The Online Teaching Conference (2019 marks its 19th year) is a unique face-to-face premier gathering of faculty, staff, and administrators leading the way in developing innovative and effective online education. This marks our first exhibition at OTC, held this year in Anaheim, CA, and we were honored to be counted amongst the exhibitors and other attendees -- which included excellent talks and workshops from top educators, an exhibition hall bustling with activity, and vibrant conversations all around.
One of the highlights of OTC was a highly enlightening and engaging session given by Heather Hiles, CEO and President of the California Online Community College District. To paraphrase a statement from her talk, "There are over 8MM Californians who are currently under-employed and in need of affordable, quality education to advance in their careers." This is precisely where CALBRIGHT COLLEGE intends to step in and create opportunities and solutions. Precisely how they will achieve such a goal is beyond the scope of this blog post, but I encourage you to read their literature and reach out to them with questions or concerns. After all, serving people is precisely what they have set out to accomplish. We share a similar mission at knowbly -- one of service to all who wish to improve the lives of others through education -- and look forward to seeing how the work of Heather Hiles comes to fruition and how we might assist in our own manner.
We love meeting and speaking with educators of every sort, and OTC was alive with meaningful dialogues around the very real challenges facing online instructors today. What I loved most about this conference, and found most encouraging, was the frequency with which attendees returned to our booth -- for a second, third, fourth time, or even more -- to either continue a conversation, start a new one, or bring back their colleagues (or people they had just met for the first time) to share in their discovery of knowbly. I am biased, of course, and think knowbly is full of awesome sauce; it is easy for me to get excited about the things we have built. To see educators get equally excited about our platform and tools -- to hear the sighs of relief and/or exclamations of joy when they discovered a feature they had been wishing and hoping for in their existing toolbox already in place in our suite of tools, as well as discovering things they didn't even know they wanted but now feel they cannot live without -- these are the engagements and experiences that validate our hard work and truly make it so meaningful and worthwhile. Not to get too flowery or sentimental, but our cup runneth over with the outpouring of love for knowbly at OTC.
Not only did this constitute our inaugural visit to OTC, it also marked the debut of one of our latest offerings: the knowbly universal plugin for Canvas. We are very proud to be working so closely with Instructure and Canvas to extend the knowbly suite of tools to our partner's platform to further empower our mutual users and bring together the best of all worlds. If you happen to be attending InstructureCon this year (a.k.a. Learnin' Safari), be sure to stop by our booth for a demo and discussion around your content authoring needs and how knowbly might help you solve for them. User feedback is paramount to us, as well, and helps drive our development roadmap -- so be sure to let us know how we can best be of service. If you would like to join our knowbly universal plugin "early access program" and be among the first to provide such feedback, be sure to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and submit your request.
All in all, OTC19 was an immense success for the knowbly team. It was productive, informative and, in many cases, eye-opening. Truly, for what more could you ask?
If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out our other blog posts on all manner of topics related to education. Perhaps, you might start with a post by one of my knowbly colleagues, Shawn Burson, on the many talents possessed by your Friendly Neighborhood Instructional Designer.