What’s Happening

What's Happening #ETOMConnect


by Kevin Wagenmaker, ETOM President

Greetings ETOM!  👋

Hopefully, this comes to you as you are mostly settled into a new term — and hopefully life on campus is as close to normal as possible (or at least has been in a while)!

Over the last 18 months, institutions across the globe have experienced so many ups, downs, uncertainties, celebrations, tense moments…and many more experiences in between! We have overcome adversity, celebrated positives, and collaborated in many new ways. Collaboration that used to be (mostly) limited to the confines of a campus are now more readily being shared across institutions. Users are coming together to share their use of hardware, software and strategies that have been important to them – and what might help another institution. These ideas are evolving, and benefits are flowing in every directly. As we continue to collaborate and navigate, we have found inspiration in both the journey, and the creativity and ideas of others to push us forward! It has been inspiring to be a part of! ETOM has played a large part in the connectivity that continues to be important over the last 18 months. Being an organization that brings institutions together and carries the tune of collaboration and connectivity is what ETOM is all about!

So, while I am here finding my Fall term groove at Montcalm Community College, and hopefully all of our members across the state are as well, I’m very excited to (continue to) see where we can go with all of the “new” (technology, connections, relationships) that has taken place over the past few months.

Also, I’m excited to welcome you all to the #ETOMconnect blogosphere! 🌎 As the current president of ETOM, I am honored to have the opportunity to bring to you the first blog post of the year! It is our hope that others will take a shot at a blog post as well – let us know if you would like a future months’ blog spot!

Since I get to go first, I figured I would set the tone for the format of the blog. We would love to use this as a way to spotlight what is going on at your institution or with your organization! With that, I would like to introduce to you the ETOMconnect 3-2-1!

In this blog you will read about:

  • 3 “Learns” (some items to share about your institution, yourself and/or your organization – what do you want others to know?)
  • 2 “Shouts” (who has been helpful and deserves a shout?)
  • 1 “Question” (what would you or your institution/organization like some feedback on?)

3 Learns!

  1. ETOM News

The ETOM Fall Conference is approaching (Virtual – Friday November 5th)! Information about the keynote, program and registration are available on our event page.

We had our first ETOMconnect Meetup of the year! It was well attended and full of sharing! The topic was “What’s Happening? What’s Going Well? What’s Not Going Well?” It was a participant led session with lots of ideas, stories and experiences shared! We look forward to our next Meetup in November (Topic: Building Relationships in a Hyflex Setting). Do you have something you would like to present at a future Meetup! We would love to hear from you!

  1. Who am I?

To this point I haven’t formally introduced myself! My name is Kevin Wagenmaker (@RealCoachWags – CoachWags was taken 😁), and I am the Director of Instructional Innovation at Montcalm Community College. I have been in this role for almost 6 years now and enjoy working closely with instructors, students, and all other stakeholders to level up their tech use! I have a lot of hobbies and interests but in the interest of keeping this short: I love spending time in Michigan outdoors (particularly in da UP) with my wife and daughters!         

  1. What’s going on where I work?

Here at MCC we just finished phase 1 of our Instructor Station upgrade. We swapped out all of our old teacher stations with new, more versatile stations (they move up and down and all around) and outfitted them with multiple monitors, Teams room hubs, inking devices and corresponding 75” wall displays. These stations work seamlessly with the Logi Rally Conference systems we installed in each classroom last summer. Starting meetings and running Hyflex classes is a breeze and gives our instructors and students the ability to do pretty much anything they need to do! We digital ink like crazy!!

2 Shouts!

  • ETOM Leadership! Executive Director Garry Brand is the unsung hero behind ETOM! Most of you know him as you likely have taken his ETOM OTC course or have attended an ETOM event. Garry is a great asset to technology users across Michigan! I would also like to give a high five 🖐 to previous ETOM President, Margaret Bourcier (Mott CC). Margaret recently completed her term and has been very helpful to me in helping me understand my duties! Lastly, the ETOM Executive Board for all of their work behind the scenes in giving up their time to plan and prep for ongoing ETOM initiatives. I encourage anyone interested to inquire being a part of ETOM leadership! It is a great group to work with!    
  • The ETOM membership – You keep showing up! Thank you for your participation in all things ETOM! There is so much contribution and sharing during our gatherings (and we wouldn’t exist without you)!

1 Question!

ETOMconnect Meetup #1 is in the books! We had a great time chatting about ‘What’s Happening? What’s Going Well? What’s Not Going Well?’ While plenty of topics were covered during this short window of time, my biggest take away was the following question: what are some ways we can form relationships with students in our new settings; more specifically Hyflex settings. In more traditional settings we are used to that downtime to chat with students before/during/after class that doesn’t as readily exist in the virtual setting. Daniel from Cooley Law posted this question, and we would love to hear from you on how you develop these relationships with virtual students! Jot down your answers/experiences/ideas and bring them to our next meetup! We would love to hear from you!

Bonus: What am I reading?

Ok, this is a change up to what I said I was going to write about but I have never been proud of my ability to start books and not seem to find the end of the book. If you ask anyone that is close to me about my reading habits, they might roll their eyes or give you a little giggle. It’s kind of a running joke. Lately, I have been able to break through and have really enjoyed the books I have completed (go figure…thanks Audible! 🤜💥🤛)! My current book is Where Do Good Ideas Come From (Steve Johnson). I am only 3 chapters in but have already been captivated by the detail, relevant examples, and perspective of the idea process. I don’t mean to turn this into a book club but definitely wanted to recommend this title if you haven’t already read it…but you don’t have to take my word for it!

2 thoughts on “What’s Happening

  1. Thanks Kevin for these updates and reflections! You set a high bar for future blog postings! 🙂 I/we thank you for your time and efforts with not only your posting here, but with the ETOM Organization at large. As you also mentioned, a shout out to Garry B. as well! Garry rocks!

Comments are closed.