Conference, Professional Development

Have Conferences, Will Travel – Fall 2014 Edition

With the start of the academic semester comes a series of conferences. I’m grateful for the conference survival guides and other helpful conference hacks shared by my PLN. Due to limited travel funds and time, I had to decline a few conferences; however I will be sure to follow along the Twitter backchannel (I am looking at you #HEWeb14 and #SMSociety14).

In considering the cost of professional development at many conferences, I have learned to get more involved to help fund this sort of travel.

jure

Image c/o @jure

Here are a few ways to get involved and learn how to fund your own conference travel with your professional affiliations:

  • Volunteer at the conference – check-in desk, hospitality, and more! Ask to volunteer!
  • Apply to present a Pre-Conference workshop – often you are eligible for comped registration and/or bonus honorarium to travel.
  • Get involved with conference planning – join the conference steering committee or planning group. It gets you networked and often offers a discount for registration and/or accommodations
  • Get invited – See if invites are available for featured talks, workshops or edu sessions. Tap into your network and share what you are working on.
  • Stay with a friend – I have housed and been housed at a number of conference locations just to avoid the steep hotel costs. Bunk up, or find a local off the conference beat.
  • Apply for a travel grant – This might be at your own institution, through the professional organization, or other entity.
  • See what’s local – You will be surprised to learn a number of different conferences, workshops, and other P.D. that is happening in your own neck of the woods OR online. 🙂
  • Present virtually! – Limited travel? See if the conference offers virtual papers, workshops or posters and submit your CFP! If you’re in the #edtech realm, you will likely find this a popular option to travel.

Here is my quick conference list for the Fall 2014 term:

Where are you traveling this academic term? Will our conference travel cross paths? How have you creatively spread your travel funds? Please share. 🙂

Professional Development, Training & Development

Are you going to #blend14? Join the Unconference session (#unblend14) & More in the Rocky Mountains!

The @SloanConsortium 2014 Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (a.k.a. #blend14) is less than a month away! I am excited to be attending and facilitating a workshop in the rocky mountains (Denver, CO) this July.  As blended learning models for curriculum and program development increase in post-secondary education, learners and instructors are being more invested in different mode and models for education. Last year, I found the mix of programs, discussions, and people at #blend13 very refreshing.  If you have interests in design, development, or research in hybrid and blending learning environments than this might just be the conference and workshop for you!

blend14 banner

For those you who ARE attending #blend14, let me entice you to join in the UN-conference session.  This year, I will be helping to host the Blended Unconference (#unblend14) with Jessica Knott (@jlknott) and Patrice T (@Profpatrice). Unconferences are great opportunities to interact, discussion, and dig into topics that YOU are most interested in. As an a-typical session, the unconference is guided by participants who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the group. It will be YOU who takes control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure to keep things organized and moving, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference YOUR OWN. Typically unconference sessions introduce a topic or issue, and discussion, debate and ideas ensue.

Should I Attend the Unconference?

Yes!  Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, the unconference session is JUST for you:

  • Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions?
  • Do you wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand upon session content?
  • Are you looking for ways to get involved & meet others at #blend14?
  • Did someone ask the perfect question during your presentation & now you want to talk to them further?
  • Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques, debate current trends, or collaborate on research?

Come to the Unconference Sessions on July 9:

  • 1:30 PM – Gather in the Unconference room and review the topics and votes; select top topics
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM- Break into groups and discuss the top three topics.
  • 2:45 – 3:00 PM – Short break
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM – Reconvene and revisit the topics and votes
  • 3:15 to 4:15 PM – Break into groups and discuss the next three highest voted topics. (Again, the individuals who submitted the topics will facilitate each of these three groups, with a scribe assigned for note-taking and organizational purposes.)

SIGN UP and submit YOUR UNCONFERENCE TOPIC for #unblend14:

Check out and VOTE ON the current Unconference Topics on Ideascale:

About the Sloan Community on IdeascaleA few ideas to vote onIn other #blend14 news, I will be a “Chef” in the “Technology Test Kitchen.” This NEW addition to the conference will provide participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different tools and technologies they want to use back on campus. Bring your own device (BYOD), and let’s getting developing with audio and/or video, collaborative platforms, communication tools, or presentation resources that YOU want to learn more about.

Are you planning to be in Denver for #blend14? Want to learn more about the #unblend14 Unconference or Test Kitchen? Drop me a line. 🙂

Conference, EdTech

This Is My Recap of #et4online

Another year at the #et4online conference brings various researchers, educators, practitioners, and then some to talk about the online learning landscape. I presented a session, attended a few workshops & sessions, learned a great deal (see my notes taken on Twitter), and connected to some new ideas and people. Each time I attend #et4online I find myself surrounded by some of the usual #edtech suspects who banter about pedagogy and talk about learning — rather than just the technology… and this is refreshing.

et4online montage

A few of my own #et4online highlights include:

 

Other reflections and thoughts about #et4online have been shared by George and Jim (#JimOfThings)…and I suspect a few others to follow.

 

Key takeaways I am still chewing on…

 

 

Special shout out to @jlknott for a stellar conference week as my roommate &  partner-in-crime. Here’s to our combined forces (support) to crush (or defend) our dissertations this summer! Go team!

Excited

Until then, I think #et4online should dance it out… Because I’m happy

Happy

EdTech, Learning Technologies, Professional Development

Are You Coming to #et4online in Dallas? You Should.

The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium (#et4online), hosted by the Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is just around the corner. This 7th Annual #EdTech conference will be held in Dallas, TX from April 9-11, 2014, and based on the program you can expect a number of talented individuals to be in attendance. Registration is OPEN!

et4online

I know that the #et4online is giving you 7 Reasons Why You Should Join Us…

7 reasons

However I will give the reasons I am attending:

  • I get to talk about my #ugstSTORY class in terms of student development, learning design, social media applications, and my own lessons learned for instructional design.
  • Yours truly invited the Featured Sessions speakers to the conference, based on the amazing things they are working on in the field of Ed Tech and my own interest in meeting them. 🙂
  • I always learn something new from any of the interactive workshops and information sessions I have participated in.
  • You are able to order (almost) FREE MOO cards to help with your networking and such. This could also be handy as you attend the Career Forum (#edtechcareers) this year with some fantastic panelists c/o @RMoeJo
  • If you don’t know Jim Groom (@jimgroom) & his work on Reclaim Hosting – you should. He’s an #EdTech bad ass, and I look forward to his keynote.
  • The discussion, debate, & idea swapping in the Unconference is brilliant. All sessions are user-generated and led by those who attend these meetings. There is usually something for everyone, with regards to topics, and I usually leave with some interesting take-aways and things I want to work on as we wrap up the conference.
  • Last, but certainly not least… I attend #et4online because of THE PEOPLE. This conference is a fantastic meet up for a number of graduate students, early career  researchers, experienced scholars, instructors, entrepreneurs, faculty and more! From my previous #et4online experience, I have been fortunate to collaborate and connect with a number of folks beyond the conference to research, publish, and play. 

Can’t travel to the Big D? Learn more about our virtual attendee option.

Let me know if you’re heading to Dallas for the #et4online conference. If enough people are around, there could be rumours of me hosting a Texan BBQ at my homestead.  Until then, I look forward to following the banter about it on Twitter:

Hashtag: #et4online 
Handle @et4online

FashioningCircuits

#FashioningCircuits Takes On Design Your World STEM Conference

Last weekend, I volunteered at the Design Your World – North Texas STEM Conference for Girls. This is the second year running for this conference, which was created to introduce and engage young girls to the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) fields. I spent last Saturday on campus at SMU working with girls (ages 9-11) and sharing how coding, electronic circuits, and fashion intertwine with our fearless workshop creator/leader, Dr. Kim Knight (@purplekimchi). Girl power!

Design Your World fun with the #fashioningcircuits

Initially I joined in the Design Your World fun to document and take notes about the  #FashioningCircuits workshop, course, and research — but really how could I resist crafting my very own LED circuit headband with moustaches. REALLY?!?! This workshop introduced girls to the wearable Arduino Lillypad, and how to include this technological hardware in your fashion design.
Getting directionals from  @purplekimchi for my #fashioncircuit

It was a fun and productive day. I really enjoyed working with the Girl Scout Troupe from Denton (Holla!) who wanted to learn how fashion connects to technology design, historically and in application. Not only did I earn my “Product Designer” badge (YES!), I also learned what these young ladies thought about working with technology, circuits, coding, and more:

My product designers from Denton Bella, Leah & Lilly. #fashioningcircuits #stem #girlpower

After getting to the end product — the blinking LED lights on the headband — all the girls felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for the day. It was a pretty cool project, after all. For me, I had a few personal takeaways from the workshop experience, and interacting with the participants:

  • Sometimes when you learn and try new things — you will not succeed. We all had a number of mistakes, but we learned from them and fixed errors to get to the end product.
  • Get a strategy and tip from those around you. Whether it’s how to thread the electric thread chord or stitching, you can learn from all levels.
  • These girls were not aware the barriers or even the lower number of females in the STEM fields. That being said, this might be the first time they learned about the fields of computer science, engineering, and more.
  • At this age, most girls believe that anything is possible.
  • “Girls work better together” (said my group) specifically with regards to collaboration, listening, and helping each other problem-solve.
  • My ladies thought that it was “much quieter without boys” and the said boys are more competitive.
  • Many of the girls were interested in learning more about computers, coding, circuits, electricity, and how things work in general as a direct result of interacting and designing in this workshop.
  • While completing the conference evaluation, my  group had to ask a parent what “box to check” for ethnicity. I liked this. It reminded me that institutions and educators put labels on things they don’t need to.
  • Keep exploring. Keep learning. Even this workshop schooled this ME… a self-acclaimed creative, smart kid. It reminded me to always keep the challenges coming.

Are you interested in learning more about this cool workshop? Want to connect to Fashion Circuits to learn about technology & design? Check out the Fashioning Circuits course taught by Dr. Knight at UT Dallas, follow @FashionCircuits on Twitter or track on the hashtag #FashioningCircuits for different happenings. I will continue to play with fashioning circuits every now and then to collaborate and contribute to Kim’s upcoming book, Fashioning Makers and Counterpublics: Critical Making and Public Humanities. Stay tuned for more maker and fashionista magic.