Woman sitting with laptop at a tableThrough Every Learner Everywhere (a network of twelve partner associations focused on improving student outcomes for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, poverty-affected, and first generation students), we’ve collectively determined that through intentional collaborations, we must identify and operationalize critical support initiatives for equity within digital learning environments. The OLC Ideate format, which consists of a series of provocations, discussions and hands-on activities, emerges as a way to bring together thought leaders, practitioners, and scholars around how we might amplify effective practices for digital learning equity.

Over the course of four days (June 1-4), the OLC (in partnership with Every Learner Everywhere) will host a series of working sessions designed to bring us closer to direct actions toward Equity, Inclusion and Diversity in the Digital Learning Environment. This Ideate is a follow-up event to the December 2020 series of open salons that yielded a collection of emerging ideas, reflections and inspirations. Join us for some dedicated work time, meaningful learning, and ideating as a community to propose a realistic, optimistic and sustainable future that is equitable, inclusive and diverse. Stay tuned for a detailed schedule.


Overview How It Works Schedule Register

Overview 

Black man looking at tabletThe Online Learning Consortium constantly strives to create new points of engagement amongst educators across the field of online, digital and blended learning. The OLC Ideate format was born of the opportunity to engage our diverse and robust community of educators in conversations and collaboration around best practices for ensuring quality in online teaching and learning. This particular Ideate event represents the second phase of work we began with community in December 2020. At that OLC Ideate event we began serious work to name and confront many endemic discriminatory practices within our learning systems and environments with the creation of a working charter, centering our work around the following driving question:  

How might we create infrastructure, resources and support to ensure that our digital learning environments are equitable and inclusive of ALL learners?

We look forward to continuing the work and keeping the conversation going. At this event, we will be collaboratively dedicated to action! Didn’t join us for the first event? No worries! We’ve designed this follow-up event with you in mind, as well, and look forward to you joining us! Building on the outstanding work we have done together, we will create focused action plans designed to address DEI issues at several levels, from the individual to the profession. We need you, as collaborators, partners, thought leaders, colleagues, and friends. 

As was detailed in the working charter we developed in December 2020, out of our community work we formed a taskforce. Over the last few months, this taskforce has been busy reviewing all the contributions made not only to the charter but also during the event. They have also been working together to plan this upcoming OLC Ideate event: OLC Ideate: DEI Action Planning for Digital Learning Environments. This in mind, we are pleased to introduce the taskforce members:

  • Jennifer Nichols | Associate Librarian, Director CATalyst Studios, University of Arizona
  • Amy Archambault | Instructional Designer, Wake Forest University
  • Dr. Amar Kanekar | Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator, Health Education/Health Promotion, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Dr. Priya Mary Mathew | Director Academics, UNIVO (Amity University Online)
  • Madeline Shellgren | Director of Online Engagement, Online Learning Consortium

Generally speaking, OLC Ideate makes its goal to both surface and model effective online engagement to educators, designers, practitioners and leaders of all levels and arenas.  Moving past the notion of a passive, “sit-and-get” online experience, each salon will focus on inspiring participants to leverage the power of online and digital learning with the goal of extending impact and access to education.  The OLC wants to support educators in creating a landscape where institutions are able to serve their learners without obstacles or disruption, particularly in this time of increased conversations of emergency preparedness and instructional continuity.  Our hope that in bringing people together for these salons, the effective practices and methods shared will serve as a model of what is possible in terms of collaborative and constructivist engagement in the online learning environment, staying with educators well beyond times of crisis.

Additionally, the connections made in each salon will become a springboard to the larger conversations and collaborations held in future connected community engagement opportunities.

We invite you to learn more about OLC Ideate as well as the work of Every Learner Everywhere.

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How It Works

This OLC Ideate event will begin with a live (virtual) kickoff session, reviewing the outcomes from the December 2020 Ideate, outlining the themes and cohort goals for the week and indulging in some restorative self-reflection. This session will include a series of activities to best center us in the work ahead. Ideally, participants will attend this session to best understand how to participate in the week of activities.

Each day will offer two themes or tracks, and you can participate in those that most interest you. There will be opportunities to share our thinking, and to contribute ideas, but it will not be possible to participate in all sessions synchronously. This is our opportunity to dive deep into areas that are close to your heart and align with your personal goals and skills.

    Working sessions will include facilitated data reviews, group ideation and design sprints. All tracks will be asked to produce a plan of action that accounts for activities at the individual, organizational, and professional levels. Detailed implementation suggestions are encouraged, including necessary resources, budgets and partners.

    Themes include:

    • Leadership
    • Pedagogy
    • Advocacy
    • Research
    • Educational Technologies
    • Community Conversations

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    General Schedule

    OLC Ideate will take place from June 1-4 with a live Tuesday kickoff session for all participants. Wednesday and Thursday will be active working sessions around topics generated in the Charter, and participants will choose up to four sessions to which they might contribute. Friday will bring us all back together to share progress, prioritize outcomes and make commitments.

    Upon registering for this free event, you will be sent instructions to access the online portal for all of the sessions, including the links to enter the Zoom room, as well as full session description. Full schedule will be available May 21.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

    Orient to the work, to ourselves, and to one another. In this session, we will review our purpose for the week–to create an action plan that reifies our commitment to establish the infrastructure, resources, and support to ensure that our digital learning environments are diverse, equitable, and inclusive of all learners. In December, we created a charter that began to outline what work needs to be done. This week we will create recommendations and resource requests for the OLC, its members, and the broader Every Learner Everywhere Network to consider as real-world actions to implement.

    These sessions will focus on reviewing previous suggestions and generating more ideas for the group to consider in the next two days. Discussions will be focused by topic: Pedagogy, Research, Course Design, Ed Tech, Advocacy/Community, and Leadership. Each topic will be offered 3 times, at each hour. Join the three topics that most interest you. You will have the opportunity to dive deeper into these categories on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Join us for casual community, games, and laughter.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2021

    In these sessions we will dive deeper into topic areas (Pedagogy, Research, Course Design, Ed Tech, Advocacy/Community, Leadership) to generate actionable plans. Groups will consider how to actualize ideas, what other resources exist that can be leveraged, and what success will look like. You are free to find your niche and stay there til the work is done, or move freely between sessions. The success of these sessions relies on participation and self-selected leaders. We will provide support with guiding documents and facilitation advice, so please volunteer to facilitate if you are able.

    We can’t be everywhere at one time, so use this time to review the work of other groups, contribute your ideas, ask questions, and share resources. All documents will be linked in our Canvas course, so be sure to register for this site.

    *note: zoom rooms will remain open and available for groups to use if the work is rich and folks want to continue with live discussion.

    Join us for casual community, games, and laughter.

    Thursday, June 3, 2021

    In these sessions we will dive deeper into topic areas (Pedagogy, Research, Course Design, Ed Tech, Advocacy/Community, Leadership) to generate actionable plans. Groups will consider how to actualize ideas, what other resources exist that can be leveraged, and what success will look like. You are free to find your niche and stay there til the work is done, or move freely between sessions. The success of these sessions relies on participation and self-selected leaders. We will provide support with guiding documents and facilitation advice, so please volunteer to facilitate if you are able.

    We can’t be everywhere at one time, so use this time to review the work of other groups, contribute your ideas, ask questions, and share resources. All documents will be linked in our Canvas course, so be sure to register for this site.

    *note: zoom rooms will remain open and available for groups to use if the work is rich and folks want to continue with live discussion.

    Join us for casual community, games, and laughter.

    Friday, June 4, 2021

    Each group will share their action plans and field questions from the larger audience. Presentations will be approximately 20 minutes for each action area.

    Together we will debrief how the week went, what worked well, what we hope for next.

    Live Session Types

    We have three distinct ways for participants to connect during OLC Ideate:

    Live Salons

    Live Salons are structured 45 minute blocks with a leader guiding the entire group through a series of provocations and discussion prompts.

    Asynchronous Salons

    Asynchronous salons are provocations and activities assembled by a series of leaders that you can work on at your own pace. These will include recordings and links to online engagement spaces.

    Evening Socials

    Evening Socials are casual 45 minute meetups featuring informal topics, online games, and lightweight ways to connect with colleagues. They’re meant to restore our energy, good will and spirit after a long day of cogitation and ideation.

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    More Information

    We’re delighted to be able to extend the OLC’s suite of offerings to include this new opportunity to deeply engage with your colleagues in a series of salons.  If you have any questions or would like to share comments or ideas on how we might make this event as impactful as possible, please reach out. We welcome your suggestions, and cannot wait to see you at the salons!

    More OLC Ideate Info

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