Relive Innovate 2017 - Anytime, Anywhere

Innovate is a time that brings together a diverse group of professionals, spanning K-12, higher education and the tech industry, to explore recent advancements, best practices, and provocative approaches to teaching and learning with technology. 

Innovate 2017: Impact was no different. This year’s conference left us with a lot to think about. Here were some of the big themes we took away.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning 

When we approach teaching, whether it be online, in-person or even a hybrid of the two, how do we consider the diversity of students that we’ll be teaching? Several presentations looked at ways we can adapt our teaching styles to meet all our students.

The Lighting Ideas: Impact with Empathy session considered the different ways we can connect with a set of diverse students from building student personas to better incorporate student voice into instructional design to keeping accessibility in mind when developing course content.

Dr. Melissa Crum in her session on Self-Reflection for Culturally Inclusive Learning Spaces asked the audience, “How can technology help us build relationships with diverse students?” She encouraged us to go into conversations accepting that there are many possibilities and truths. 

Empowering the Learner

One of the big themes that kept coming up throughout the day was how can we help students have more ownership over their learning experience?

Rajiv Jhangiani discussed open educational practices as a vehicle to unlock a student’s potential. He challenged the traditional method of giving an assignment to a student that only one person reviewed. Instead, he asked the audience to consider the ways in which a student could help develop open content that allowed them to have agency over their learning. 

Another popular concept at this year’s conference was gameful design. Rachel Niemer’s, Impact Student Motivation: Make School a Better Game, session offered us a gameful pedagogy framework that would give learners agency and support their intrinsic motivation.

But, what about really putting students in the driver’s seat of their learning? Ana-Paula Correia approached this concept in her session, The Learner in Charge: Leading a Novel Pedagogical Approach for Online Discussions. She shared her experience allowing students to lead discussions in an online course environment, and how that allowed them to become co-designers of their learning.

Next Phase Preparation

What happens next? This is a conversation we heard quite frequently throughout the day –how are we preparing students for the next phase of their lives, whether that be more education or starting their career? 

Nate Riggs in his session Call to Arms: How to Close the Digital Skills Gap looked specifically at the missing digital skills students need to confidently enter the workforce. He shared the ways in which we can design and incorporate digital skills into our curriculum to better prepare students for success in the workforce.

In our Lighting Ideas: Impact Beyond the Classroom session, Tim Nunn shared the rebounding need for computer science professionals. He hosts an Hour of Code in hopes to inspire his high schoolers to consider an education in computer science.  

And, who could forget Kathryn Finney’s keynote? Finney shared her experience of how she reached the point she is at today. With initially starting out as an epidemiologist, she changed her path by starting a fashion blog, and now runs a social enterprise that fosters economic growth through the empowerment of Black and Latina women entrepreneurs using innovation as a tool. She shared the skills that helped her in each phase of her career, those that spilled over from her previous experience and those she continued to build to ensure her success.

What was the most memorable part of Innovate 2017 for you? Share with us on Twitter using #InnovateOSU.

You can now relive any of the sessions from the day of our conference by viewing our event recordings. And, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Innovate 2018 on Friday, May 11.