Virtual Fist-bumps: OLC Innovate Unlimited Group Package


Cheryl Fulghum, Instructional Design and Online Learning, Haywood Community College, OLC Innovate 2020 Community College Summit Chair

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The fist bump is a gesture of friendship and approval, seemingly made popular by the Millenial generation, the age group that reached adulthood at the beginning of the 21st century. Interestingly, though, the knuckle exchange predates that group by a few decades. From the 1950s boxing ring to the political stage in the early 2000s, no one is really sure who to credit with its popularity. But everyone understands what it means. Also known as a power-five, pound, bust, knuckle-knock, and props, the fist bump conveys respect and admiration, carrying more meaning than its cousin-greetings, the handshake and high-five. The fist-to-fist gesture is not merely celebratory; it signals camaraderie and hints to an unspoken, mutually understood insider exchange of more than words or actions.

What does this have to do with OLC Innovate? Many of us have come to appreciate OLC conference spaces as arenas for professional fist bumps. Congregations of like-minded educators form brother/sister/other-hoods of discovery, sharing, and communities of inquiry each year through OLC events. Award-winning speakers, nationally-recognized experts, peer-led presentations, roundtable discussions, summit interactions, technology exhibitions, salon sharing, and networking through causal conversations provide much-needed inspiration to hearten, rally, and spur us on in the work we do. When we gather, we feel less a collection of individuals, and more like single strands who, when woven together, form a single cord. Cliché alert: We are stronger together when bound by purpose.

What the OLC Innovate experience offers me, I want for my whole institution. Even though I would figuratively bottle up as much as I could and share later, my colleagues would still miss out. I want them to be bolstered and buoyed up and emboldened to do what they do with renewed enthusiasm. I want them to experience the affirmation, the kudos, the aha! moments, and the professional fist bumps I enjoy through OLC events. Locally offered cheers and shout outs, are great, but what if I could upscale those props and extend OLC Innovate conference attendance to all faculty and instructional staff at my institution?

Through the virtual unlimited group package, I found just that opportunity. It was an easy ‘sell’ at my institution once I showed the depth and breadth of session offerings and various conference events. For two full weeks we can choose from an impressive program of keynotes, sessions, networking, and social hours to knock all the knuckles we want. What a fantastic way to show our faculty appreciation for the hard work of the past few months. It’s a hearty thank you and a meaty message of “we’ve got you” when an institution invites everyone to an event this terrific. My faculty are thrilled to be included and I’m excited to finally be able to share it with them. Kudos to OLC for providing this option. Props to you for considering it for your institution. Knuckle-knocks from my institution to yours. See you all online: Virtual fist bumps all around.

Registration for the virtual conference includes live-stream and on-demand recordings of nearly 300 sessions, including keynotes, featured sessions, education sessions, and industry showcases. The program also includes four targeted summits – HBCU, Research, Community College and the Leadership Network. There will also be opportunities to connect with peers through virtual social and networking activities including happy hours, game socials, guided meditation sessions, and networking coffee breaks.

Registration for OLC Innovate 2020 Virtual is now open. Learn more and make plans to attend today!


Cheryl Fulghum

Cheryl Fulghum, Instructional Design and Online Learning, Haywood Community College, OLC Innovate 2020 Community College Summit Chair

Cheryl Fulghum oversees Instructional Design and Online Learning at Haywood Community College in western North Carolina. In this role, she is responsible for instructional design through faculty development, online course design, emerging technologies research, accessibility compliance, and the administrations of several learning platforms. She describes her main role as faculty cheerleader, empowering faculty to become 21st century teachers despite self-identified low-tech skills and fear of the unknown. Prior to her work in the online learning field, she served as full-time faculty in the commercial arts and worked as project manager and media content creator for Shadowbox Design, an educational technology company specializing in online ancillaries for higher education textbook publishers. She has degrees in Broadcast Communications, Journalism, and Educational Media: Curriculum and Instruction.


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