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By Liz Kolb, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor University of Michigan ©2013
Chapter 1: Introduction........................................................................................................ 3 Chapter 2: Why Virtual Conference for Professional Development...................... 5 Chapter 3: Conference Beginnings..................................................................................13 Chapter 4: Evaluating Virtual Conference Tools........................................................16 Chapter 5: A Website to Call home..................................................................................37 Chapter 6: Funding the Conference................................................................................56 Chapter 7: Marketing the Conference............................................................................62 Chapter 8: Presenter Preparation ..................................................................................66 Chapter 9: Participant Preparation................................................................................77 Chapter 10: Evaluating Year 1 of the Conference ......................................................79 Chapter 11: Mistakes and Mishaps.................................................................................90 Chapter 12: Year 2 Modifications and Additions .......................................................94 Chapter 13: Future Plans ................................................................................................ 102 References ............................................................................................................................ 106
Chapter 1: Introduction I have been an education technology instructor at the University of Michigan for over a decade. Each year around 200 students graduate from our teacher training program. A strong conviction of Michigan’s teacher education program has been that the education should not stop once the students graduate, yet for the most part it did. Back in 2008 our teacher education program was using a variety of random methods to stay connected with the school’s alumni. Some instructors had email lists (where some of the email links were out of date), others had social networking sites such as Facebook or Ning group pages (often different pages for each program), yahoo list groups, and random Twitter feeds, just to name a few. There was not a centralized space for alumni to reconnect or extend their learning through our University. Of course there were a few former students connecting casually with professors, but in general there was no consistent formal or even informal space for continuing education. The faculty and staff would often talk about wanting to create more professional development and mentoring opportunities for the alumni, but nothing ever panned out. Then in 2008 I had three professional experiences that gave me an inspiration for potentially solving this concern of continuing education for our alumni. My first inspiration came when I attended a face-‐to-‐face conference in Texas, where Dr. Lisa Dawley from Boisie State, spoke about virtual teaching and the amazing growth over the past decade. I was blown away by the growth, excitement and potential of virtual learning tools. She explained that the state of Idaho had even developed a virtual teaching certification as a result of the growth. My second experience came soon after this Texas conference, when I was asked to develop an asynchronous presentation for the K12 Online Conference. I had not heard of the K12 Online Conference and began to learn all about it. It was an asynchronous conference made up of short (15 to 60 minute) recorded presentations around education technology. Participation was free and the participants could watch the recordings at their leisure and post comments. While I enjoyed the K12 Online experience (in particular the free participation), I felt it could really benefit from some synchronous interaction. In particular being able to ask presenters questions live during the presentation and network in real-‐time with other participants. Finally, I attended an education technology conference at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2008. The conference brought numerous Michigan State University School of Education alumni back to campus. It provided rich sessions on education technology for pre-‐service and in-‐service teachers. In addition many of the students in the education school helped to run the conference. It was a great networking opportunity for these students. In 2008, the University of Michigan did not have any large-‐scale way to provide annual professional development for their alumni, and many of Michigan’s school of education alumni were teaching all over the world and would not be able to travel back to campus for an education technology conference. In addition, many face-‐to-‐face conferences have a cost that some teachers just cannot afford. Then an idea began to form… 3
Furthermore. With a free virtual conference. It is meant to be a model for K12 school districts or universities interested in developing their own virtual conference within their district or one that couples with other school districts. In developing the conference. it would be easier to entice educators from all over the world to present at the conference since they would not have to leave their house in order to present. 4 . all teachers would have access to the information without having to worry about the cost. Thus the development of the 4T Virtual Conference began! This book is the story of how a grassroots virtual conference was developed with zero funding. Why not develop a synchronous multi-‐day virtual conference focusing on education technology? Knowing that most school districts cannot afford to send all of their teachers to attend the many face-‐to-‐face conferences on education technology (between hotel rooms. The first (2010-‐ 2011) and second (2011-‐2012) years are both highlighted in this book. the variety of resources used in creating the conference.The Idea… These three experiences and the need for alumni professional development opportunities gave me an idea. I focused heavily on free options so that any K12 school district could utilize professional development virtual conferences without budgetary concern.00 or more to attend a conference). and conference fees they tend to cost around $1. The conference began in 2010 and this book covers the first two years of the conference. this virtual conference could be low cost or even free for attendees. The book explains changes from year 1 to year 2 as well plans for the future of the conference. The story documents the steps in developing the conference. flights. Furthermore. In addition.000. the “what worked” and “what did not work” lessons learned. the conference would be a way to give on-‐going annual professional development opportunities to the University of Michigan school’s alumni in the challenging and growing field of education technologies where they would need continuous up-‐to-‐date training over time. many educators do not want to spend time away from their families by traveling to a conference.
teachers must continually be updating their skills and knowledge about teaching and learning. These numbers have changed very little over the last decade. While the more affluent school districts may pay for some or even all of the professional development fees. In 1999. The ultimate goal of schooling is for children to learn. 1999). It is often cost and time prohibitive to sustain any professional growth. 1999). In particular problems with K12 face-to-face professional development and how virtual professional development can be a solution for some of the current issues with face-to-face professional development. Yet. schools encourage their employees to seek professional development opportunities at places outside of the school district such as local universities.” (Joyce & Showers. Therefore the majority of school districts resort to one-‐time workshops or lectures on designated professional development days during the school year. Thus it leaves the teachers to pay for the learning opportunities. Within the traditional K12 school structure it is difficult for teachers and school districts to find time and space for quality professional development. Below is a brief overview of some of the problems with face-‐to-‐face professional development. In addition. Most of these experiences include travel. teachers are so busy teaching that they have little time left for their own learning. Many teachers cannot easily afford to attend the national or international conferences. However. The speaker fees can be hefty and often does not result in any changes of instruction or long-‐term growth (Loucks-‐Horsley & Matsumoto. The majority of school districts pay fees to bring in speakers and presenters to conduct workshops. Most of these opportunities cost money. and do not lead to changes in classroom teaching (Loucks-‐Horsley & Matsumoto. 2002). Education experts understand that that “student achievement is the product of formal study by educators. education conferences. or expensive workshops. Events Not Process Most of the outside workshops or speakers that school districts bring in for professional development are a one-‐time event. and other vendor sponsored workshops. Traditional professional development for K12 educators can be problematic. 80% of teachers have reported that they need more time to collaborate with other teachers and learn new skills (Odden. research has shown that these one-‐time professional development events are not typically aligned with ongoing practice. There are little to no plans to continue the learning by systemically sustaining the learning over long periods of time. education organizations. 2000). Therefore.Chapter 2: Why a Virtual Conference as Professional Development? This chapter will highlight current research and thought around traditional and virtual K12 professional development. many cannot. Current Concerns with Professional Development for Teachers Cost Face-‐To-‐Face professional development has been occurring in school districts for decades. While 5 . food and hotel fees.
it is difficult for schools to find the time (and money) to allow this to happen for their teachers. Ultimately this means that the professional development offered might not apply to some teachers in the district. By Learning from practice it allows other important components of effective professional development to occur such as collaboration and sustained learning over time. and grow with over time. Leaving the teachers to find their own professional learning communities. they are often lacking a sense of professional community that they can learn. Researchers have found that with the characteristics listed below in place. most school districts choose face-‐to-‐face professional development opportunities that meet the needs of the general majority of their teachers and fits within their budget. If they attend a workshop or lecture outside of the school district. In addition. 2011). share. They need to want to seek out the information and believe that it can improve their teaching and ultimately student learning. teachers are more likely to consider the professional development relevant and ultimately makes improved teaching practice more likely (Hunzicker. successful teacher development is a process and not a one-‐time episode (Joyce & Showers 2002). Thus. While more affluent school districts can pay for their teachers to be part of education organizations and communities to keep them up to date on the latest innovations and research. it is often easier to sustain this type of growth. Researchers have found that teachers need to learn “in and from practice” (Ball & Cohen. • A sense of community occurs during the professional development • Teachers get to interact and collaborate together 6 .research stresses that professional development must be a process. they may feel isolated in their professional development pursuits. Lack of Community If teachers have an interest in a field or tool where there is no professional development offered in-‐district. 1999). there tends to be a generic factor to the development that leaves some teachers unable to relate to the content presented. Majority Rules Often related to factors of time and cost. Effective Professional Development While there are plenty of face-‐to-‐face professional development opportunities for teachers. Most of the current models focus on a one-‐time episode rather than sustained learning over time. Characteristics of high-‐quality professional development: A Sense of Community • Administrator support and “buy in” • Teachers support the changes that may take place as a result of the professional development. Below are some of the highlights found in research concerning characteristics of high-‐quality professional development. many less affluent school districts cannot.
g…teacher’s can log in on their own time to learn and there is often a digital archive of discussions and activities). virtual professional development may be one potential solution to the problems of face-‐to-‐face professional development for teachers. While there are some benefits from asynchronous interactions (e. Some of the drawbacks include: 1) It is impersonal and often educators say they lack a sense of community. there are also some drawbacks. and in education generally • Generate and contribute new knowledge to the profession • Increase the ability to monitor students’ work. Contextual and Transferrable • Supportive “coaching” and professional community that does not end but can be continuous so teachers maintain access to the community • Deepen teachers’ knowledge of the subjects being taught • Sharpen teaching skills in the classroom • Keep up with developments in the individual fields. Extended period of Time • Supports interaction among master teachers • Professional development is On-‐going and takes place over an extended period of time • Provides opportunities for teachers to try new behaviors in safe environments and receive feedback from peers How virtual conferences can solve some of the complexities of professional development.• Teachers support one-‐another Practical. Yet most of the virtual professional development that has arisen is asynchronous (such as the K12 Online Conference mentioned in the introduction). 2) Not being able to ask questions “in the moment” 3) Not being able to try collaboratively work on activities as they are being demonstrated 4) Harder to form a community of learners when they cannot interact live online 7 . 2000). Knowing this to be true. 2003). Considering Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Some educators have speculated that given the current technology it is possible to create virtual collaborative professional development learning schools (Harwell. It is difficult for one-‐time face-‐to-‐face professional development events to be sustained and allow for constant collaboration and building of a community network to support and construct new understandings over time. in order to provide constructive feedback to students and appropriately redirect teaching (The National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century.
while I enjoyed the archived sessions. for my virtual conference. I wanted to make sure it had a synchronous approach. Considering that both approaches have benefits and drawbacks. and planning and 8 . one of the inspirations for this conference came from a free an asynchronous K12 conference experience (K12 Online). I thought it was important to highlight both of these in this chapter. asynchronous was the easiest and most often selected option for online learning. where Hrastinski highlights which environment has larger gains in for professional development. Therefore. Many of these drawbacks are also problematic in face-‐to-‐face professional development. Asynchronous Ability for participants to process information being presented Spend more time in discussion boards and chat room with contentrelated discourse Focus more on quality of response rather than quantity Rich discussions with fewer participants Supports many types of communication Increases in motivation More likely to have social support exchanges Resembles face-to-face communication More likely to respond to messages and to be motivated to engage in chat Synchronous X X X X X X X X X Hrastinski (2008) concludes his study by giving examples of when and why one should use one environment over the other. Ultimately stating that a synchronous environment is best for getting acquainted. options for online synchronous learning environments have opened up (Hrastinski. For example if you wanted to ask a question of the presenter and have them demonstrate a feature of the learning tool. As mentioned. Below is a comparison table from Stefan Hrastinski’s (2008) study of the two environments. however. 2008). in particular the lack of community. with the increase in bandwidth. For many years.5) There is no flexibility in the experience (being able to segway from the main lecture). gaining motivation and commitment from participants. As mentioned in the introduction. discussing both less or more complex issues. I felt disconnected and isolated from my peers who were attending the conference since there were no options to participate in a synchronous way.
In an asynchronous presentation. participants can work together to build ideas. and collaborate on a project. if a participant asks a question about how to do something in the presentation. I thought it would be unlikely that participants would return often to a static discussion board or email list to thoughtfully post about a topic. I found that there were other unique benefits to synchronous online learning. Networking Since there is little time to do real time chatting or collaborative amongst participants in an asynchronous environment. Therefore. it gives the participants more of a feeling of a face-‐to-‐face classroom experience. By and large there are greater benefits from a synchronous approach. Rather it seemed more likely that they would be motivated by the possible real time collaboration of a virtual room that mimics face-‐to-‐face learning experiences. there is little to no room for real time collaboration or knowledge building. Level SES One hidden gem of synchronous learning is that it can bridge the socio-‐economic issues that tend to create divisions in traditional learning.doing tasks. a synchronous approach allows for the presenter to take the individual participant’s needs into consideration. networking rarely occurs. While some of the education technology topics in the conference may be more complex. the instructor could stop presenting and take a few minutes to show the participants how to do that activity. Flexibility While an asynchronous experience is a modular approach. The parents 9 . In synchronous environments participants can exchange contact information in real time and continue their collaboration on their own time. the instructor could not immediately answer questions. In a synchronous presentation. work collaboratively to build knowledge and view each other live on webcams. brainstorm. This is a nice feature for schools that are considering virtual professional conferences for their parents and community where they may have a range of parents with socio-‐economic status. this conference could connect to the K12 teachers familiarity of a traditional classroom experience through the virtual synchronous classroom. chat with other participants. While he found that an asynchronous environment is best only for reflecting on a complex issue. For example. the participants can become more or less “equal” on the playing field. Often participants are unaware of other participants socio-‐economic backgrounds and by using the many collaborative features of an online environment. Collaboration In an asynchronous learning environment. where the presenter cannot easily stray from the presentation. The following are some benefits of synchronous online learning mentioned by virtual teaching instructors: Similar to Classroom Experience Since participants can ask questions of the presenter in real time. In addition.
A synchronous virtual conference has the potential to do the following… After researching synchronous and asynchronous online learning. b.offering other resources that may meet the same goals or giving an anecdote about a situation in their classroom). or the car they drive.. “how did you deal with x?” or “why didn’t you choose x instead?” Presenters can answer from their K-‐12 experiences with the projects at hand. thus the participants can download the sessions anytime and watch them at their own pace. 4) Low to No Cost a.. b. In virtual rooms.can participate. 2) On-going professional development at your own pace a. One eager participant cannot as easily dominate the discussion (which could “turn off” or frustrate others in the session). I found that synchronous learning had the potential to solve some of the problems of traditional face-‐to-‐face professional development for K12 teachers. The following could be true of a synchronous online conference for K12 teachers. d. Participants are live. This allows teachers in districts with little professional development funds to still participate in on-‐going professional development. Participants can add or extend the information being presented (eg. c. participants can private message presenters and participants live and receive immediate response. 5) Express Yourself a. All the sessions can be archived. If the conference focuses on K-‐12 teachers and educators sharing their K-‐12 experiences. the virtual environment can control for this with private messages and moderating. Teachers who may “hang back” in a face-‐to-‐face professional development experience can express themselves more easily in an online format. In addition the flexibiligy in scheduling virtual times can appeal to differing working hours for parents or community members and presenters. Participants can ask presenters. Time is not a limitation in the virtual world 3) Authenticity a. b. then there is potential to allow each session to be authentic and real-‐world. rather than hypothetical “what ifs” that often happen in “event”-‐type professional development. Participants do not feel as isolated. what they look like. 1) Develop a community of learners a. There are numerous free or low cost virtual learning spaces online. in particular if they do not have teachers in their current school in the same field of interest (such as the lone music teacher in the school) e. ask questions without assumptions being made about how they dress. They have dialogue with the presenters and network with other participants. They are more willing to ask questions and participate 10 .
11 . and network on their own time. The following are some steps we took to make sure that we were meeting the professional development needs of our participants. Continuing Education Credits While there are some online conferences that are free. none of them offer free CEUs. it was important that I set up the virtual conference to maximize the potential professional learning opportunities for the participating educators.5 credits (a total of 5 one hour sessions) to any educator who was interested.0 credits (a total o 20 one hour sessions). we included a hash tag so that participants could social network via Twitter. tweet. it creates an atmosphere of “we are all in it together” rather than a “big name” telling teachers what to do or how to teach. they were encouraged to participate and to create. Therefore any educator in any school district could virtually “attend” without having to worry about funding. this included continuing education credits. In fact. No Cost It was vital that the conference did not have any cost for the participants. In addition. By offering the CEUs it allowed the teachers to get “credit” for the conference in their school districts. ask questions. schools could send their entire district to the conference at no cost and receive state continuing education credits for attending the conference. Furthermore. In addition. Opportunities for Collaboration Since each session was live. Presentations by in-service teachers Instead of an “expert” researcher or Ph. Facebook and other networks about the conference. They could have a backchannel discussion (such as private messages back and forth between individual participants) and share resources during the conference. For our first year we decided to offer . share resources. answer without hesitation or anxiety. For our second year we were able to offer up to 2. This allowed for authenticity and for the complexities of education technology in K-‐12 classrooms to come to the surface. we had “open” rooms where participants could continue discussions. our conference focused on teachers teaching other teachers based on their own classroom experiences. It is less daunting then being in a room of dozens if not hundreds of other teachers. How I set up my virtual conference to combat the problems of professional development and emphasize the benefits Understanding the problems of face-‐to-‐face professional development. there were opportunities in every session for chat-‐room dialogue and private messaging.D (who may have never taught k-‐12) coming to speak to the school. Participation was encouraged Rather than allowing the participants to sit back and watch the presentations.
even after the conference ended. They could also use the recordings in their own schools for professional development or to share with their students for lesson learning. most of the presenters included their contact and social networking information so that participants could build their professional network and allow the learning to continue and grow over time. 12 . Personalized Learning and Choice Each session could be downloaded and watched on-‐demand. Furthermore. thus providing opportunities for teachers to log into the conference session recordings anytime. Lifetime Learning Every session of the conference was archived. This provides a life long learning opportunity for the teachers.questions. rather than a lecture-‐format. Teachers could continuously review all the material presented as well as the chat room conversation at their own pace and on their own time. share their experiences. In addition there were over 50 different sessions to select from. It created a collaborative atmosphere. therefore teachers could choose sessions that resonated with their interests and needs and didn’t have to worry about “missing” a session.
Therefore. Not all the decisions made ended up being the best decisions and there will be some discussion in the chapter about ways to improve upon the initial conference. it will include all the complexities of developing a virtual conference on a zero dollar budget. Jeff is also instructor in the school of education who has amazing foundational understanding of education technology and ran online learning simulation courses at the School of Education. Dr. and experts in outreach. writes books on technology in teaching and has impeccable technology skills and understanding of pedagogy. Jeff Stanzler. Dr. Forming a Committee In order to enact my idea for a virtual professional development conference around education technology. I had to rely on colleagues who would be willing to volunteer their time and expertise to do the work. Laura Roop. November 2010: The First Meeting Our first committee meeting occurred in November 2010. I began to think about developing a conference committee. One of the members of our technology services. A first year graduate student Florencia Gomez was eager and excited to be part of the committee. none of us were certain on how to proceed. Kristin Fontichiaro and Dr.Chapter 3: Conference Beginnings… Chapter 3. professional development. Kristin taught in our school of information and was an expert in library media. Third I needed to find other teacher educators with some technology education knowledge who taught in the same programs as myself. For this I found two colleagues. I needed experts in education technology. Dr. Having zero budget. As the University of Michigan is a teaching institution. McMahon has great knowledge of teaching. I knew that I could not build the entire conference by myself. In addition I wanted to find someone from the outreach department who has knowledge about continuing education credits and public relations. and connections in the school of education. While not an education technology expert. I recruited the coordinator of one of our Master’s in Teaching programs to join the committee. 4. I also thought it was important to include a graduate student who was studying education technologies. Teresa McMahon. one of our outreach coordinators was willing to come aboard and help out. She has a large following in the library media world. it was important to include graduate students. I knew I needed to find experts with various strengths. it was important to have the support of a faculty member who was in a leadership role in the school. it was important to have a “tech-‐guru” who could work behind the scenes on the technology troubleshooting and handle all of the virtual classroom issues that may arise. In addition. Next. While we had a committee. since the University of Michigan was a research-‐based and teaching school. experts in teacher education. Ron Miller was willing and eager to help out. and 5 will outline how the conference was developed over a 7 month period. It will include different ideas presented as well as decisions made during the process. The very first item we did as a group was to brainstorm many ways to create a unique and effective learning 13 . In addition. This was purely a grassroots effort. First.
the more we began to think about all the nuances of teaching and learning we felt that narrowing down our conference focus would be smarter and allow participants to know exactly what they were getting. Therefore. Lectures. virtual classrooms afforded presenters the ability to create interactive sessions on different technology tools since they could easily go out to the web and share the tools. Our criteria for the theme: • It had to tell participants that this was a practitioner conference. not a research conference • That the conference was for teachers • The focus was education technology • It was a hip and innovative conference • It was associated with the University of Michigan • It was 100% virtual 14 . Below are the goals and “to do” list for the first conference from our original meeting Goals: • Conference would be held in May at the end of the preservice teacher’s teacher training. after deciding to focus on education technology. and there are always new technology tools that teachers need to learn about. • 100 teachers and preservice teachers participating • Offer continuing education credits CEUs • Get IRB to study conference • Market the conference • Align with National Education Technology Plan • Have two Keynote Speakers • 30 sessions • Selection of session types (Panels. we had to come up with a catchy name. Teaching and learning was just too broad. This focus on a theme of education technology seemed significant since it is often an area many new and veteran teachers tend to struggle with. thus we decided to focus the conference on using education technology in K12 schools.5 CEUs (5 hours of sessions) for the conference • Brainstorm ideas for advertising and marketing conference Establishing a Conference Theme and Title Our committee needed to decide on the topic of the conference and type of presentations. In addition. and Workshops) • Decision NOT to have vendor or sponsor sessions for the first year To Do: • Find a virtual conference space • Find a grant to help with funding • Find two Keynote Speakers • Find someone to build a website (school of information) • Figure out how to get the State of Michigan to approve . Originally we thought that the conference would be a general theme of teaching and learning with sessions ranging from special education to teaching social studies to using technology in schools.experience for teachers. However.
It also did not say anything about the University of Michigan. Teaching with Technology Conference. We were sold! 15 . Teresa came up with 4T: Teachers Teaching Teachers about Technology. Many ideas were tossed around in our committee. While it did not say anything about virtual. But we could call it the UofM 4T Virtual Conference. we could shorten the title to 4T Virtual Conference. Ultimately. We thought it sounded hip and engaging. UofM. The Practical Virtual Conference on Technology.
there are plenty of virtual. images and movie files • The ability for the presenter to link out to websites. Our requirements for a virtual conference room: • Ability to present live and synchronous to any place in the world • Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room • The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues • The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools • The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. and see the other questions from other participants • The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived • The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for continuing education credits • The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. or Smartphone to participate • The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins • Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously • File sharing options (send files to participants) Free Tools: Considering our zero budget.0 resources. Below is a list and short description of the different tools that I evaluated.Chapter 4: Evaluating Virtual Conference Tools Chapter 4 focuses on how I selected the virtual conferencing tool that we would use for the synchronous part of the conference. Originally I explored many free online conferencing resources. 16 . iPods. With the assistance of free or low-‐ cost web2. One of the great benefits of a virtual conference versus a face-‐to-‐face conference is the low cost. so it was important that I explored the many free virtual meeting/conferencing tools on the Internet. screen share their desktop to participants • The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time • The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants • The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session • The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting • No advertising in the virtual room • Call in options to listen and participate via phone • Is there a mobile application so participants can use iPads. I needed to try to keep the conference 100% free. interactive classrooms that could be used for the conference sessions. In this chapter we will share our exploration of these resources. A virtual conference could be created and developed for an extremely low cost (actually it could be done 100% free!). There were many free tools to choose from and below highlights many of the tools considered.
but sometimes had bandwitch issues and DimDim’s free version only allowed 20 participants per session. DimDim (http://dimdim. Some of the committee members classes had been using DimDim for creating webinars. and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools (free up X X to 20) 17 .com) The first resource that I considered using was DimDim. Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. DimDim allowed anyone to create a synchronous webinar with both video and audio. I found that DimDim was excellent for small class webinars. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter.
One of the big concerns was that you could not upload a file (such as a PowerPoint) rather you had 18 . It had some great benefits (up to 200 participants in a virtual room and easy recording and polling). images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website.com) Anymeeting was a very easy to use resource. but you do not get a spreadsheet of names) The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint.The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits X X X X X X X (yes. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously X File sharing options (send files to participants) X (yes but need separate accounts) X X X X X AnyMeeting (http://anymeeting.
Although I did not have any problems while testing the site. the screensharing could take up a lot more bandwidth and could cause concerns for presenters. and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits X X X (yes. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X X (up to 200) The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter.to screenshare your desktop. Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. but you do not get a spreadsheet of 19 .
20 . It is downloaded to your desktop and runs off of your desktop. While you can screenshare and talk and chat.me was by far the simplest application. the more sophisticated features that we were looking for were not there such as using webcams and not being able to upload PowerPoints or share files.me ) Join. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously must screen share) File sharing options (send files to participants) X (yes but need separate accounts) X X X Join. images and movie files X X X X X X X X (but you The ability for the presenter to link out to website.me (http://Join.names) The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint.
and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits X X X (yes. but 21 . real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X X (up to 200) The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live.
upload resources such as PowerPoints and record a presentation.brainshark. I found that Brainshark was not a good option for our live conference but a really nice tool for anyone interested in doing a “recorded” conference. You can use audio.you do not get a spreadsheet of names) The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X X X X X Brainshark (http://my. images and movie files X X X X X (but you must screen share) The ability for the presenter to link out to website. where participants can “learn at their own pace” and download recorded presentations or modules. You cannot record and present live to participants in Brainshark. Brainshark could also be used as a “module” activity. 22 .com) I immediately learned that Brainshark was more of an asynchronous presentation tool.
and see the other questions from other participants can pre-‐ record webinars) Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits X X X X X 23 . Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X(you can do this but not live) X(you The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter.
but. not live) X(can download presentation) X X X X 24 . In addition. you must pay for more than 30 minute webinars (at one time) or to file share. recording. you must screenshare them or file share).The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. but not live) X X X(just audio) Yugma (https://www.com ) Yugma is a tool that you can use online or download to your desktop for virtual conferencing.yugma. X X(yes. The free version allows for easy screensharing. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X(yes. email invitations and chatting. Yugma is a nice tool for easy webinars that only need to screenshare for less than 30 minutes. images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website. You cannot upload files to present (such as a PowerPoint.
cannot upload) 25 . and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. images and movie files X X X X X (but you must screen share.
whiteboard. edit and build knowledge together. The fact that there is a limit of 20 participants per meeting ruled out Live Minute for our virtual conference. The archive of LiveMinutes is a nice PDF report of the chatroom.The ability for the presenter to link out to website. In addition. wiki and any other documentation shared in LiveMinutes. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone X X X X Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? X Skype and teleconferencing Options X up to 30 X can minutes per meeting X X X purchase unlimited time The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X Live Minutes (http://liveminutes.com) LiveMinutes is a wonderful tool for simple online conferencing. LiveMinutes integrates nicely with Skype. This is a nice platform for documenting group work and small group knowledge building (very similar to using a Google document). 26 . It has a built in notes feature that acts like a wiki where participants can add their notes. but it is a useful tool for smaller online sessions and professional development.
and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues X (only 20 at a time) The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived X X (but audio/video is not saved) The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits X 27 . Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter.
com ) Vyew is a simple and effective tool which I strongly considered using for the Virtual Conference. The only negative we found was that there was not a recording option. The virtual rooms can also be public or private. images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website. which was important for the purpose of our conference. there are many “levels” of moderation to select from such as view only. there is an innovative sticky-‐note annotation feature. X X X (as a report at end) X X X 28 . In addition. view and use tools. full privileges. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than one person “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X X X(limited) X X Vyew (http://vyew. One excellent feature is the “moderating” feature for presenters to control how the participants were able to participate.The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. view and upload. where presenters and participants can “mark” places in the presentation with voice or text comments using sticky-‐notes.
real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live. and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues X(you X The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits have to pay for more than 10 per room) X 29 X .
images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website. One nice feature of Google Hangout is the ease of interaction with Google Documents. There were some participants who were not comfortable with the recording being posted on YouTube. thus it is easy to pull up PowerPoint-‐ type presentations from Documents or Speadsheets to share and edit. I highly recommend districts with 30 . which works with YouTube. they are removed) Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X X X X Google Hangouts Google Hangouts had just begun when we were forming the conference and since we started the conference they have added the On-‐Air feature (which allows recording to Youtube of hangout sessions). screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? X X X X X X X (if you pay. The one awkward aspect was the recording. Another nice aspect of Google Hangouts is that there is not a limit on the number of participants.The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. Other than the recording feature.
Need Yes Yes but you must pay for it No Ability to present live.zero budgets and who have a large audience for their virtual conferences (or webinars) consider using Google Hangouts. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X X X X(using Hangouts-‐on air feature) The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived 31 .
com) While I contemplated using Google Hangouts (as it had almost all of the features that I was looking for in a virtual learning room). Therefore we decided to explore both of these tools as well. Elluminate/Blackboard Collaborate (http://elluminate. we did have free access to a paid synchronous conferencing tool at the University of Michigan called Elluminate and Adobe Connect. I was worried about how public the 32 . screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Paid Tools While many of the free tools could have been used for the conference (in particular Google Hangouts).The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website.
At the school of education. video cameras or microphone to participate in the session.YouTube recordings would be and I wanted to make sure I had some control over the recordings. chat room. I met with the technology services to find out if I would be able to use Elluminate for the virtual conference sessions. images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website. • Up to 100 participants in a room (I originally was hoping to have 100 to 200 attendees for the first year of the conference but was assuming that they would not all attend every session). screen share their desktop to participants X X X X X X 33 . What I learned was that Elluminate would be able to fit my particular needs. • Presenters could use both audio and video to present • PowerPoints and media could be uploaded to Elluminate • The participants could use the interactive white board. I had used Elluminate to teach some virtual classes and knew I liked the tool. we had a license for Elluminate. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X X X The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter. • The sessions could be live and recorded Need Yes Yes but No you must pay for it Ability to present live. and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. Since I could not find exactly what I was looking for. • Multiple rooms open at the same time (thus allowing for multiple break out sessions during each hour). I decided to turn to my teaching institution.
The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X X X X X X X X X Adobe Connect Adobe connect had many qualities that I was looking for in a virtual conference room. It was also more difficult for participants to take polls (you had to set them up before your presentation if you wanted them to be smoothly integrated-‐-‐-‐this is a bit awkward). In addition you could pre-‐ load material in the room days before the presentation (this is helpful for presenters who want everything set up so they can practice). Our license allowed for 200 participants per room. Need Yes Yes but No you must pay for it Ability to present live. real-time synchronous to any place in the world X 34 . I did find the interface to be a bit daunting to work with (almost too many choices for layouts and confusing to go back and forth between layouts).
but X X X X need to set them up ahead of time) The ability for the presenter to private chat with participants The ability for their to be more than “presenting” controlling the session The ability for the presenter to use video and audio while they are presenting Advertisements? Call in options to listen and participate via phone Mobile App? Limit on Length of Meetings/Webinars? X X X 35 . and see the other questions from other participants Must be FREE for participants and they should not have to register with a site to use the conference room The capability of having at least 100 participants in a session without bandwidth issues X X X (up to 200 with our license) The ability for the presenter to easily navigate the conference tools X (somewhat not always intuitive) The ability for the presentation to be recorded and archived The ability to take “attendance” at the sessions for SB CEU credits The ability for the presenter to include their own PowerPoint. screen share their desktop to participants The ability for the presenter to ask quick polling questions and receive quick feedback from the participants in real time X X X X X (yes. images and movie files The ability for the presenter to link out to website.The ability for participants to chat and ask questions of the presenter.
The cost varies greatly depending on how many participants you would like to accommodate in each room (as well as other features). these include WizIQ and GotoMeeting. 36 . Besides Elluminate there are other paid versions of web-‐based virtual rooms that work in a similar fashion. I would recommend any school interested in using Elluminate contact their local RESA or intermediate school district to see if they could get a discount by purchasing a multi-‐district license or share the cost of one license to use Elluminate. While both Adobe Connect and Elluminate were essentially “free” for me to use. Later in the book. I will also discuss grant opportunities that would help to purchase Elluminate licenses for K12 schools.The ability to preload pages into the presentation days before the presentation begins? Can create multiple meeting rooms and have them running simultaneously File sharing options (send files to participants) X X X Ultimately I decided to use Elluminate for the first year of the conference. These versions would be worth looking into if you did not like the Elluminate features or felt it was too expensive for your district’s budget. I realize that it does cost money to purchase a licenses for a school district to use Elluminate.
Since it was our first year of the conference we decided not to ask UofM to use some of their webspace (we were trying to avoid having to ask permission every time we posted to the website. and other media • The ability to easily link between pages • The ability to password protect specific pages • The ability to add many pictures with large storage limits • The ability to easily track statistics • The ability to create a contact form • Upload a document into the form (such as a resume) Below we describe the various tools that we considered using to host conference website and general information.com/sites) One of the first tools that I looked at was Google Sites. There were not a lot of choices and most of them were too basic or too unprofessional for us. Second concern was the template for Google Sites did not look very professional. I could not find a way to easily let people who completed a form include a document to upload.g…create a registration form where all registration email addresses can easily be compiled in an excel spreadsheet) • The ability to blog • The ability to embed video. Chapter 5: A Website to Call Home Chapter 5 describes the search for a website to house the conference information. All of these tools are free. a Google account was required to login. images. I also did not like that the templates all had the Google search bar at the top of the screen. Our criteria for a website creation tool: • It had to be free or very low cost • It had to look professional • Easy template WYSIWYG editor • The ability to create forms and surveys • The ability to collect data easily from the forms (e. I was not very pleased with a few of the features on Google Sites. In addition. Once we found a virtual space to conduct the live sessions our next agenda item was to find a webspace for the conference. Google Sites (http://google. While you could password protect the webpages. while I could integrate the Google Forms. which could take some time) and instead create a website that we could completely control. I did not want our participants to be forced to get a Google account. 37 . Thus we began to investigate many free online website creation tools. While I enjoyed using Google Docs and the fact that Google Sites was 100% free.
com) 38 . Another problem was that participants could not upload documents into the forms pages (for example presenters could not upload their resume). I really liked the professional template choices. Yola (http://yola. and I really needed a site that would allow presenters and participants to upload forms.com) Wix had a very professional look and feel. Wix (http://wix. I was nervous about relying a website that heavily used Java when people from all over the world would need to access the site. On negative was that the site did use a lot of Java.
which would make our collection for the continuing education credits more difficult.Yola was one of my top choices for the website. In addition.com) Weebly was one of the last sites I looked at and by far my favorite. 39 . Weebly (http://yola. There also was a wide variety of widgets to select from. Yola had free password protection on individual pages. Weebly had an excellent selection of professional templates to choose among. Another aspect of Weebly that was nice was that they had specific pages that were designated for blogging. The one negative of Yola (similar to Wix) was that participants could not upload forms into Yola. In the end I decided on Weebly as the best option to meet our criteria. Yola had a professional look with many templates to choose from.
In order to make this decision I looked at a variety of conference websites. Ultimately I decided on the following pages: • Home—About the Conference • Conference Blog • Registration • Call for Proposals • Conference Schedule • Featured Speakers • Contact Us • Tutorial on Using Elluminate • Conference Session Archives (password protected) • Continuing Education Credits Webpage Design I searched through the template options in Weebly and eventually decided on a very simple. but must upgrade to premium Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Setting up the Website Once I decided to use Weebly for our website. but limited Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes. but must upgrade to premium Yes Yes Yes Yes. Homepage 40 . images and files? Blog Option? Mobile Site Option? ecommerce Option? Google Sites Free Poor Yes. I needed to decide on what “pages” we wanted to have on the site. but very clunky No Yes Wix Free Fair No Yola Free Easy Yes Weebly Free Easy Yes. Cost Ease of Use Password Protect Individual Pages Professional looking template? Forms and collect data from participants Can Upload Files to Forms? Embed or upload video. I also knew that I could add my own pictures into the template (although I opted to use the template pictures the first year). yet professional look.
I wanted to have a place where educators could subscribe to our site and easily get updates in their email or RSS readers. Conference Blog Fortunately in Weebly. I wanted to develop a short paragraph describing the purpose of our conference.First I worked on the Home Page. In addition it was important that readers of the blog be able to comment on new blog posts. I also wanted to include some widgets on the blog page. it is incredibly easy to create a blog page within our website. I was hoping for a very clean and simple look to the webpage. I wanted to make sure the following information was explicit: • This was a FREE conference for all participants • All participants could get FREE continuing education credits • The conference was virtual • The conference was aimed at practicing K-‐12 teachers interested in education technology (all levels) • The conference was synchronous • All sessions were available via archived recordings for registered participants • Any educator was welcome to submit a proposal to present • Links to call for proposals and registration • There would be UofM alumni meet up rooms • The conference was associated with the University of Michigan School of Education I also wanted to make sure that the homepage was not too cluttered or confusing. These widgets included: • Link to our Facebook Page • Link to our Twitter Page • Link to any sponsors 41 . Thus I wanted a blog page.
Registration The registration page was incredibly important. This was where I would collect contact information of all participants. It had to be easy to use, reliable and secure. I used the Weebly forms to create a registration page. I wanted to make sure we collect some data on the participants: • Email address (to contact them with updates and make a master list of participants) • Location (to get a sense of how national or international the conference was) • Area of interest (Grade and/or subject they teach)
Call for Proposals Similar to the registration page, the Call for Proposals was also vital. This page was going to collect all the data about the potential presenter and their presentation. I did not want to have to go back to presenters and ask them for more information that could have been included in their proposal. Similar to the registration I used the Weebly forms options to create a form for potential presenters to complete. The data collected on the form included: • Name • Where they work • Location • Title of Presentation • Short Description of Presentation • How the presentation fits into the national education technology plan • Target audience for the presentation • Co-‐presenters • Bio of main presenter • Date and time preferences for presenting • If they had used Elluminate before • If they would like a tutorial on using Elluminate • If they were UofM alumni
Originally I was going to embed a Google Calendar into Weebly with titles and times of each session. Conference Schedule The conference schedule page was going to convey all of the individual conference session information to the participants. when sessions were occurring. But I found the Google 47 . I had to make sure that I was clear about communicating these features. and the Elluminate links to participant in the sessions. It was the page that would communicate the title and descriptions of each session.
48 . I decided to individually type in every session in linear order for each day.Calendar to be difficult to read. Therefore.
where participants could download the one-‐page document to see all the session titles and times. Finally. I also created a “sessions at a glance” PDF file. I told participants that they would receive an email each day with a list of sessions (and the Elluminate links) so that they could easily click on the links and get reminders of the sessions for the day. 49 .
We decided on two keynote speakers and about five or six featured speakers.Conference Sessions At A Glance Color Key Keynote UofM Reconnect Panel of Speakers Lecture Workshop Poster and Discussion Conference Sessions At Sunday May Monday May Tuesday A Glance 22nd 23rd May 24th Human versus Virtual Learning Environments Wednesday May 25th 1:30pm 2:45pm iTeach: Consideration s and The Future of Project Based Possibilites the Web and Learning in for Using Learning the Cloud iPods and iPads in Classrooms Google tools are free. and I would each present one session. Kristin. In addition. my 50 . but now what? Learn how to easily build online shared curricular websites and school wide online portfolios for every student Microsoft’s Mouse Mischief: Transforming Inexpensive Computer Mice into Invaluable Assessment Tools Learning Intensive Storybird for with Classes Collaborative Technology 4:00pm Mobile Devices in and Beyond the Classroom Featured Speakers The whole committee agreed that we wanted to have a few speakers that would draw in participants from both the K-‐12 world and the higher education world. we decided that Jeff. Fortunately since the committee was full of practiced professional presenters.
we did not have any money. When we started preparing for the conference. was a member of the national technology education plan committee and a perfect choice as a kick-‐off keynote. We were hoping to receive our grant. It was also a no-‐cost choice as Dr. which would allow us to pay a few speakers for their participation. as well as asking a couple other featured speakers. Our featured speaker page included: • Pictures and Bio of Speakers • Links to Speakers archived presentations • Links to Speakers Twitter. Fishman was willing to present for free. Dr. Webpages and LinkedIN pages • Information about each speaker’s session 51 . Barry Fishman. while we were working on a grant. So we put the second keynote speaker on hold. Our second keynote would be more difficult. He would talk about the national education technology plan and demonstrate how it will and could affect practicing K-‐12 teachers. we could not offer to pay anyone…yet.former advisor and a faculty member at the University of Michigan.
Contact Us It was important that participants and potential participants and presenters have an easy way to access the 4T committee with questions or issues. Once again. I used the Weebly form to create a simple contact form that included: • Paragraph text box for open-‐ended questions • Email contact for person asking the question 52 .
Thus I decided to dedicate a page on our website to Elluminate tutorial information. I included: • A recorded video tutorial on using Elluminate (made from Elluminate) • An open 24/7 Elluminate practice room for presenters (where they were automatically moderators as soon as they logged in) • An open 24/7 Elluminate practice room for participants to make sure they could log into the rooms via their computers • Link to Elluminate tutorials on their website • 4 different optional synchronous sessions for live Elluminate 1 hour tutorials • A contact form for questions on Elluminate 54 . And yet. it was important that any educator be able to easily participate in the conference without inhabition of the technology. Elluminate Tutorial Page I was aware that many of our participants and presenters were probably not very familiar with Elluminate and would need some help learning how to use the tool in order to participate in the conference.
then many educators would forgo registration and simply wait for the archives. The CEU page included: • A list of all 20 sessions that were approved for CEU credit (they had to attend 5 sessions) • A form to complete after they had attended all 5 of their sessions and directions on how to hand in their form • A reminder that they needed to include their email address that is registered with the state in order to receive their CEUs 55 . at their own convenience. their reasons for participating. communication with participates would also be very difficult. We worked with the state of Michigan to get approval for 20 of our sessions to count for SB CEUs. Therefore. Participants can watch the sessions. making it very easy for me to access the recording links. The main reason being that I wanted this to be an exclusive feature only to educators that took the time to register and had a certain level of dedication to honestly attending the conference. Without registration. Thus I added a simple password to the archives page. As the sessions finished. We thought if the archives were completely public. I would post the recording links on the session archives. I dedicated a page to the recordings of every session. start and stop them. we decided that UofM would pay all the filing fees for the CEUs so that the teachers would not have pay anything to receive the CEUs. Elluminate emails a link to the recording of the session for each moderator. In addition. so we were able to track how often sessions were downloaded (to see what sessions were the most popular). Continuing Education Credits The committee thought one way to entice teachers to attend the conference was to offer them some continuing education credits (CEUs) for attending various sessions. Conference Session Archives One of the great benefits of a virtual conference is that all the sessions can be archived. Elluminate also tracks all downloads of each recording. We needed to include a page dedicated to teachers who were interested in earning the CEUs. Additionally. I decided to password protect the session archives page.5 SB CEUs for the first year (which is the equivalent to attending 5 hours of conference sessions). it would be very difficult to track the number of participants. which we emailed out to all registered participants so that they could access the recordings. Additionally. We were approved for .
Next I turned to my local community looking for grants and found that at my university they had small teaching and learning grants for instructors interested in using technology in their teaching practices.Chapter 6: Funding the Conference Now that we had a website. state education technology organization and local universities tend to have grants that collaborate with the community). in order to get keynote speakers that would have a big draw. we were hoping to find some small funding to pay potential keynote speakers. Another option for grant funding is to use the website: DonorsChoose (http://donorschoose.Any Where. which was more than we needed to run the conference.org ) where you can place your school project and ask people to donate small sums of money. Our Grant Proposal that was accepted: Learning. intermediate school districts. website domains..html ). I highly recommend looking locally for grants (many K12 schools have PTO/PTA grants. In this chapter we describe our methods for funding the conference. Any Pace: Creating an annual virtual teacher education conference run by current Master of Arts with Certification (MAC) teaching interns. and I would recommend that any K-‐12 school take a close look at Grantwrangler.cisco. They include Learning and Leadership Grants with the NEA (http://www.org/pages/educators/grant-‐programs/grant-‐ application/learning-‐and-‐leadership) and Cisco Product Grant Program (http://www. Thus we looked into possible grants for the funding.com ) to see if there were any higher education grants for teacher education. PhD School of Education Feb 1. PhD and Teresa McMahon. Faculty Development Fund Grant Proposal Liz Keren-‐Kolb. While virtual conference costs are very minimal. 2011 56 ..com for funding opportunities. I found very few hits. A few other national organizations have small grant opportunities that would be perfect for a K12 virtual conference. and ended up receiving $5149.com/web/about/ac48/pgp_home. I first explored Grantwrangler (http://grantwrangler.50. Below I share a copy of our grant proposal that was accepted. Any Place. Grant Writing While I knew that I could conduct the basic conference without funding. our hope was that after 2 years we would be able to use sponsors and vendors to pay any costs of the conference. and possibly people to moderate the presentation rooms. There were numerous grants for K-‐12 teachers. I would need some funding for speaker fees and possibly other expenses (such as a domain name) to increase the conference appeal. Therefore another committee member Teresa McMahon and I applied for the grant.neafoundation.
teaching interns in the Master of Arts with Elementary Certification program (ELMAC) will develop and conduct a virtual professional teaching and learning conference based around the theme of “technology in education. Interns will develop a professional 60-‐minute session and conduct the virtual session live on a date and time of their choice during the five days. there will be virtual “breakout rooms” for ELMAC alumni as well as rooms for meeting up with individuals of mutual interest. 58 . Furthermore. The conference will be conducted virtually with the assistance of Elluminate software (http://elluminate. Michigan teachers will have the option of earning and paying for State Board-‐Continuing Education Units (SB-‐CEUs) for participating in the conference.I. or workshop. MAC alumni and other educators throughout the world with the current research and best practices coming out of the School of Education • To provide a meaningful public forum for current MAC teacher intern’s culminating performance in EDU 490: Teaching with Technology II. poster session. Project Design We are requesting funds to support a student-‐led professional virtual education conference. and available on line after the conference has ended. The conference will have two keynote speakers as well as featured speakers each day who are experts in the field of technology education. lecture. For five consecutive days at the end of Spring 2011 term. Thus.com). Interns will participate in other presentations. Interns can work individually or in groups on an issue or topic related to technology in education. current ELMAC interns will have the opportunity to network with educators from different regions of the United States.” Interns will choose to develop a 60-‐minute virtual presentation using one of four approaches: Panel discussion. In addition. archived. Goals of the Project • To prepare MAC teacher interns for teaching virtually in the 21st century • To give current MAC teacher interns and MAC alumni an opportunity to present and participate in a professional virtual teaching conference • To connect and reconnect current MAC teacher interns. All segments of the conference will be captured. School of Education alumni as well as educators from across the United States will be invited to present and participate (free of charge) in the virtual conference.
They will have the option of working alone or in collaborative groups for their presentations. administrators. V. and Workshops 9:00pm Virtual “region” rooms Thursday May 26th 6:00am 20 minute Feature starter speaker 7:00am-‐12:00pm Virtual Seminars. The interns will be encouraged to contact experts in the field (teachers. Posters. The interns will have an authentic audience for their presentation topic and their techniques. students…etc) to participate in their session at the virtual conference. Registration will open in February for all interested in attending the conference. Panels. Teresa McMahon the ELMAC program coordinator will assist in overseeing the conference.com ). Given the topic this year – Educational Technology – the conference further reinforces how technology can be used to support learning for children and adults. and Workshops and Workshops 8:45pm 9:00pm 9:00pm Virtual live Virtual alumni Virtual topical discussion on rooms interest rooms Keynote Wednesday May 25th 6:00am 20 minute Feature starter speaker 6:00am-‐9:00pm Virtual Seminars. or divide participants into smaller discussion rooms. McMahon will assist the interns by locating two Keynote speakers for the opening and closing of the conference as well as featured speakers for each day. For example. Ultimately the 59 . The interns will have one month to develop a one-‐hour session (poster.III. interns may project a PowerPoint. Panels. panel. Liz Keren-‐Kolb will support the ELMAC interns with the technical and content aspects of their conference presentations while Dr. Impact on Learning A goal of this project is for interns to show how they have honed their technical skills with virtual teaching tools. have participants circle items on pictures (using live interactive whiteboard tools). share a website. and Workshops 12:00pm Virtual Keynote Speaker 1:00pm Virtual live wrap-‐ up discussion and conference evaluation IV. In this performance assessment. VI. Virtual Seminars. or workshop) on their chosen topic. higher-‐education faculty. project videos. In April the ELMAC interns will be introduced to how the conference will work and will be asked to refine one of their course projects or select a new topic for their presentation. a website was developed to invite alumni from the University of Michigan School of Education as well as practicing teachers and administrators across the United States to submit a session proposal for the conference (http://uofmvirtualconference. Draft of Virtual Conference Schedule: Sunday Monday Tuesday May 22nd May 23rd May 24th 6:00am 6:00am 20 minute 20 minute Feature starter Feature starter speaker speaker 8:00pm 6:00am-‐9:00pm 6:00am-‐9:00pm Keynote Speaker Virtual Seminars. Project Implementation Lecturer and research associate Dr. By participating in other sessions in the conference the interns (and alumni) will have an opportunity to critique and learn new ideas about how to teach virtually. Panels. hold live discussions. Teaching Approaches The instructional method is experiential.weebly. The call for proposals begins in February and will run until the end of March. seminar. interns will show that they have learned how to teach virtually using interactive approaches in the Elluminate rooms. Keren-‐Kolb and Dr. In January 2011. Posters. Panels. Dr. Posters. poll their participants. Posters.
S. VIII. Lecturer. • 54 current ELMAC interns • 54 cooperating teachers • 8-‐10 ELMCA and UM SoE faculty instructors • 100+ELMAC and MAC alums • 100+educators from around U. Outreach. • Selection of Keynote speakers April-‐May 2011 • Research and development of presentation • Conference program developed (website) • Invitations for registration to conference sent out to educators and alumni May 2011 • Conference conducted between May 22 to May 26 • Evaluation of conference will occur via Google Forms at the end of each session as well as at the end of the entire conference. Director. Each proposal will have 2 reviewers. current interns and other practicing educators. The following is a breakdown of the number of people who are likely to be involved in this conference. Timeline September-‐December 2010 • Conference committee began planning for conference January 2011 • Began development of Conference Website • http://uofmvirtualconference. IX. the hope is that this conference will be annual conference that the interns can return to each year for continuing education and networking.com/ February 2011 • Open “Call for Proposals” on Website • Registration Opens on Website April 2011 • Student teachers select a topic to present on at the conference • All proposals reviewed by MAC students and committee members (will complete a Google Doc review form). Clinical Assistant Professor. Evaluation All sessions will be evaluated by survey feedback from participants. Personnel Project Chair: Liz Keren-‐Kolb. X.interns will leave the university better prepared to teach in virtual and blended K-‐12 schools.weebly. School of Education 60 . The ELMAC interns will reflect on their experiences in a post-‐conference written reflection. XI. VII. In addition there will be a general pre-‐ and post-‐survey on the conference and the individuals who attend. Moreover. Lecturer. School of Education Jeffery Stanzler. Continuation The goal of this event is for the conference to become an annual conference every spring for all School of Education alumni as well as non-‐University of Michigan educators. Assistant Professor. Scope This project has the ability to reach hundreds of the MAC alumni. School of Education Kristin Fontichiario. School of Information Laura Roop. School of Education Committee Members: Teresa McMahon.
and tracking of participants. The feature speakers will help to pull more educators to our conference and provide gravitas to the event. Budget Justification Total Budget=$5149.000 per speaker) In order to draw in professional educators and UofM alumni we want to offer two well-‐ known and motivating educational speakers as our Keynotes. • Cost of Weebly Website for 5yr ($199.50) We will need to develop a website that allows for registration.000. log ins. Website development and Registration Log and Login ($2.XII.349.75) Contribution to School of Education Elluminate fee ($2.00) 61 . databases.75) • Unique URL for 5yr ($149. In addition we would like to have our own domain and archive each conference. Featured Speakers Honoraria ($200 per speaker) The conference will have 4 days of a “kick off” featured speaker who is prominent in the field of education technology.50. Keynote Speaker Honoraria ($1.
encouraging them to register and propose a session. I had over 2400 followers. 50 of those participants would be from Michigan’s preservice teaching program and the other 50 from k-‐12 schools. In addition. The Logo A large part of marketing the conference was having an appropriate logo that represented the goals of our conference. any pace). a conference hash tag (#4tvirtualcon) and a Facebook Fan Page for the conference. First I knew that we had a Facebook alumni group site with about 250 UofM teaching alumnus. the committee’s goal was to have about 100 participants. I was not very happy with this logo but we did use it for the first few months on our website. I embedded the social networking feeds on the conference website blog and homepage. 62 . Thus we created a Twitter account for the conference (@4Tvirtualcon). anyplace. The message that we wanted our logo to send was… • Virtual • Synchronous • Archived • Associated with University of Michigan • About teaching with technology • For K12 teachers • Free! Originally I created a logo using Photoshop for the conference. we realized that we should have social networking feeds devoted strictly to the conference itself. mostly educators and a few other committee members had similar numbers. I sent out messages to all the members of the Facebook group informing them about the conference and inviting them to both participate as well as propose a session to present. When we began this process we did not know if we would have any funding for marketing so we decided to do some grass roots marketing and focus on social networking. Next we went to our professional learning networks on Twitter. It did not look all that professional and I knew that we needed something that could be marketable. Grass Roots Marketing with Social Networks Considering that it was the first year of the conference.Chapter 7: Marketing the Conference Knowing that we may not have any funding for the conference we decided to focus all of our marketing and advertising for the conference on social networking. This chapter describes the marketing methods. We tried to include some aspects of the conference that would draw in participants and make the conference a unique experience. The logo would be used as the profile picture for both the official Facebook and Twitter conference pages. Myself and a few of the other committee members sent out tweets about the conference to our followers. Below is the original logo for the conference (with our original tag line of Learning…Anywhere.
live and archived. Featured Speakers to Draw in Participants 63 . thus we decided on the newly developed 2010 National Education Technology Plan. free. we contact the PR department at the school of education at UofM. and we will talk more in chapter 11 about how this ended up not working very well for the conference. We thought that if presenters would select a strand of the plan to focus their session on. But our committee wanted another way to stand out with our content. Teachers Teaching Teachers 4 about Technology National Education Technology Plan I wanted our conference to be unique and different from the many education technology conferences available to K12 educators. it would be a unique way to send the message that our conference is about the future of teaching with technology. We asked them if they would be able to develop a logo for the conference and possibly publicize the conference on the school of education webpage (as well as their social networking feeds). We eventually chose the logo below and then posted the logo on our website. they put together a few logo options for us to consider. The plan had five strands of themes concerning where we were going in technology in education. Next. synchronous. Twitter and Facebook feeds. Looking for something more professional. They agreed to help with all three. What we did not anticipate was how few K12 educators and technology specialists were aware of this plan. One unique aspect already was that our conference was 100% virtual.
We sent out mass email and Facebook messages to our alumni groups. Our committee decided that Dr. She impressed me with her great knowledge of virtual teaching and learning and she was on the cutting edge of developing teaching standards for virtual teachers. people who worked for the U. it is much less time for her and less cost for our conference. Some of these were “big names”. has been on the national education technology committee and is very well know in the field of learning technologies.S.Another important aspect of the conference was to obtain a few featured and keynote speakers that would draw educators to the conference. Now that we had our keynote speakers we began to consider some featured speakers to draw in more participants. We also considered other contacts that might be willing to be keynote for free if we did not receive our grant funding. Kristin Fontichario (author of many education technology-‐related books and a leader in library media science) all decided that we would each present one session. Once we received our grant funding. Interestingly. One of our colleagues Dr. She was also heavily involved with gaming online in teaching and learning. a bridge to the future! We wanted our closing keynote to engage the online audience (especially because it was synchronous). Fishman agreed to be a keynote speaker for not cost. Department of Education. so we looked internally at UofM. Dawley was a good choice and we invited her to present (and we used some of our grant money to pay her a stipend for her time). Dr. Dr. Dr. Where they engaging? Did they bring something new to the conference? Were people talking about them long after their speeches? Were they polished speakers and could they be comfortable in a virtual environment? This allowed us to quickly narrow down our list. Jeff Stanzler (head of the Internet learning simulations at UofM). Being that she does not have to travel to the conference. We used our social networks to contact her via her email on her web blog. I knew we could afford to pay a closing keynote speaker an honorarium. Originally we did not have any money. Then I remembered the speaker I had seen who inspired me to start this conference in the first place. The committee had brainstormed a long list of people including others who worked on the national education technology plan. Our committee wanted our closing Keynote to introduce our educators to new ideas in teaching with technology. we sent personal email invitations to graduates from our program who were now teaching with technology in the K12 world that 64 . Dawley agreed and we were thrilled! She would become our closing keynote on the last day of the conference at 9:00pm EST. Barry Fishman is an excellent speaker. We asked other educators the following questions about the potential speakers. we found that many of the “big names” tended to get poor reviews of being dull speakers who did not bring many new ideas to the field of education technology. Dr. In addition. Most of the committee members including myself. We also targeted a few of our other colleagues at UofM who had strong followings in education technology to present. Dr. Fishman is a member of the National Education Technology Committee to write the National Education Technology Plan. Once we had the list. the committee members went to our professional learning networks (social networks) to get “reviews” of these speakers. Lisa Dawley from Idaho State.
not full of research but full of practice and practical solutions and innovations. We were assuming that possibly 5 to 50 participants would attend at each session. Participation While our target was 100 participants.we thought would have something significant to share with the greater community of educators. It was important that we targeted people who could create useful sessions for K12 teachers. therefore we originally were targeting graduates of UofM only. Each live session could accommodate up to 100 participants. reaching beyond our UofM alumni to all educators in our professional networks. we knew that some would come just for those particular sessions. Since we were offering free continuing education credits. we really had no idea how many would attend the live sessions. 65 . Thus we begin to post about the free professional development and free continuing education credits to our social networks.
Finally. Wufoo…etc). Below is a copy of our session evaluation created with Google forms. where participants would be expected to participate in parts of the workshop as they were learning new technology. Therefore. The Lecture was a more traditional format with one or two people presenting information. the Poster was for presenters who simply wanted to show a static poster (often through Glogster. therefore with only one month left before the call for proposals closed. Eventually by March 30th. the call for proposals. emails and Facebook posts to our learning networks. While there are many survey evaluation tools available online (Surveymonkey. The committee decided to specifically target University of Michigan alumni that we knew were doing innovative activities with technology in their teaching. there were a couple that we were a bit nervous about but decided to accept them anyway. so we did not have to limit questions or responses. Call for Proposal Submissions The committee’s goal was to get at least 20 proposals. In addition we began to send our more Tweets. we had 20 proposals. Individual Session Evaluations We decided to have evaluations for each session so that we (and the presenters) could get immediate feedback on the sessions. but after the first month we had only received one proposal. Lecture.Chapter 8: Presenter Preparation This chapter will focus on the conference breakout sessions. The Workshop was a “how to” format. Session Types The committee decided that we wanted the virtual conference to have similar session options that a face-‐to-‐face conference would have. we found the Google Forms was 100% free. 66 . This would also give the committee a sense of how the session was received and if we wanted to have the presenter(s) return for future conferences. there were four types of available sessions: Panel. While most were excellent and even the marginal ones were acceptable. Since we only had 20 proposals we decide to accept all of them. For our evaluation tool we decided to use Google Forms. we needed to do some more marketing of the conference. Most of the committee members each sent about 4 to 6 alumni emails asking them to participate. Almost all of the alumni responded and agreed to write proposals. Polldaddy. The Panel was devoted to discussion around a topic (often with multiple panelists). and the information given to presenters. Workshop or Poster. How they sessions were set up. With only a month left.com) about a project.
By having moderators it meant that I and other committee members did not have to moderate every session (next to impossible with 3 or 4 sessions going at the same time). This freed me up to pop in and out of sessions and be available via phone for any last minute issues. Introduction of the Moderators The committee quickly realized that with 20 professional presenter sessions and 20 student teachers presenters we would need moderators for each session as the committee members could not be in every session and some were more tech-‐savvy than others. Therefore. We paid the moderators $50. Beyond a little cash. We decided to hire our preservice teachers who were highly skilled with Elluminate. We thought the UofM student teachers could moderate their own sessions since they were very familiar with Elluminate (they had been using it for a year). I held a couple of virtual training sessions just for the moderators to give them their job 68 . it gave them an opportunity to network with current K12 teacher and administrators and enhance their professional credentials. but many of the 20 professional presenters were presenting alone and had not used it before.00 per session from our grant money. We wanted the conference experience to be pleasant and as seemless as possible for our presenters. who would each oversee about 5 sessions. we decided to “hire” 4 moderators.
The final slide was a simple “thank you” slide that included a link to the session evaluation.descriptions and protocol for moderating the sessions. The first slide had the 4T conference logo and the moderator filled in the Title and Presenter for the session. Uploading the presenters materials into the Ellumiante room 4. Each moderator was given a “checklist” protocol that they were expected to follow for each session. answer Elluminate questions (send by May 21st) Ask them for any weblinks they are using in their presentation (send by May 21st) Remind them that you will be in their session 15-‐20 minutes before the presentation Remind them that they can practice with Elluminate via the link that was sent to them in their email. where the moderator would ask participants to select where they reside. moderate chat room. The third slide had a map of the world.. In Session o Log in 20 Minutes before the session begins o Upload Movies (first…they take the longest) o Upload PowerPoint and Images o Upload Moderator PowerPoint (if not integrated into presenter PowerPoint) o Have weblinks ready to copy and paste to chat room o Test your microphone o Test your presenters microphone o Welcome participants as they enter (remind about CEUS-‐-‐-‐long in for all 60 minutes with full name) 69 . Handling any technical issues that the presenter or participants had during the session 6. Sending an email to introduce themselves to the presenter 2. The second slide had a screenshot of the Elluminate interface. Introducing the session. Holding practice sessions with the presenter (at a mutually decided time) 3. Sending out the evaluation link for the session to all participants 7. 4T Moderator Protocol Call or text Liz if you need help! Before Sessions • Email your Presenters by May 13th Introduce yourself Tell them you will be introducing them via their bio that they submitted Offer to help upload materials. 1. Reminding participants about their CEU responsibilites Each moderator received four PowerPoint slides that they were expected to use at each presentation. the presenter and the basic elements of Elluminate for the participants (they were give a 4 slide protocol to follow for each session) 5. The moderators were in charge of. The moderator was expected to go over how to use Elluminate briefly for the participants of each session.
the presenter and the conference hashtag.soe.umich.o o o o o o o o o o Below are the four slides that each moderator used at the beginning of each session presentation. Slide 1: This slide was important so that each session would have a “consistent” look. they would know they were in the correct room because of this opening slide. find the link for your session and paste it into the chat room. o o Click on Record button if not already going Start on time (use timer if you like) Click on Mic Go over Moderator Introduction Slides Remind them that information for CEUs are posted on the 4T Conference Website Introduce the speaker (with bio) Click OFF the mic for yourself so the speaker can present Moderate chat room as needed (compile some questions that you can ask presenter at end if there is time) End of presentation…click on Mic and ask presenter questions (if time) Paste in link to presenter evaluation in chat room (Evaluation links for each presenter are in the Google Schedule on the 4T Schedule Page http://4tvirtualcon. The logo displayed clearly on the slide along with the title of the session. When participants would log in to the room. Thank presenter and participants Reminder participants to “close out” of session 70 .edu/?page_id=54 ).
We wanted to make sure the same information was given out for each session. 71 . Slide 2: This slide was set up to remind both participants and moderators to go over a few reminders (in particular for participants who wanted to apply for continuing education credits).
thus every session had a short 2 minute tutorial on “how to” participate in a session with Elluminate. 72 . The moderator would go over various pieces of the interface that the participants may be using during the session. the chat room and the polling features. such as the whiteboard tools. It was important that participants felt welcome. Slide 3: This slide is an image of the Elluminate interface. even the most novice of technology users.
Finally. 73 . it gave us (the committee) some quick statistics on who was attending the session. it set the tone that this conference session would be interactive and welcomes participation during the session. In addition. Slide 4: This slide was an opportunity for participants to try some of the whiteboard tools (the magic wand in particular) and click on the state or continent where they reside.
Similar to the first slide. 74 . this slide was meant to give a consistent feel to the conference as well as a reminder to take the session evaluation. Slide 5: This was our closing slide (the moderators put this up at the end of the presentation).
the committee knew that more than half of the presenters had never used Elluminate before (we had this data from their proposal submission form). we had a page on our website with video tutorials on how to use the Elluminate rooms. In addition we emailed some basic tips for using Elluminate. Tips and Hints for Presenting in the Virtual Room • Login 15-‐20 prior to your presentation • Upload movies and media first (as this will take a while) • Check your microphone • Test your screensharing and web tour if you plan on using these features 75 . The sessions were held on different nights at different times in order to accommodate the presenters who lived in various time zones around the world. Furthermore. thus any presenter who could not make it to a training session could still watch the recording. In addition the training sessions were recorded. We emailed the link to the practice room as well as posted the link on the website. Wanting our presenters to feel comfortable in their virtual rooms we set up four live training sessions with Elluminate before the conference began. The live training sessions were offered as options to our presenters starting about two weeks prior to the conference. We also set up a 24 hour practice room where presenters could login on their own as moderators and practice as much as they needed before their presentation. Elluminate training In addition to having moderators.
copy and paste links into the chat room (they will become hot links there) Always wait 30 seconds after you ask a question or for participants to do something. to attend the Elluminate live training sessions. visually appealing newsletters. and included step-‐by-‐ step reminders for their presentations. MailChimp would allow us to track who was opening the newsletters and clicking on the links provided in the newsletters. In addition.• • • It is a good idea to have a “back up” in case screensharing does not work (such as screenshots in your PowerPoint slides of your presentation). The presenters received email updates about once a week starting three weeks before the conference reminding them to register for the conference. One of the categories on the submission form was for email address. The email list was easy to create from the Google form that the presenters used to submit their presentation proposal. Links will NOT work in the PowerPoint that is uploaded to Elluminate. it will take them some time to answer. Email Updates In order to communicate conference happenings with our presenters we created an email list. We also used MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com) to create free. 76 .
In addition there were video tutorial on how to use Elluminate. therefore we only asked a few simple questions in addition to the email addresses. where they were encouraged to try opening our Elluminate open “test” room on their computer BEFORE the conference began. Second. so that we could use that list for future conferences to advertise and market to an interested audience. We let people know that we were not phishing and would not sell or distribute any of their information. Beginning in May when the official conference schedule was posted (around May 77 . we did not want to deter potential participants by making it difficult to sign up for the conference. we required registration. so that we could create a mass participant email list to easily communicate with participants. we also needed to prepare our participants. Each participant was sent a link to our Elluminate tutorial page.Chapter 9: Preparing Participants Chapter 9 highlights how the committee prepared the participants to interact in the live virtual sessions. Elluminate Test Rooms and Video Tutorials One of our goals was to make the conference easy to navigate. even for the most novice of technology users. Required but Easy Registration Despite the fact that the conference was free. we password protected the archive recordings of sessions and only emailed out the live session links (and posted them in a password protected schedule). they could troubleshoot the problem before the conference began. Frequent Email Updates Similar to the presenters I sent numerous email updates to the participants. In order to persuade people to register. where they were from. Therefore. In order to receive the password. the moderators were asked to remind participants about CEU protocol at the beginning of every session (this language was part of their moderator “check list”). and their email address. Therefore we included the following requirements or recommendations to help make the conference a smooth experience for our participants. I created a webpage on the conference site devoted to step-‐by-‐ step instructions on how to receive those credits. That way they could see if Elluminate would work on their chosen computer and if they had trouble. In addition to preparing our presenters to present in a live synchronous online room. In addition. This is because we wanted to know how many educators had signed up for the conference. I also sent out emails before and after the conference with the instructions. First. let alone a live one. Step-by-Step Continuing Education Credits Information and Reminders Another draw for some participants was the ability to earn free continuing education credits. It was vital that we had the email addresses for two reasons. Many of the participants stated they had never attended an online conference. Yet. we knew we had to provide some tutorials and resources on Elluminate for our participants. participants needed to register.
Social Network Updates In addition to email reminders we also posted reminders via the conference Twitter and Facebook accounts. Incentives for attending live and completing final conference evaluation form We wanted to make sure that we received some feedback from conference participants. Flexibility in Attendance Similar to a face-‐to-‐face conference. In some of our earlier emails to participants and on our conference blog we encouraged our participants to “like” our Facebook page and “Follow” our Twitter account in order to receive updates. participants received about one email update per week before the conference. so they were able and encouraged to find sessions that fit their interest and needs. and Weebly). they received one email a day with all the conference information for that particular day.1st). participants who completed the final evaluation forms were automatically entered into our door prize lottery (we had premium accounts to give away from educational websites such as Prezi. In addition. attendees could leave sessions that were not meeting their needs and enter sessions that were already “in-‐session”. Sessions did not “lock out” or “lock in” participants. Zooburst. First. 78 . in order to better select future sessions and provide a richer conference experience. Therefore we gave some incentives for participants to complete the evaluation form. during the conference.
age and years in teaching.0 sites such as Zooburst. what they liked best and least.Chapter 10: Evaluating Year 1 of the Conference We wanted to make sure that we received a lot of feedback about the conference as a whole. since we already used Google Forms for the individual session evaluations. In order to get these “door prize” accounts I simply emailed each site (usually under the “contact us”) and asked them if they would be willing to donate some premium accounts. In total we ended up with 33 premium accounts to give away. we also wanted to get some feedback on why people choose to attend the conference. The following is a copy of the Google Forms survey that we sent out. location. We were curious about teaching specialty. we decide to create a final conference evaluation and encouraged participants to take the survey. and which sessions they enjoyed the most and least. who applied for continuing education credits. Weebly. Developing the Conference Evaluation We decided to use Google Forms. and Prezi. so knowing which sessions rated the highest was also important for handing out our top session awards. if they will return next year. so that we could improve for the following year. by offering incentives of free premium accounts to favorite educator web2. Most sites said yes and gave us anywhere from 3 to 15 free premium accounts to give away. We originally thought we would use some of our grant money to award “best” sessions to the K12 teachers or preservice teachers. In addition it is easy to copy and paste forms so we could use the same one for future conferences. In addition we were curious about which sessions they choose to attend. 79 . Finally. and any suggestions they might have for the conference committee. we posted their logos and links to their webpages on our conference homepage and blog. Therefore. In return. It was important to get a sense of the demographic of educator that decided to participate in the conference. Teacherweb.
About 20% of the registered participants gave feedback in the final evaluation. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of participants had between 16 and 25 years of teaching experience. Evaluation Feedback The evaluation feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 85 . These statistics also can dispel the “myth” that only younger teachers are “tech savvy” and interested or willing to integrate innovative technologies into their teaching and learning. We were shocked at how much participants enjoyed the conference experience. much above our committee’s original goal of 100 registered participants for the conference. Participant Demographics We ended up with 619 educators registered for the conference. One reason may be that the veteran teachers needed the continuing education credits more than the newer teachers. We had many more veteran teachers than new teachers.
There were some teachers in their 20’s but far more teachers in their 40s through 50s. The top answer was that participants liked that they could participate virtually. Why did you attend conference? We were also interested in learning why participants chose to join the conference. 86 . we had plenty of baby boomers attending this conference. In addition. As a matter of fact. the highest age range was between 50 and 55. Age Don’t let the “tech generation” fool anyone. participants really liked the fact that the conference was free and were excited by the session topics that were offered.
Applying for Continuing Education Credits We found that of the respondents. about 20% applied for the free CEUs. Only 2 respondents said they absolutely would not. Attending future conferences We were thrilled to see that 93% of respondents said they would definitely or possibly attend future conferences. Overall we had 21 participants apply for the continuing education credits. Most Favored Sessions 87 . We were surprised that more educators did not take advantage of the continuing education credits being offered (especially since they were free!). The two that stated that they would not attend again said that it was because the time of the conference was not conducive to their current schedules.
It often overwhelmed the participants and many complained of having trouble “keeping up” with the presenter. Least Favored Sessions Research Heavy There were a few sessions that focused more on “research” in education technology rather than “how to”. Session Description did not Match Presentation 88 . citing they were not “useful” or “practical” for K12 teachers. Trying to do too much There were a few sessions that had a practical focus but the presenters tried to squeeze too much information or activities into one session. Sessions that were titled.While there was some disparity in which sessions were the most well received. Including K12 Students We only had a few sessions that included K12 students as presenters. For example. but all of these sessions received high marks. In particular the comments spoke to really enjoying seeing the K12 students presenting their work and giving their perspective on using the education technology. useful and free resources (but not too many lists of resources). “Theories of gaming in the classroom” would be an example of a research heavy and unpopular session.” Simplicity Sessions that had one theme as the focus were also given high marks. Again stating that while the sites were interesting. in general there were some themes to the top-‐rated sessions. Lists of Resources Sessions that focused on “lists of resources” such as the “top 15 web2. These sessions tended to get lower marks. or a strong K12 topical focus such as “blogging with 2nd graders” or “setting up Glogster for literacy learning. For example a session that completely focused on using Google Forms or on using cell phones with 7th graders were well received. there was little presentation about “how to” use the sites in the k12 setting effectively. sessions that included “step by step” or “how to” type guides. the more practical sessions rated the highest.0 resources for teachers” were given low marks. Qualities of favored sessions Practicality Since the conference was geared toward and attended mostly by K12 preservice and inservice teachers.
lecture. biology. • There were some concerns that the sessions would have been richer if the presenters had more training on Elluminate • A few complained that there were not enough “after school” hour sessions and asked to have more evening sessions • Rather than aligning conference sessions with National Educational Technology Plan. • There was also a call to have the sessions begin over the weekend rather than weekday only sessions. workshop…etc). 89 . the sessions should align sessions with state and national technology and common core standards • Many of the participants wanted the sessions to be organized by searchable keywords such as “middle school. We had a few sessions where the participants felt “duped” by the session description. Ideas for improving the future conferences We also asked the participants to provide the committee with some ideas on improving future iterations of the conference. Below are summaries of suggestions made by participants to improve the conference.A danger of any conference session (face-‐to-‐face or virtual) is the description of the session not matching what is presented. Glogster” rather than the “type” of session (such as panel.
This did not occur often but did occur and the participants that were not able to attend the live session were unhappy that they could not get in the virtual room. This could have been easily fixed by asking each presenter to practice with someone else in the room (or to open the room on two different web browsers on the same computer). The Live Sessions Below I will discuss some of the issues that arose during the live sessions. it was still disheartening to some presenters that all their hard work was only being viewed by a few participants. if the participant was attending the session because they needed the continuing education credit from it. Presenters practicing sessions alone While we held four live tutorial sessions on Elluminate and had numerous open practice rooms. It did help that all the sessions were archived. While the first year of the conference did run fairly smoothly for the participants and presenters. While we reminded the presenter that the sessions would be downloaded and watched many times from the archives. In some presentations this occurred fairly smoothly. so participants could watch the recording anytime they wish. However. Unfortunately Elluminate can be quirky and does not always show participants what the presenter is viewing. when the presenters where doing their official presentation some found that when they were screensharing their participants were unable to view the screenshare. mishaps and problems that occurred during the first year of the conference.Chapter 11: Mistakes and Mishaps Chapter 11 exposes some of the mistakes. so for the second year we narrowed down to 40 sessions). Many of the presenters who had this problem had to rely on the moderator to help them switch to a different way to present the data. we did not anticipate that some of the presenters would practice alone (without a participant on the other end to corroborate what the presenter was showing was actually being seen by participants). they had to attend the session live (this is a state of Michigan requirement for continuing education credits). One future correction for this is to have fewer sessions (we had 49 sessions the first year. they assumed that participants would be able to see what they (as the presenter) were seeing. when the presenter would screenshare or do a web tour on Elluminate. there were some mishaps and problems that we will discuss in this chapter. while in others it took valuable time. Too Many Participants A few sessions went over the maximum of 100 participants. Lack of Participants Another problem was that some sessions only had one or two participants. Therefore. and have all of the sessions qualify for 90 . Thus. There were 19 sessions that qualified for continuing education credits and participants had to attend 5 of those sessions for the entire session to qualify.
While we did have links back to the UofM School of Education homepage. Session Times Our sessions ran from 1:00pm EST to 11:00pm EST. the first two days of sessions were packed full of participants. This was mostly because the presenter requested the particular time and we were trying to accommodate. we realized that the second year we would need to move the website from weebly to UofM. while the last day of sessions were only somewhat full. some teachers complaining that they are teaching and cannot attend these sessions live (especially if they were sessions that qualified for continuing education credits). Our closing keynote only had 68 participants. One participant was worried that the registration was some sort of “spam” or phishing scheme where we were collecting email addresses to send out spam and sell to marketing websites. we did have decent participation in the 1:00 sessions. while our opening keynote had well over 100. 91 . Below are some of those concerns. While there is no easy fix for this problem. Thus. We did get some negative feedback about this. In addition we decided to have sessions start toward the end of the eastern time zone school day (1:00pm EST) so that there could be room for some student participation in the sessions. Long Week We found that in the virtual world as in the face-‐to-‐face conference world. However. First. Long Days During some hours of the breakout sessions we had 5 sessions happening at one time. with many waiting to get into the room. We also should have stoped sessions at 10:00pm rather than 11:00pm. so that we feel they would be implemented again during our second year.continuing education credits (this was a big incentive for many to attend certain sessions). the committee found that having more than 3 sessions operating at one timeslot brought participation in each session down greatly and was difficult to manage. participant seems to wane by the end of the week. because it was a long day for the moderators and second because we did not have very good participation from 10:00 to 11:00pm EST. Yet. Pre-Conference Issues Participants and presenters brought up concerns about the conference even before it began. it does seem that spreading out the type of sessions over 4 days might be smart. We made some corrections for the second year (see chapter X). Association with UofM There were a few participants who emailed me and questioned whether or not the conference was associated with the University of Michigan since we were using a weebly website (and not a UofM proprietary one).
we needed to find ways to limit the possibility in the future. Thus. so one needed to register to get the password). In addition. Post-Conference Issues Session Descriptions There were two sessions that received horrible evaluations. I thought it was unfair to those who had actively participated and it was a privilege of participating to have access to the archives. Elluminate Problems Despite my efforts to provide Elluminate training prior to the conference for participants. While this is a flaw that happens often in face-‐to-‐face conferencing. we decided not to award any sessions because it was too complicated to figure out a fair and unbiased system. mainly because the session description did not match the presentation. I was not able to keep up with registrations that occurred during the conference.Late Registration One problem that I did not anticipate was that some people would register after the conference had begun. This problem needed to be addressed and fixed in the second year by sending an auto-‐reply message to all conference participates who registered close to the start of the conference with specific instructions about participating in the conference so that they can start participating immediately. Late CEUs 92 . What we did not consider was that there would be a 7 way tie for the top 3 positions. Since I was sending out email communication by hand copying the email addresses into the participation email.00 classroom technology grants. Another problem was that some people registered after the conference was over. They registered to have access to the archives (which were password protected. I still had a handful of participants contact me during the conference stating that Elluminate was not working on their computer.” We did not tell participants or presenters that the award competition was happening so no corrective action was needed. We were going to use the responses from the final conference evaluation to determine the top 3 sessions. A few participants complained that they were not able to participate in many sessions because they did not receive their instructions until well after they had registered. While I did not want to deter people from participanting it was difficult to manage individual Elluminate issues in the middle of conference sessions. Awarding Sessions Originally the committee thought we would use some of the grant money to award the top 3 sessions with $200. some of the most favorite sessions were also some of the least favorite sessions. which made it even more difficult to determine the “winners. I decided not to allow them the registration and then took the registration down (which we should have done on the last day of the conference).
Some participants did not send in the continuing education credit form until after the deadline (30 days). I realized that I needed to give more explicit instructions for the second year for those interested in receiving CEUs. 93 . many registrants did not register with the state of Michigan and thus were not able to receive the CEUs (anyone can register with the state). therefore they did not end up receiving CEUs. In addition.
Chapter 12: Year 2 Modifications and Additions Changes While overall the committee was happy with the first year of our conference, we knew that we could improve upon the experience. We took the suggestions from the evaluations as well as some of our future goals and made some changes for the second year of the conference (May 2012). Changes we made to the website , the conference schedule, the call for proposals. Two new additions, an education job fair and an opportunity for sponsorship. From Weebly to Umich Some of the conference participants were concerned that the conference was not really associated with the University of Michigan since the website was hosted by Weebly and not UofM. Thus, we decided to move the website onto UofM’s School of Education server and give it a UofM URL. Therefore the conference address became http://4tvirtualcon.soe.umich.edu. In addition, this meant that we could no longer use Weebly as our webpage editor. We had to move to WordPress. In reality, we would rather have stayed with Weebly, as it is simpler and in some ways, more robust than WordPress. While the conference still held a professional look, the WordPress editor was often clunky and did not work well with basic spacing (even when you adjusted the HTML). We found it much more frustrating to work with than the Weebly editor. If a school can use Weebly as their editor we highly recommend this option.
Changes to Schedule Many of the participants suggested that we start on a Saturday, rather than Sunday night. Therefore the committee decided to begin on a Saturday with “pre conference” workshops offered on Saturday and Sunday from 9am EST to 4pm EST. Then we had our keynote speaker on Sunday night, with breakout sessions only on Monday and Tuesday (as opposed to the first year where we began Sunday night and had sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). This gave teachers more weekend options to participate. We had an average of 40 to 60 participants per weekend workshop session! For our second year of the conference we decided to use Google Calendar to set up the schedule for all the conference sessions. We set up two new “public” calendars, one for the sessions and one for the virtual job fair (explained later in chapter). This way when we “embedded” the calendar to our conference website, the job fair sessions would show up in a different color than the regular conference sessions. We ended up really liking the simple look and ease of navigation with our new
Google schedule. But we realized that for each “topic” or strand to show up in a different color, we had to create separate Google Calendars for each strand.
Changes to Call for Proposals Many participants complained about the focus on the National Education Technology Plan, stating it was too far removed from the practicality of the conference. Instead of focusing on the National Education Technology Plan, we decided to rather to ask each presenter to select a target audience (such as K-‐3 educator, technology coordinator, social studies teachers…etc) for their presentation. This seemed more practical and easier for participants to relate to something that would meet their particular needs. In addition we removed the “poster” session option. Only two presenters choose this session the first year and it was more difficult to host a poster session in the virtual world. We replaced the poster session with the “lightening” session, where multiple presenters could each present about 15 minutes on the same topic in one
Therefore we had many more sessions qualify for CEUs but not all of them (about 33 of the 40 sessions qualified). where most of the presenters took advantage of this opportunity and stated that the private sessions were extremely helpful. Each moderator explicitly offered a private practice session with their presenters. At times we had 5 consecutive sessions at one time. The lightening format seemed to work very well in the fast-‐paced virtual world. some presenters did not submit resumes (a requirement to qualify for CEUs) for the second year. which was difficult to manage and also spread participants very thin. and open room). Presenters who had few participants also complained that there were too many sessions happening at one time. many participants let us know that they would like have more sessions qualify for CEUs. As new questions came in. in the second year we decided to have between 42-‐45 sessions spread out over four days and no more than 3 sessions occurring concurrently. recordings. Number of Sessions Our pilot had a total of 54 sessions. Continuing Education Credits While 19 of the 54 sessions offered continuing education credits (CEU). 97 .session. In the end we realized that 54 was too many for a virtual conference. I often received the same questions via email or via the comments on the website and thought it would alleviate some of these questions by having a page devoted to common questions and answers. FAQs The committee decided to add a frequently asked questions page. Therefore. I quickly added them to the FAQ page. Despite asking in the call for proposals. Additions to Conference Beyond some of the changes to our original format. Therefore our second year our goal was to have every session qualify. We noticed that the sessions that qualified for CEUs routinely had more participants then the sessions that did not. we made sure to stress the importance of the presenter practicing with someone else in the room. Presenter Training While we kept the basic protocol of our presenter training for the second year (4 live training sessions. we also added a few items in the conference.
In our second year of the conference we decided to add a virtual job fair. we learned that there are many schools outside the state of Michigan who want to participate in the face-‐to-‐face job fair but are unable to for cost or travel purposes. While the University of Michigan has a face-‐to-‐face education job fair every Spring. nor did we charge fees for the students to participate in the job fair. Each school submitted a short description 98 . 4 virtual schools and 2 face-‐to-‐face schools. we wanted to give both an opportunity for career networking. Five of them wanted to participate in our pilot virtual job fair. we thought a perfect target for our virtual conference would be the many virtual K12 schools that have been developing and growing all over the U. Since the 4T Conference is targeted at practitioners as well as teachers in training. We contacted six different schools. Virtual Education Job Fair One of our largest additions for the 2nd year of the conference was a pilot for a virtual job fair. We did not charge any fees for the schools to participate.S. In addition to the K12 schools outside of the state.
but we are going to change the format a bit. All of this information was compiled on a virtual job fair page in the 4T conference website. Each school will present a 30 minute webinar and at the end take applications for interviews (which they can conduct on their own).of their school. The virtual job fair was a bit rough. we found that many of the schools went ahead and contacted the applicants on their own and did not need to interview during the job fair. It was very difficult to mediate between the schools and the applicants (and a lot of unnecessary work!). We asked each school to present a 30-‐minute webinar about their school. We are going to keep the job fair our third year. the certification areas that they were interested in hiring. highlighting the benefits to both students and teachers. The perspective employees were asked to submit their resume and ePortfolios about a week before the conference. so each school could select a number of the applicants to interview live via a private Elluminate room for about 20 minutes during the conference. the participants (perspective employees) could ask questions and get further information. as well as links and photos. At the end of their webinar. 99 . In addition. the schools had never participated in a virtual job fair and were pretty green about their approach to the webinars.
and includes access to archives of all live sessions. 4TVirtualCon is offered free of charge to all educators. and preschool 100 . We will cover topics such as Web2. Therefore we decided to offer the following… Dear SchoolDude On behalf of the University of Michigan School of Education. and technology integration in mathematics. We had two options. one was to ask many sponsors to donate a small amount or find one or two sponsors to donate a large lump sum. features more than 40 sessions.0 for all grades. literacy.00 per year. social media. Our conference sponsor goal is $2000. online learning. The conference. using iPads and iPods. Sponsorship While the first year we were able to secure a small internal grant to pay for moderators and speaker fees as well as any Internet resources or website fees. flip classrooms. 4TVirtualCon: Teachers Teaching Teachers about Technology. I am delighted to offer SchoolDude a sponsorship opportunity at our upcoming virtual conference focused on technology-enhanced teaching. Thus in our second year we wanted to find a way to include a small number of sponsors in order to allow the conference to begin paying for itself. will take place May 19-22.
This year we are offering three levels of sponsorship: Platinum Sponsorship $1.soe. we really wanted the sponsorship to reflect the mission of the conference (see the next chapter for details on future sponsorship plans). A few mentioned that they would be interested in sponsoring the following year if their business’s budget would allow for it. school administrators. Sincerely. 101 .umich.000 (only 2 of these allowed for the conference!) -Advertisement on all email communication sent out about conference -Advertisement banner on homepage of the conference -Sponsorship recognition mentioned before and after the opening and closing Keynote sessions -First right of refusal to be one of the two platinum sponsors at the 2013 conference -All benefits included in the basic and premium sponsorship packages Premium Sponsorship $500 -1-hour live webinar product presentation -Post on the conference blog -All benefits included in the basic sponsorship package Basic Sponsorship $250 -Video or live advertisement at the beginning of a conference session (to be chosen by SchoolDude) -Company logo on the conference website -Recognition on the conference Facebook page and in conference tweets We would be honored to feature SchoolDude as a sponsor of 4TVirtualCon. Elizabeth Keren-Kolb. I welcome you to contact me. Our conference participants are eager to hear about new resources and include hundreds of decision-makers for schools and districts. We received very positive feedback. I think you will be very pleased with the audience you are able to reach through this conference. Coordinator of 4TVirtualCon http://4tvirtualcon. Thank you for considering this proposal. Sponsorship of this conference offers visibility with over 600 K-12 teachers. We have designed sponsorship packages that we believe maximize exposure and effectively educate participants about our sponsors? products.instruction. Ph. if possible. that we were offering a nice “package” but many of the educational technology start-‐up companies that we targeted did not have any funds for marketing. If you have any questions or require additional information. While we realized that we could go to larger companies and even local companies. I hope to have your response by May 3.D.edu School of Education University of Michigan Unfortunately no businesses decided to sponsor us. and educational technology specialists. Note for the local K12 schools considering a virtual conference: In reality. I believe that many local school districts would have an easier time with local sponsorship as many local businesses would be happy to chip in a few dollars for their K12 schools to support the students and teachers.
We originally thought that by having a moderator in each session to assist would solve any lack-‐of skills the presenter may have. In order to encourage K12 students to participate we added a category in the call for presentations asking if they were going to have any 102 . reconnect with alumni from different years. Therefore. we knew that we had many areas to improve upon and many new ideas to enact. While the criticisms were not concerning any of the preservice teachers’ sessions (they had extensive training as part of their UofM teacher education program). we wanted to integrate more sessions that included K12 students. Despite having over 100 alumni attending the conference. For this reason we decided to keep the sessions beginning at 1:00pm EST so that if students wanted to participate they could with the assistant of their teachers at their school. Improvements: The alumni rooms These were incredibly unsuccessful. but realized that having a random room opened for one hour at night is not the best way to attract alumni to reconnect. All of these were incredibly successful and well-‐received presentations. for our second year of the conference. This is a way to network. we are going to ask each moderator to have a “training” session with their presenter. not one of them attended any of the alumni rooms. it was important that we find a way to give better training and retraining to the presenters so both they and their participants could have a smooth experience. and the 2nd year was even stronger. For the third year of the conference we decided to have ONE session that was a “birds of a feather” where only University of Michigan alumni and current students are invited to attend. In addition some “UofM” goodies will be given out as door prizes to anyone who was willing to present. We still would like to have a virtual “meet up” for alumni. in addition to the four live synchronous training sessions (these are optional and not required). One of the problems of integrating K12 students into the sessions was that our session times were mostly focused after school hours. Therefore. The second year of the conference we had two sessions with K12 students. we realized that a moderator was not enough.Chapter 12: The Future While our pilot of the 4T conference went better than expected. Some of the feedback from the conference evaluations asked for more sessions that included the K12 students showcasing their technology projects and ideas. K12 Student Presentations In our pilot year of the conference we only had one presentation that included K12 students. Training One of the criticisms from the final evaluations (from both year 1 and year 2) was that some of the presenters did not seem very well trained with Elluminate.
This would allow the ISDs to pay less for individual professional development sessions at their ISD (which can cost well over $1. We are hoping to offer 1 course credit in education technology for inservice teachers.00 per person-‐-‐-‐this could get expensive if 100s of educators applied for the CEUs). For our second year of the conference.K12 students participate in the presentation. where they would attend specific workshops and then develop a project. the ISDs would help advertise the conference. it gave the ISD a chance to partner and networking with the University of Michigan. We did not implement this idea for the second year of the conference.00 a session). Course Credit One of our goals that the committee had been tossing around since the first year is the idea of teachers earning course credit for attending and interacting with the virtual conference. Fortunately we have a committee member who is a technology teacher in a local school district and will work with us to make this student showcase for our third year. Second. by allowing access to all of the archived recordings of the conference. Unfortunately the webpage devoted to K12 student submissions did not bring about many submissions. Therefore our solution to this problem for the 3rd year of the conference is to partner with a local school district and “feature” that school district’s students and their teachers presenting innovative technology integration lessons. since many of our conference sessions run in the evening hours (Eastern Time) and it would be more difficult to organize live student sessions at 10:00pm EST on a weeknight! Sponsorship After our unsuccessful attempt to get education technology companies to sponsor the 4T Conference. and that we encouraged these types of collaborative presentations. but we hope to develop this idea for the third year of the conference. One of our committee members Laura Roop had an idea. we only had 3 sessions that included K12 students. We hope to have short 15-‐minute student showcase presentations between sessions (since there is a 30 minute break between sessions). we have decided to take another approach. This sponsorship would benefit the local ISDs in various ways. Finally. Therefore.000. School of Education. we would allow all of their district educators to attend the conference and receive CEUs for free (the third year of the conference we decided to only pay for CEUs for University of Michigan alumni since the cost of the CEUs had gone up to $10. the ISDs would be able to share those with their district teachers to further support their goal of professional development. In addition. Our course credit idea: 103 . We may record the student presentations. First. our goal for the third year of the conference is to approach the local intermediate school districts and ask them to each chip in about $500 for the conference. which in turn would bring in more participants. participate in readings and reflections based on the ideas from the workshops.
We hope to have preservice teachers apply for the grants in the Fall.The course will be conducted through the University of Michigan. we will ask the student teachers to present their It will be offered as a Master’s Level Course (since most educators at the conference already have a Bachelor’s degree). it is harder for preservice teachers to find education technology grants for their preservice teaching. and the receive and use the grant during their Winter student teaching term. we hope to begin by offering 2 grants of $500. instead attend 3 sessions and present their own (4 contact hours) • Teachers will develop a virtual session for the 4T conference and present at the conference • Teachers will be required to attend at least 3 sessions during the conference and evaluate them online experience Post Conference: Meet virtually for 2 more 2 hour session (4 contact hours) • Teachers will evaluate data from conference • Teachers will present conclusions on virtual teaching • 104 . • The topic of the course will be about: Teaching and learning online • The course will begin about 3 weeks before the conference (the beginning of the Spring term). One of the larger complaints we hear from student teachers is the lack of technology resources and PD at their student teaching placements. • 1 credit course (14 contact hours) • The course will meet virtually (thus anyone in the world could attend) once a week for two hours The course will spend the first 3 weeks covering the topics of (6 contact hours): • Introduction to online learning (blended and virtual options) • Introduction to teaching online (synchronous. While there are numerous small grant options for inservice teachers.000. Student Teaching Grants In addition to the sponsor money going toward basic conference fees. asynchronous) • Research on types of virtual tools for online learning • Teachers will learn about best practices of online teaching in a live synchronous room Conference Week: No virtual meeting during conference. As part of the grant. School of Education Title: Becoming a Virtual Teacher: Fundamental Strategies and Management for Teaching Online Description: This course explores the fundamentals of synchronous online teaching. The course culminates in the 4T Virtual Conference where participants will moderate and evaluate the online synchronous sessions. The course allows educators to practice skills to support student achievement in the online synchronous environment. Depending on sponsorship.00 or 1 grant of $1. Participants will have an interactive experience where they will evaluate online courses and create online courses. we would like to offer small student teaching grants to preservice teachers who would like to integrate technology into their teaching but need some funding to assist in the implementation.
Over time we hope to build on this and offer more grants for preservice teachers interested in using technology in their student teaching. 105 .project at the 4T Virtual Conference in May.
Darling Hammond & G. 99(5).gov/americacounts/glenn/report.. Student achievement through staff development. CORD. In L. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.educause. (2008). Skyes (Eds. C. CA: Corwin Press. S. S.cord. A. & Archibald. K. (1999).References: Ball. Retrieved: http://www. Retrieved: http://www. National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century. Educause Quartly. Hunzicker. (2000). Professional Development in Education.ed.doc Odden.L. Harwell. B. It’s a Process. 106 . Before it’s too late: A report to the nation from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century. School Science and Mathematics. S. San Francisco: Jossey-‐Bass. S. (1999). 3-‐32). (2002). Reallocating Resources: How to Boost Student Achievement Without Asking For More. & Cohen.org/uploadedfiles/HarwellPaper. developing practitioners: toward a practice-‐based theory of professional development. Inc. 37(2) 177-‐179 Loucks-‐Horsley. (2003). Developing practice.. B. Effective Professional Development for Teachers: A Checklist.pdf Hrastinski. (pp. Teacher Professional Development: It’s Not an Event. (2011). & Matsumoto.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVo lum/AsynchronousandSynchronousELea/163445 Joyce. http://www.). Thousand Oaks. Asynchronous and Synchronous E-‐Learning: A study of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning methods discovered that each supports different purposes. D. Research on Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics and Science: The State of the Scene. & Showers. J. (2000). D. 31(4). Teaching as the learning professional: Handbook of policy and practice. Alexandria.
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