Nearly everyone we’ve talked to in recent weeks has been not only impacted by, but completely focused on a response to COVID-19. It has been the same for the OLC, as we have shifted to respond to the crisis and continue to serve our members and the overall online learning community.
Our biggest strength is our community, and through this crisis, we have been both humbled and honored to be part of such a strong group that is focused on support – for students, faculty, and institutions. The online learning community is incredibly dedicated, and is now being called upon to provide even more support and expertise, and to extend that knowledge to colleagues that may not have been as engaged with online learning in the past. Meanwhile, many of our communal conferences and meetings have been rescheduled or canceled. Like our colleagues, OLC has rescheduled and gone virtual for OLC Innovate – but, we value, as you do, our time to connect, network, share, and problem-solve together. We are looking forward to Innovate in June, but we also want to provide that communal space this spring, and we are pleased to invite you to join us at our brand-new virtual event, OLC Ideate.
Over the course of two weeks (April 21 – May 1), the OLC will be holding a series of open salons (a casual and inclusive space with discussions organized and facilitated by a salon leader) that will offer educators of all levels the opportunity to listen to emerging ideas and effective practices from their peers. These casual discussions will be designed to specifically encourage reflection, co-creation, and synthesis, with connections to future OLC events for further collaboration.
OLC Ideate is shaped around topics critical to emergent response situations, such as COVID-19. However, each salon topic is broadly applicable to high-quality online course and program design, delivery, and/or implementation. The event is designed for you to select salons that you find most valuable, and to attend via Zoom as you are able. We will have the full program posted on April 13 (though you can preview themes for each day on the website now!), and we hope that you will plan to join us. In addition, we will end each day with a ‘Saloon’ – a relaxed social space in which you are invited to join your colleagues and wind down the day – western attire, themed background, and beverage of your choice encouraged!
We missed your company at the face-to-face conference, and we are looking forward to seeing you at the virtual Innovate conference this summer. In the meantime, please join us in showcasing the power of online, and in connecting with the online learning community at OLC Ideate.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can assist you or your institution during this unprecedented crisis. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming virtual events, and hope to connect in person at OLC Accelerate this fall.