Putting Play Back in PD

Last month, I attended the Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference in Denver.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime.

It was a great conference and I would recommend it to any educator or people in faculty development roles. The next OLC event is in Florida in November. Last month in Denver, the conference tracks were interesting and they included:

  • Teaching and Learning Practice
  • Open Learning
  • Leadership and Advocacy
  • Experiential and Life-Long Learning
  • Processes, Problems, and Practices
  • Effective Tools, Toys and Technologies
  • Research: Designs, Methods and Findings.

I gave a presentation at one of the “emerging Ideas” sessions. It was like a mix of a poster session and a roundtable discussion session. Not my favorite really, but it was a new way to share my stories.

My session was titled, Putting the Play back in Professional Development.” Here is the presentation.

I shared some examples that we have used here in the DLI to find some humor and some creativity in getting faculty to share ideas with one another. From meme-based icebreaker activities to month long reflective writing challenges, I shared some things that seemed to generate both excitement among faculty and resulted in good learning experiences. The crayons and coloring books helped.

Another point I wished to demonstrate, and one of my frequent complaints about the modern conference setup, is that most “presentations” are shared simply as PowerPoint slides. Which by themselves, without the narrative that binds all the bullet points together, are nearly useless. And I have been complaining about that for awhile.

I was able to meet a number of colleagues I greatly admire for their work in higher education. Many who I have known for years online, but never met face to face. And that is good.