What’s A Talk-about?


Katrina Wehr, Instructional Designer, Penn State College of Arts & Architecture

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OLC Accelerate 2019 is almost here, and this year’s Accelerate conference is loaded with well-curated sessions, topic tracks aligned to current trends in the field, and opportunities to engage and connect with colleagues from institutions of all sizes and locations. With a conference theme focused on the next 25 years of online learning, attendees are guaranteed to leave feeling inspired about their work and the future of education in online spaces.

The Field Guides have been working hard to put together a schedule of programming that parallels the conference offerings and provides opportunities for attendees both new and experienced to connect, engage, and participate in unique ways. One such opportunity is Talk-abouts. If the idea of a slightly unstructured gathering that promotes deep, fulfilling conversations between conference goers while encouraging leisurely physical activity to help ease into the morning sounds exciting or intriguing, be sure to join us for one of our daily Talk-abouts to complement your conference experience!

A Talk-about is a gathering of attendees who want to make meaningful connections at the conference and discuss ideas around topics aligned with the Accelerate conference program while getting a little physical activity to start the day. Think of it as a walking meeting with a loose agenda, where the primary goals are connection and conversation, and a chance to spend some time outside among the delightful grounds of the Swan and Dolphin Resort.  

We meet during the first session every morning near the Field Guide station, where two walking groups will form based on topic. Each group has at least one designated leader who will physically lead the walk and stimulate discussion along the way, but the beauty of Talk-abouts is that they are participant-centered. The Talk-About leader will facilitate group introductions and talking points, but after that, walkers are encouraged to let the conversation flow while taking in the sights, getting those steps, and savoring that first (or maybe third) cup of coffee! And don’t worry – if the idea of conversation on the move is appealing, but the physical act of walking poses a challenge for you, there are accessible routes that include elevators and avoid stairs. 

At the end of each walk, if time permits, the leader will also facilitate a share-out of the individual conversations that occurred during the walk and remind participants to exchange contact information to continue the discussion after the conference. Each walking route is a loop, so attendees will be back in plenty of time to refill their mugs and grab a seat for the next conference session!

We hope you’ll join us in Orlando for one (or all!) of the following Talk-about topics:

Wednesday, November 20 (9:00 – 9:45 AM)

  • Technology Test Kitchen & Speed Networking: Conference Basics
  • The Next 25 Years of Online Learning

Thursday, November 21 (8:45 – 9:30 AM)

  • Tools and Technologies
  • Research: Getting Started

Friday, November 22 (9:45 – 10:30 AM)

  • Instructional Design: The Next 25 Years

Talk-abouts are a great way to develop your network, learn from colleagues, and engage more deeply at OLC Accelerate. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Katrina Wehr Katrina Wehr, Instructional Designer, Penn State College of Arts & Architecture


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