel like you’re missing your new friends!
  • The Campfire Stories keynote was amazing. From Shel’s move busting to Stephen’s flashlight to Melody’s interesting headwear, we talked about failure and embraced what we learned from it. That’s what Innovate 2018 was about – stories, sharing, and growing together.
  • Speaking of campfires – how about those campfire gatherings? We made crafts, played games, and talked about ways we can change the world for the better in regard to diversity and inclusion. We met so many neat new people (looking at you, Leadership Network Cheese Crew!) and heard so many new stories – even two weeks later we’re energized and excited to do more together in the year to come!
  • The Ranger program helped connect people to content, people to people, and content to people… and everything to everything. Those rangers were everywhere. Did you meet one? If not, keep your eyes open next year – or better yet, sign up to be a field guide at Accelerate 2018 or a ranger at Innovate 2019!
  • The arts and crafts swaps were really fun, from paper unicorns to wordle-clad screen cleaners to handmade wood burned Wisconsin keychains to hand stamped tags declaring love for an institution, to crocheted/knitted friendship bracelets and upcycled t-shirts, the maker bent that swaps brought to networking events was a truly creative, fun way to meet new people – and remember new faces and potential collaborators!
  • The MERLOT folks were on site in force, as co-sponsors and collaborators on the conference program! High quality, open learning objects? Yes! A house cup awarded to their teacher education board at the awards lunch? Yes! All good things.
  • We created a space for open discourse on issues that matter to us as a community. The organization heard your feedback – as mentioned in an e-mail from Kathleen Ives to OLC Innovate attendees, data and privacy practices that were in the process of being updated before Innovate 2018 will be finalized and updated for next year. We’re empowered by those conversations, and we invite all who want to solve challenges collaboratively to join us at the table.
Campfire LightCampfire Audience

Now for a more serious reflection. Many of you may have visited the Innovation Lab, led by Keegan Long-Wheeler. If you did, you’ll understand why we semi-jokingly referred to this as the #YearOfKeegan. Keegan’s enthusiasm and passion for the work he does is palpable, and it is shared and reflected among the Innovation Lab volunteers and evidenced throughout the whole experience. Now, let me tell you a little bit about the true community we built at OLC Innovate.

Last week, Keegan suffered a sudden, frightening seizure which led to the discovery of a benign brain tumor. Let that sink in for a moment – the Innovation Lab—arguably the most energetic space in the entire conference—was organized and executed by a man with an undiagnosed brain tumor. He rallied volunteers, he invited people into the space, and he gave them a creative outlet, or a quiet place to rest. What happened next is a testament to Keegan’s character and to the effect he had on the people who interacted with him. A GoFundMe set up to help Keegan’s family with medical bills was fully funded in four days. While I don’t have an exact number, many of those donors were OLC Innovate attendees. Let that sink in. This is also a testament to you, our community members, and to the heart and soul you give to cultivating a community that cares. Thank you for that. And if you want to share your thanks for all that Keegan did for us, we’ve created a space to record messages of support for him.

Keegan - Innovate 2017 Keegan - Innovate 2018

OLC Innovate 2018 wasn’t just a conference. It was a community. In a short three days, we came together, learned more about each other, and bonded over our common love for teaching, learning, technology, and the field of education. Please help us keep this community going – we’re already depressed to be back in our silos, and we need your help to pick us up and keep us ensconced in the happy bubble we were in two weeks ago. Please, continue the conversation on Twitter using the #OLCInnovate hashtag. Keep sharing and meeting and talking and debating. While you do so, get pumped for 2019 – things are already shaping up, and if you thought this year was good? Just wait for Denver. Thank you for being a part of our squad! #squadgoals

Photo Galleries

All photos are property of the Online Learning Consortium.  If you would like a larger copy of any of the photos, or if you would like to use them for promotional purposes, please contact

Thank you to our generous sponsors for the prizes below!

Booth Raffle Winners:

Sponsor Company Booth Drawing/Raffle Prize Winner
Blindside Networks Wacom Bamboo Slate Tablet Parita Vithlani
OLC Taste of Nashville gift bag and 2 $25 OLC gift cards Carrie Hansel
UCO Institute for Learning Environment Design Learning Architect System for Course Design Sharon Titus

OLC Stamp Card Contest iPad Winner: 

  • Linda Sudlesky, UMass Boston

Stamp Card Contest Gift Card Winners: 

  • Linda Leake, University of Louisville
  • Parita Vithlani, Harford Community College
  • Ann Ellsworth, Montana State
  • Becky Allen, Moberly Area Community College
  • Tsehay Demeke, Fisk University
  • Raghavan Iyengar, North Carolina Central Univ
  • Kathleen Golden, Edinboro University
  • Laura Widenor, K-State
  • Jeremy Van Hof, Michigan State Univ
  • Lori Seawel, University of Northern Iowa

Session Evaluation Gift Card Winners:

  • Jim Millard, Saint Michael’s College
  • Fawn Thompson, Boston University
  • Lynne Croteau, Rasmussen College
  • Amy Schiedermayer, Fox Valley Technical College
  • Tammy Macek, Lorain County Community College

Complimentary Conference Registration Winners:

Name University Sponsor
Christopher Bevard John Marshall Law School Examity
Jason Rodenbeck Life University Canvas
James Holland North Florida Community College D2L
George Hudson Metropolitan Community College ProctorU

contest image
Social Media Contest Winners:

Sponsor Prize Winner Winning Tweet/Post
Ed Map Ed Map OER Booster Kit – an $8,000 value Courtney Felton
UCO Institute for Learning Environment Design Learning Architect System for Course Design Rolando Mendez
Canvas Canvas branded bluetooth headphones Nick Noel
Yellowdig in-person “Lunch and Learn” hosted by Yellowdig Lindsey Harness
Collegis Collegis Basket: Padfolio, pen, charger and $25 gift card Lori Wendt
Begell House $50 Visa Gift Card Bobby Remis
PSI Echo Spot Sam Day
OLC $25 OLC Gift Card Renee Petrina
OLC $25 OLC Gift Card Michael Substelny

Take a look at photos, videos, inspiring quotes, and more that were shared before, during, and after the conference by following the #OLCInnovate hashtag!

Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Events Team Live Streams OLC Innovate 2018


Mediasite Keeps Conversations from OLC Innovate 2018 Conference Alive with Dynamic Video

OLC Innovate 2018 is over, but thanks to the power of video the conversations that took place there are still going strong. OLC selected Sonic Foundry to be the national webcasting partner for the event in Nashville, Tenn. last month.

Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Events team streamed OLC Innovate 2018 to the online audience. In the OLC Live! Virtual Hub online attendees could converse with presenters and their peers and watch sessions in real-time.

Through the live webcasts of more than 80 conference sessions, OLC engaged over 550 online attendees who were unable to make it to Nashville. They posed questions to presenters and, along with the 1,203 people who attended the conference on-site, can now re-watch these sessions on-demand on any device.

OLC Innovate is a joint conference presented by OLC and MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), a program of the California State University System that provides free and open online teaching, learning and faculty development services. Academic leaders, faculty and administrators came together to discuss education innovation, including emerging technologies, how to incorporate intelligent learning management systems and designing blended classrooms.

Mediasite Events helps the world’s top companies harness the power of video to stream their events globally and engage attendees wherever they are. With the most experienced project managers and the most rock-solid technology in the industry, Mediasite Events is the go-to solution for the world’s largest companies and continuing educational conferences. Mediasite Events is powered by the award-winning Mediasite Video Platform, trusted by more than 4,300 educational institutions, corporations, health organizations and government entities in 65 countries. Learn more at and @mediasite.

Some fun from the OLC Innovate 2018 exhibit hall:



“OLC Innovate provides the chance to network with educators who are not afraid to try out new ways to improve higher ed for students and who are generous with their ideas.”

Tracey Osborne, AVP of Academic Resources, Southern NH University (OLC Innovate 2018)