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A look at the city of Toronto from Nathan Philips Square. The Ontario Dental Association’s Annual Spring Meeting, while usually held in Toronto, will this year be accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection. You can access the virtual meeting through May 31. (Photo: Tourism Toronto)

ODA 2021: Education reimagined

By Kristine Colker / USA
May 06, 2021

The last time the Ontario Dental Association held its Annual Spring Meeting, back in 2019, the world was a different place. So it’s fitting that this year’s meeting, ASM21, comes equipped to help attendees deal with the changes in the world and the profession while also changing the format of the meeting itself.

For the first time, the ASM will be all-virtual, marking a different look and feel on the surface. What will stay the same, according to meeting organizers, is the access to a roster of top-notch speakers, lectures and inspiring keynotes.

Kicking off this morning (May 6) at 8 a.m. (ET) and running through Saturday (May 8), ASM21 also promises an improved online learning platform, networking activities and an interactive exhibits floor.

For those who are just finding out about the meeting now, you are in luck. Registration will remain open until May 31, and you can find out more at asm.oda.ca/registration-info/.

There are three different categories of educational sessions taking place during the meeting. Category 1 (core) courses will be live during the event and will not be on demand, but all Category 2 and 3 courses and the exhibit hall will be available after the meeting, from May 10 to 31.

Category 1 courses are presented live with a live Q&A. This includes two and a half hours for a half-day course and five hours for a full-day continuous course, polling questions every 30 minutes with a required response rate of four out of five questions (80 percent) within five minutes of the poll and an independent assessment (quiz) in order to meet the requirements for a Category 1 (Core) course designation.

Category 2 features all clinical courses, while Category 3 includes practice management and personal development sessions.

The virtual exhibits floor also offers an opportunity for earning C.E. credits. You can receive one credit for visiting during each of the dedicated scheduled times on Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7: 8 to 9:30 a.m., 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

The virtual exhibits will have show specials (be sure to click on the Attendee Swag Bag in the navigation bar in order to access discount coupons for use on the exhibits floor) and company representatives ready to greet you during the dedicated exhibit hours via the chat feature in each booth. A virtual meeting can make networking more accessible than an in-person meeting. Instead of tracking down an exhibitor or representative in a large convention centre, virtual attendees will have many opportunities for direct communication, instant messaging and impromptu conversations at the click of a button.

The virtual exhibits will remain active after the show, from May 8 to 31. The chat function will also be active, but please allow 24 hours for an exhibitor to respond during those dates.

For those who need a little extra help with the virtual format, there is an information desk in the meeting lobby for show information. It can be accessed by clicking the link in the lobby.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, you can send an email to support@nextechar.com with the event details and a brief description, and one of the Nextech AR support agents will assist you. Alternatively, you can call (866) 330-6655. Their hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET).

Spend the morning with bestselling author Amanda Lindhout

Kicking off the Ontario Dental Association’s Annual Spring Meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday is a keynote address you won’t soon forget.

As a child, New York Times bestselling author Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting its exotic locales. At 19, working as a cocktail waitress, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh and India, and, emboldened by each adventure, she went on to Sudan, Syria and Pakistan.

In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq, she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia. On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Lindhout survived on memory — every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity — and on strategy, fortitude and hope. When she was most desperate, she visited a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark.

Lindhout, now a sought-after inspirational speaker, turned that experience into her bestselling memoir, “A House in the Sky.”

Using conviction, affirmation, gratitude, and positive thinking, Lindhout survived the unimaginable. With astonishing clarity and self-reflection, she now teaches through her powerful example that the stories we tell ourselves become our lasting experience and that changing our narrative can transform our struggles into opportunities for growth.

In her keynote session, Lindhout will outline how coping strategies like mindfulness, visualization and self-talk strengthen resilience. She will describe what qualities enable not only survival but also the capacity to thrive in the face of adversity.

A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Lindhout will facilitate a shift in consciousness, leaving the audience with actionable takeaways to develop new thought habits while being deeply inspired to take on challenges with a new perspective and empowered to transform stories of pain into stories of power.

ASM21 Show Guide

The ASM21 Show Guide has everything you need to know, from daily schedules, speaker and session descriptions to exhibitor listings and more. It is available in an easy-to-use, interactive flipbook that lets you make notes on the pages and on content that interests you.

Find the ASM21 Show Guide and other quick reference documents at asm.oda.ca/asm-guide/.

(Source: Ontario Dental Association)

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