With the idea of stories being a connecting element throughout all of our conference activities, we are creating a variety of opportunities for you to share your story and to hear the stories of others. We’re calling this initiative #WeAreOLC. As the #WeAreOLC initiative unfolds, you will see a series of blog posts focused on how we (the members of the steering committee) are using storytelling to create a memorable and impactful 25th Anniversary experience. See all #WeAreOLC blog posts.
This is an excerpt from a previous blog post, “Co-Chairs with Collaboration and Change on Our Minds – Introducing the 2019 Technology Test Kitchen Leads” where Adam Davi shares his #WeAreOLC story.
My venture into online education has been filled with twists and turns. From teaching to curriculum development to instructional design, I have always looked for ways to expand my knowledge and grow my professional network. So when a number of colleagues recommended that I attend OLC Innovate a couple years back, I was excited about the possibilities. Little did I know it would open so many doors. I was immediately welcomed by a community of like-minded folks and learned so much from my interactions and collaborations. So much, in fact, that when I returned to my institution I immediately submitted to present at OLC Accelerate.
What I like most about the OLC conferences is the authenticity and excitement of everyone there. The folks I have met at OLC are genuinely good people who are always willing to listen to new ideas and contribute their own. Even though I have spent my entire career working in education, I was relatively new to the online learning world when first attending OLC Innovate, and yet I instantly felt that my voice was valued. There is an understanding that diverse perspectives lead to greater innovation, which makes the interactions with colleagues even more powerful. I left with more ideas and more people willing to help make my ideas a reality than any conference I’ve ever attended. The energy in the conference hall is positive and inspiring, and I credit that to those who help organize and promote the conference. While at OLC Accelerate, I spoke to Angela Gunder (who had long been involved with conference leadership and programming) about getting more involved with OLC, and a few months later I was invited to be Co-Chair of the Technology Test Kitchen (TTK). There is so much to do at OLC Accelerate, but the TTK is a place where you can collaborate with others, learn how to use new technology, and see real world applications of the technology. As someone who is curious and creative, this is a perfect fit for me. I’ve always had a passion for integrating technology into learning and the TTK provides an opportunity for me to share that passion with others and, most importantly, continue to learn. I’m excited about the opportunity to not only work with amazing people, but to also continue to have authentic conversations with other attendees. One of my favorite parts of attending an OLC conference is being able to bounce ideas off others, and the TTK is the perfect place to do that. I look forward to sharing my curiosity and creativity and building a space that is fun, educational, and inspiring with all those who attend.
HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE?
We know that we would not be where we are today were it not for your contributions over the last 25 years. With this in mind, we first invite you to share your own OLC narratives. You can join in our quest to story the past (so that we can better prepare for the future) by submitting one or more of the following to this GOOGLE FORM:
Share a visual memory
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we encourage you to help us collect memories from the past. Scour your archives for photos, videos, documents, or other resources that tell a story. We’ll share them with the OLC community through our social media channels as our way of saying “thanks for being a part of the OLC”.(Remember, we’re hoping to build a history of the OLC for the last 25 years)
Share your story
We want to highlight you and your work or contributions to making OLC what it is today. Create a blog post, a twitter post, etc. that we can share with the other members of our community. Here are a few prompts to get you started.
- How did you first get involved with the OLC?
- 25 years (then and now): What kinds of technology were you using 25 years ago and what technology do you engage with now?
- What is one of your favorite OLC experiences?
- Who composes your OLC community (i.e. the people you have met along the way and always enjoy seeing)? Tell a story that shares about your relationship.
- How do you support inclusion, diversity, equity, and advocacy in your teaching and learning and how has this evolved in the past 25 years?
We hope that you join us by following along with the series, as we articulate our shared commitment to a more inclusive, equitable, and humanizing OLC through engaging in individual and collective storytelling. Thank you for sharing your stories with us and for being an important part of our community. #WeAreOLC.
|Adam Davi, University of Arizona (Co-Chair, Technology Test Kitchen at OLC Accelerate 2019)|