This October 8-9, we hosted our first annual Unizin Innovation Summit. It was a great opportunity to meet new people, share updates about Unizin and see what kinds of things our Members are doing to improve the learning experience on their campuses. The Gaylord Texan Hotel and Conference Center served as the backdrop for the two-day event. Everything’s bigger in Texas – and the cavernous conference center did not disappoint (besides the lack of WiFi).

Our goal was to provide attendees with a roadmap of Unizin products and services and provide a place for our Members to network. The Summit kicked off with an update from Amin Qazi, Unizin’s CEO. Some exciting things are coming up soon: piloting a real-time data feed from Canvas, our eText platform, Engage, in Spring 2016, and analytics tools.

We were proud to have an outstanding selection of presentations and panels in the breakout sessions. Our Director of Product, Etienne Pelaprat, spoke to the group about the future of content and the problems with metadata. He emphasized as we create “common gauge rails” in Unizin we need to be on the same track technologically and organizationally at our institutions.

One of the highlights of the Summit was an hour we called Speed Sessions: A Lightening Round for Learning. Each presenter had seven minutes to describe and show what their campus is doing to improve digital teaching and learning. We had some great presentations! Our Members are truly innovating and making digital learning more entertaining and affordable for students at their schools. In a post-event survey, many people cited it as one of their favorite parts of the Summit. Check out a full list of speed sessions on our community forums.

After dinner, Geeks Who Drink showed up and put everyone’s knowledge to the test. The team ‘Peanut Butter and Crabs’ came in first, but it was a fun time for all! Check out the entire recap on the Geeks Who Drink page.

We were honored to have Malcolm Brown, Director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, give our keynote presentation. He talked about his work researching the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment and how Unizin is meeting some of those requirements.

Finally, Vince Kellen from the University of Kentucky wrapped up our Summit with his take on learning analytics and facilitated a brief panel discussion with Kim Arnold, Dave Johnson and Christopher Brooks.

We appreciate everyone who attended and gave us feedback. We look forward to making the Summit even better next year (WiFi – yay!) and focusing on how we can improve the learning experience for students and faculty by creating a dynamic ecosystem that’s solving the problems shared by our universities. Keep checking back, we’ll be announcing where and when Unizin 2016 will be held in the next few months!