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2022 Technology and Learning Conference will focus on holistic student experience

2022 Technology and Learning Conference will focus on holistic student experience
Keynote panel discussion will focus on workforce development and apprenticeships
 
09/09/2022, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Exploring the Classroom of Today and Tomorrow, Enhancing the Student Experience, Tech Beyond the Classroom and much more will be the focus on this year’s Technology and Learning Conference at Montgomery County Community College.
The annual online event begins Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event’s sessions will address topics including Using Telepresence Robots for Remote Participation in Classrooms, Balancing Wellness and Developing the Mindful Learner. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
For Mary-Kate Najarian, Director of User Success and Learning Technologies, and Jennifer Kim, Infrastructure Engineer, the event’s organizers, this year’s conference will focus on supporting students who enter a classroom with a variety of different goals.
“We’re trying to get them to think about the learning experience from a different perspective,” said Najarian.
“I think it’s about reframing the approach to teaching and learning and recognizing all aspects of a student,” said Kim. “We need to be mindful of their goals. They may not be going for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. They may be looking to make a career change and are seeking soft skills to work on for employability.”
This year’s keynote address will feature a panel discussion on the topic of workforce development. Kyle Longacre, MCCC Dean of Workforce Development, will facilitate the conversation focused on how to uniquely address education, programming, and industry, to support divergent tracks for the next generation of learning.
“We’re incredibly excited for this year’s keynote discussion,” said Najarian. “This is an opportunity to discuss how educators can support the needs of students and help provide them with the necessary skills for 21st century employability.”
 
According to the panel’s description, “students often traverse several different pathways toward credentials and degrees. Too often, many lack a transparent pathway and an informed approach to career development. Meanwhile, skills gaps continue to grow, and employers struggle to fill critical technical jobs in essential industries. The panelists will discuss how educators can keep student goals in mind while working collaboratively with industry to bridge the workforce void. They also will discuss how looking beyond specialized coursework, education is primed to provide real-world experience with employability skills, including communication, leadership, efficiency, planning and problem-solving, self-management, and more.”
Along with Longacre, the panel will include Melissa J. Stowasser, Assistant Vice President of Community Partnerships at Trident Technical College, Charleston, South Carolina. Stowasser will discuss the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Program. This nationally recognized collaborative effort has evolved and grown over the last 10 years to bring together over 250 companies in the Greater Charleston, S.C. region. These companies have hired nearly 100 young adults yearly in paid learn-and-earn apprenticeships across 18 different industry areas.  In addition, Trident Tech has worked to leverage technology to create the My Apprentice app to help educators, employers, and apprentices track performance in both required job competencies and related technical instruction in the classroom.
Rounding out the panel is Kristen Hudson, USC Technical Manager; Cisco Networking Academy, along with an educator who is already employing these techniques in innovative ways and relating the work back to other work/life scenarios.
“By communicating with employers and listening to their needs,” said Kim, “we will better be able to prepare students and support the workforce of the future.”
For full details about the Technology and Learning Conference, including a full schedule and list of presentations, visit the landing page. For more information, contact the event organizers at techday@mc3.edu.
About Montgomery County Community College 
For more than a half century, 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 six consecutive years, 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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