Contributed by Terri Bateman, North Island College.
The BC Festival of Learning (FOL) will bring educators from across the province (and beyond) to Vancouver May 28 to 30, 2018. Building on our first festival held in 2016, we are fostering a spirit of inclusion and we welcome participants and presenters from all areas of education. Your usual ETUG spring conference will be rolled into the Festival and I encourage you to attend. There will be something for everyone.
Our theme this time has a focus on health and wellness in education. We have all heard the stories of faculty burn-out, student mental health, the health of institutions and campuses, so it seemed like a fitting time to talk about it together. The official title is: Higher Education: Handle with Care. How are we caring for ourselves, our work, our students, and each other?
We want to hear the stories, the successes, and the not-so-successful things that our communities have been trying out. We will learn from educators and administrators, faculty and leaders, developers, designers, and students (among others?). Here are a few examples that fit the theme under three topic areas:
- Creating flexible, supportive learning environments
- Educational technology tools
- Politics of vulnerability within the Educational Technology context
- Taking care of privacy and data
- Open Educational Resources, Open Textbooks
- Z Degrees/Zed Creds
- Open Pedagogy
- Open Educational Practices
- Open Platforms/Infrastructure
- Synergies with other Open movements (e.g., data, science, access, etc.)
Teaching & Learning: Teachers, Learners, and Services
- Diversity & Inclusion, including Indigenous Education, Internationalization
- Access to Education, Accessibility in Education
- Practices: Learning Design, Facilitation, Assessment
- Research: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL), Scholarly Teaching & Learning
- Mental Health for all within and across our organizations
- Services & Supports for post-secondary students, faculty, and staff
- Preparing post-secondary educators for the new BC K-12 Curriculum
BCcampus has endeavoured to make the Festival an inclusive, welcoming space. Here are a few examples:
- Deep discounts for early-bird registrants, students, speakers, and volunteers
- Free childcare
- Wheelchair accessibility with preferred seating in the most accessible areas of each room
- Option to add pronoun ribbons to your conference badge
- Gender-neutral washrooms
- Healthy meal choices for all
There will also be spaces for yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, and more. With so much learning and networking going on, a little quiet time will be a welcome break. And of course, there will be a party. We’re planning a half-day poster-plus session—think of it as a science fair. If you’ve got something cool to show off, bring it! The Festival will be held at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront. I had a look at the venue and I think it’s going to be great.
The call for proposals is open until December 11 and we’ll have the schedule out in early February. I look forward to seeing you there!