Superb array of higher education sessions, workshops at OETC '17

Former Executive Director, eStudent Services
eStudent Services
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 8:30am (updated Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 10:41am)
For a look back at last year's OETC, check out this video

The Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC) is the country’s premier P-20 (preschool through higher education) state educational technology conference. Driven by the needs of Ohioans, the focus of OETC has changed over the years, from an event centered around K-12 education to an all-inclusive event for Pre-K through workforce educators. This year, OETC takes place Feb. 14-16 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. OETC features intensive pre-conference workshops on Feb. 14, and world-renowned keynote speakers, more than 200 educational sessions, an extensive exhibit hall and interactive experiences such as makerspaces and robotics on Feb. 15-16.

I have attended and presented at OETC for many years. Each conference is different, not only in the theme of the conference but also the presenters, workshops and vendors. The vendor area is beneficial even for those not looking to buy something. I always found something I could take back to my high school classes, my two-year college courses and especially my four-year college courses. As an instructional designer and educational technologist, I found OETC provided me with new concepts, processes and educational technology that could be used in the courses I helped design. These ideas and technologies were incorporated into the courses by the faculty to the benefit of the instructors and the students.

There are 11 tracks from Assessment, Data Analytics and Data-drive Decision Making to Universal Design for Learning. These are useful when deciding which sessions to attend.

This year, I took a different approach to choosing what I will attend. I looked through the array of sessions and picked those I felt people in higher education would enjoy. Obviously, there are more great ones to consider; these are simply my picks from the one-in-five sessions that relate directly to higher education. If you broaden your search, many more will pique your interest.



  • Enhancing Online Learning with Digital Media, from 8 to 8:45 a.m. in C170: Digital Content Creation, Curation, and Access; Mike White, Director Of Business Technologies, Marion Technical College
  • Universal Design in the Digital Learning Landscape: Strategies to Ensure Equal Access and Compliance, from 1:15 to 2 p.m., in Union Station C: Universal Design for Learning; Mary Hricko’ Kent State University



  • Creating and Evaluating Quality in Distance Education, from 8 to 8:45 a.m., B140-141: eLearning and Distance Learning, Bethany Simunich, Director, Online Pedagogy And Research, Kent State University
  • Creation to Classroom: An OER Journey from Production to Adoption, from 11 to 11:45 a.m., Union Station A: Cutting-Edge Technologies, Innovative Teaching Methods, and New Classroom Tools; Gwen Evans, Executive Director, OhioLINK
  • - Ohio's Online Career Exploration, Planning and Readiness Tool for Students and Educators, from 11 to 11:45 a.m., C161, Cutting-Edge Technologies, Innovative Teaching Methods, and New Classroom Tools; Mark Birnbrich, OhioMeansJobs Project Director, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  • Technology and Universal Design for Learning Theory: Reducing Barriers and Maximizing Learning Opportunities for Students, from noon to 1 p.m., C172: Universal Design for Learning; Lisa Baylor, Assistant Professor, Walsh University

There are 109 public and private colleges and universities in Ohio. Each of Ohio’s colleges and universities teaches courses, has labs, uses educational technology and has found solutions that work. Meanwhile, one or more of the other institutions are experiencing the same opportunities, but are recreating the wheel. The wealth of knowledge and solutions housed within Ohio’s institutions is remarkable!

This conference is the place to share that knowledge with each other in primary, secondary and higher education, as well as across these groups. This conference facilitates cross-pollination of ideas, solutions and processes from age groups, institutions and programs.

I encourage everyone to attend the OETC ’17, but especially those persons in higher education. And looking ahead to next year, consider presenting at OETC ’18.