Have you ever participated in a Virtual Conference? Until last year, I hadn’t, but then ISTE organized the first Verizon Innovative Learning School Virtual Conference around Mobile Learning and I was hooked. Fortunately we had an opportunity to host a second Virtual Conference, this time focused on Connected Learning. There are two things that I think make Virtual Conferences so rewarding:
- Gaining insight and inspiration from fellow teachers and experts. In many ways, this doesn’t differ from in-person conferences.
- Backchanneling. During in-person conferences if attendees were to talk to one another during the presentation, they would be hushed or kicked out. During a Virtual Conference, attendees can use the platform’s Chat feature or Twitter to show support for the speaker (“That’s so true!”), to ask if other attendees have experience with the topic at hand (“Has anyone else tried this with middle school students?”) or to quickly provide helpful examples or supporting materials around discrete topics (“I found Terrence Teacher’s video example on YouTube and it really helped me visualize what [the presenter] is talking about.”). Virtual Conferences allow for collaboration in a way that in-person conferences can only aspire to.
So as you check out the 10 archived sessions from the 2014 Virtual Conference, be sure to follow the Chat windows as well. You might even gather your team (either in person or over Twitter) to watch and talk about a session together. Session topics include:
- Leveraging Mobile Technology to Drivee Global Citizenship and Student Engagement
- Social Media in the Classroom
- Students as Contetn Creators and Contributors
- Flipped Classrooms: Tradition Upside Down
- Curators or Knowledge: Students’ New Role in the Digital Collaborative Classroom
- Parent Engagement and Mobile Learning
- Creating a Safe Classroom Environment in the Digital Age
- Free Apps for the Mobile Classroom
- Building Momentum: Encouraging All Teachers to Integrate Technology
- Going Mobile: Best Strategic Practices for K-12 Leaders
- Makerspace in the Classroom
- Gaming, Apps and Augmented Reality
Wishing you a great Virtual Conference!