Digital Media Educators Conference Unites Sectors
Event Earns Praise from Community College Chancellors, CEOs
Each June, the Digital Media & Business Educators Conference brings together leaders from the business and communications sectors to discuss their increasingly interconnected fields and how to prepare students for careers in digital media.
The conference centers around the notion that mobile devices, virtualization, and an increasing focus on visual media mean that IT, communications, and business professionals need to work together more than ever before. Faculty need to understand those synergies in order to equip their students for success after graduation.
More than 300 people attended the conference, including high school and college faculty, entrepreneurs, and IT professionals. It was enough to catch the attention of community college chancellors and CEOs across the state.
“An event with over 300 people is just amazing,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “Working so strategically, concertedly, and in such a focused way will enable us to get where we want to go regarding our Doing What Matters goals and initiatives.”
This was the first year that the conference was open to faculty from the Small Business Sector as well as faculty from the Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector.
Gayla Jurevich, Deputy Sector Navigator for the Small Business Sector in the South Central Coast Region, said the combined sessions at the conference pair nicely with the work that the two sectors are doing in preparing students to use technology in all facets of business.
“Any business has to use technology to operate and has to understand things like social media and how to market themselves online,” Jurevich said. “The combined tracks and sessions were a great marriage of the Small Business Sector and the ICT-Digital Media Sector.”
Keeping with the multidisciplinary approach, the three-day conference included several keynote speakers from a variety of industries:
- James Brady, Area CIO, Kaiser Permanente Orange County: “Visual Communication and an Entrepreneurial Spirit are Key Drivers in the Evolution of Healthcare.”
- Eric Kellener, CxO Consulting, Inc: “Participating in Today’s Job Market: What Does It Take?”
- Mike Cavanagh, President, Key Code Media: “A One Minute Video is Worth 1.8 million Words!”
- Jon Swift, Branch Manager - Robert Half Technology, and Carol Schankler Division Director - Robert Half Creative: “2017 Hiring and Compensation Trends for Creative and IT Professionals”
Session tracks focused on areas such as entertainment, social responsibility, and digital media in technology. The conference also included “deep dive” sessions that provided in-depth training on everything from Github to starting a business.
Conference attendees echoed the sentiments from Dr. Van Hook, saying in their feedback surveys that the sessions were executed well and the speakers were knowledgeable in their fields.
Looking forward, Jurevich said this conference will be one of many events where the Small Business and ICT-DM sectors collaborate for the benefit of their students. A pilot program focusing on the gig economy is currently underway, with more than 20 colleges taking part.
The sectors are also collaborating in the area of cybersecurity, which is a hot topic across California. Technology professionals are needed to help businesses that are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
“Small businesses get attacked more than larger corporations. The people who do those things know they don’t have the same security,” Jurevich said. “Those are some of the issues we are talking about and figuring out how we can work together to address them.”