This week I am at the Online Teaching Conference 2017 and have the challenge of being away from campus and therefore unable to provide training in person. This conference is a highlight of each summer and one I like to attend every year, as I get to connect with people I have been working with across the state. Even though I normally do not work over the summer and therefore this conference would not be time away from campus, I do think about the balance between the intense learning potential that I experience at conferences like OTC and the gentler but more-immediate effect that happens when I spend time focused on helping my peers learn.
This year's conference initially was scheduled to begin on Father's Day, and while that was quickly corrected it still serves as a good example of how tough it can be to schedule conferences. Later this summer my district is hosting a conference in conjunction with Instructure and the Online Education Initiative, and we have already heard from other colleges in our area that the date conflicts with their events. Of course I run into that as well as I cannot attend all the conferences thanks to my schedule (I'll miss Instcon 2017 this year ).
At this year's conference I am presenting, and one of my sessions is being webcast (OTC17: What We Have Learned about Canvas). Perhaps some of my colleagues will be present remotely as the Summer of Canvas rolls on! But then as I was writing this blog entry during breakfast, a co-worker tapped my shoulder and told me I shouldn't be working on campus-related stuff while at a conference. The flexibility offered by online teaching (and working) cuts both ways, I guess.