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MCCC to host free online Technology & Learning Conference Friday, Sept. 24

Sept. 9, 2021, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—  Following a year of working and learning from home, educators and technology experts will soon come together to share what they’ve discovered and discuss about what the classrooms of the future may soon look like.
Montgomery County Community College will host its annual Technology & Learning Conference Friday, Sept. 24, online from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The virtual event will feature session topics including: “Classroom of Today and Tomorrow,” “Enhancing the Student Experience” and “Tech Beyond the Classroom.” The event is free and open to the community, but registration is required.
The event will feature a special keynote panel on “Artificial Intelligence and Deep Fake Videos and Impacts on Education” featuring Dr. Lance Bush, President and CEO of Challenger Center. The Challenger Learning Center will soon open its newest location at MCCC’s Pottstown Campus and will be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. It features space-themed simulated learning environments to engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities.
The panel will also include Dr. Conrad Tucker, an Arthur Hamerschlag Career Development Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Christopher Doss, an Associate Policy Researcher and economist of education at the RAND Corporation. The discussion begins at 9 a.m.
For Mary-Kate Najarian, Director of User Success and Learning Technologies, and Jennifer Kim, Information Technology Manager, who are organizing the event, the annual conference offers an opportunity for experts from different branches of the technological and educational communities to come together and exchange ideas.
“It really drives innovation,” said Kim, “and helps to make sure we’re moving in the right direction with technology.”
“It’s also a great networking opportunity both internally and externally,” said Najarian. “People come together from different institutions to share and collaborate with one another. We’ve built a strong reputation over the past 27 years we’ve hosted this event that people know to come back year after year to gain additional knowledge.”
Each of the panel discussions scheduled offers something for everyone, and both Najarian and Kim agreed the keynote session should not be missed. “In the age of information, we are constantly bombarded with so much stuff that it’s our personal responsibility to decipher what’s real and not,” said Kim. “The keynote session will show you how easy it can be to create deep fakes that are so convincing, your eyes may deceive you. You’ll receive a new framework for the information you’re ingesting online.”
“We are trying to create a diverse set of sessions for the attendees. Depending on the attendees' interest, you could learn about different learning modalities, tools used for professional development and enhanced learning experience, and much more,” said Najarian.
Kim said that despite the past year living under quarantine, she hoped the conference would convince attendees to continue to embrace virtual activities in the future.
“Not just events but also virtual and hybrid courses,” she said. “Not only is there a need, but a desire to keep some of these virtual components to maintain flexibility in course work.”
“We hope these sessions give attendees things to think about, model, or consider the possibilities of what it can bring to the learner,” said Najarian.
Kim said she hoped attendees would be inspired by some of the panels they participate in and leave with a much larger view of the world of education and technology.
“The bigger picture for me is we all have our own purview of what we see. There’s a whole world beyond our individual horizons,” said Kim. “This event is great for that. Even if doesn’t relate to your experience specifically, knowing what’s possible reminds you the world is bigger than you think.”
For full details about the Technology and Learning Conference, visit the landing page at mc3.edu/techday.
For more information about the new Challenger Learning Center at Pottstown Campus, visit the landing page at mc3.edu/challenger.
Written by Eric Devlin

About Montgomery County Community College 
For more than 56 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online.  
 
As an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to remove barriers to access, improve learning outcomes, and increase completion for all students. The College also is recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For the sixth consecutive year, MCCC has been named one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges in the nation by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development for its commitment to diversity through inclusive learning and work environments, student and staff recruitment and retention practices, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities. For more information, visit https://www.mc3.edu.

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Phone: 610.326.2900