A Guide To Building a Free Virtual Conference for K-16 Schools

 

      By  Liz  Kolb,  Ph.D.   Clinical  Assistant  Professor   University  of  Michigan   ©2013  

 

Table  of  Contents  
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  
 

   

 

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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  

   In  addition.    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.  all  teachers  would  have  access  to  the  information  without  having  to   worry  about  the  cost.  many  educators  do  not  want  to  spend  time   away  from  their  families  by  traveling  to  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.  I  focused  heavily  on  free  options  so  that  any  K12   school  district  could  utilize  professional  development  virtual  conferences  without   budgetary  concern.     In  developing  the  conference.  the  variety  of  resources  used  in  creating  the  conference.  flights.    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.  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.    Furthermore.    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  book   explains  changes  from  year  1  to  year  2  as  well  plans  for  the  future  of  the  conference.  this  virtual   conference  could  be  low  cost  or  even  free  for  attendees.    The  story  documents  the  steps  in   developing  the  conference.    The  first  (2010-­‐ 2011)  and  second    (2011-­‐2012)  years  are  both  highlighted  in  this  book.   the  “what  worked”  and  “what  did  not  work”  lessons  learned.The  Idea…   These  three  experiences  and  the  need  for  alumni  professional  development   opportunities  gave  me  an  idea.               4   .00  or  more  to  attend  a  conference).    Furthermore.  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.    With  a  free  virtual   conference.000.

     Many   teachers  cannot  easily  afford  to  attend  the  national  or  international  conferences.   education  organizations.     Current  Concerns  with  Professional  Development  for  Teachers   Cost   Face-­‐To-­‐Face  professional  development  has  been  occurring  in  school  districts  for   decades.    While     5   .  80%  of  teachers  have   reported  that  they  need  more  time  to  collaborate  with  other  teachers  and  learn  new   skills  (Odden.    Most  of  these  opportunities  cost  money.    The  speaker  fees  can  be  hefty  and  often  does  not   result  in  any  changes  of  instruction  or  long-­‐term  growth  (Loucks-­‐Horsley  &   Matsumoto.    In  1999.  schools  encourage  their  employees  to  seek  professional  development   opportunities  at  places  outside  of  the  school  district  such  as  local  universities.  or   expensive  workshops.    Education  experts   understand  that  that  “student  achievement  is  the  product  of  formal  study  by   educators.  education  conferences.    These  numbers  have  changed  very  little  over  the  last  decade.    The  majority  of  school  districts  pay  fees  to  bring  in  speakers  and   presenters  to  conduct  workshops.Chapter  2:    Why  a  Virtual  Conference  as  Professional  Development?   This  chapter  will  highlight  current  research  and  thought  around  traditional  and   virtual  K12  professional  development.     The  ultimate  goal  of  schooling  is  for  children  to  learn.     Yet.  2002).    Most  of  these  experiences  include  travel.  teachers  must  continually  be   updating  their  skills  and  knowledge  about  teaching  and  learning.  1999).    Traditional  professional   development  for  K12  educators  can  be  problematic.     However.”  (Joyce  &  Showers.  and  other  vendor  sponsored   workshops.    It  is  often  cost  and  time  prohibitive  to  sustain  any  professional  growth.    There  are  little  to  no  plans  to   continue  the  learning  by  systemically  sustaining  the  learning  over  long  periods  of   time.    Below  is  a  brief  overview  of   some  of  the  problems  with  face-­‐to-­‐face  professional  development.  and  do  not  lead  to  changes  in   classroom  teaching  (Loucks-­‐Horsley  &  Matsumoto.      Therefore  the  majority  of  school  districts  resort  to  one-­‐time  workshops   or  lectures  on  designated  professional  development  days  during  the  school  year.  teachers  are  so  busy  teaching  that  they  have  little  time  left  for  their  own   learning.    Thus  it  leaves  the  teachers  to  pay  for  the  learning  opportunities.         Events  Not  Process   Most  of  the  outside  workshops  or  speakers  that  school  districts  bring  in  for   professional  development  are  a  one-­‐time  event.    While  the  more  affluent  school   districts  may  pay  for  some  or  even  all  of  the  professional  development  fees.  research  has  shown  that  these  one-­‐time  professional  development  events   are  not  typically  aligned  with  ongoing  practice.    Therefore.    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.    Within  the   traditional  K12  school  structure  it  is  difficult  for  teachers  and  school  districts  to  find   time  and  space  for  quality  professional  development. 2000).  many   cannot.     In  addition.  food  and  hotel  fees.  1999).

   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.  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.    In  addition.research  stresses  that  professional  development  must  be  a  process.  and  grow  with  over  time.  many  less  affluent  school   districts  cannot.    Ultimately  this  means  that  the   professional  development  offered  might  not  apply  to  some  teachers  in  the  district.  successful  teacher  development  is  a  process  and  not  a  one-­‐time  episode   (Joyce  &  Showers  2002).     Thus.  they  are  often  lacking  a  sense  of  professional  community  that  they  can   learn.    Researchers  have  found  that  teachers   need  to  learn  “in  and  from  practice”  (Ball  &  Cohen.         Lack  of  Community   If  teachers  have  an  interest  in  a  field  or  tool  where  there  is  no  professional   development  offered  in-­‐district.  By  Learning  from  practice   it  allows  other  important  components  of  effective  professional  development  to   occur  such  as  collaboration  and  sustained  learning  over  time.  it  is  difficult  for   schools  to  find  the  time  (and  money)  to  allow  this  to  happen  for  their  teachers.    Leaving  the  teachers  to  find  their  own  professional  learning   communities.    Researchers  have   found  that  with  the  characteristics  listed  below  in  place.   • A  sense  of  community  occurs  during  the  professional  development   • Teachers  get  to  interact  and  collaborate  together     6   .    If  they  attend  a  workshop  or  lecture  outside  of  the  school   district.  it  is  often  easier  to   sustain  this  type  of  growth.  teachers  are  more  likely  to   consider  the  professional  development  relevant  and  ultimately  makes  improved   teaching  practice  more  likely  (Hunzicker.  they  may  feel  isolated  in  their  professional   development  pursuits.     Majority  Rules   Often  related  to  factors  of  time  and  cost.  1999).    Below  are  some  of  the  highlights  found  in  research   concerning  characteristics  of  high-­‐quality  professional  development.  there  tends  to  be  a  generic  factor  to  the  development  that  leaves  some   teachers  unable  to  relate  to  the  content  presented.       Effective  Professional  Development   While  there  are  plenty  of  face-­‐to-­‐face  professional  development  opportunities  for   teachers.    They  need  to  want  to  seek  out  the  information   and  believe  that  it  can  improve  their  teaching  and  ultimately  student   learning.     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.  2011).    Most  of  the  current  models  focus  on  a  one-­‐time  episode   rather  than  sustained  learning  over  time.  share.

   Yet  most  of  the  virtual  professional  development  that  has  arisen  is   asynchronous  (such  as  the  K12  Online  Conference  mentioned  in  the  introduction).     While  there  are  some  benefits  from  asynchronous  interactions  (e.   2003).g…teacher’s  can   log  in  on  their  own  time  to  learn  and  there  is  often  a  digital  archive  of  discussions   and  activities).  in  order  to  provide   constructive  feedback  to  students  and  appropriately  redirect  teaching  (The   National  Commission  on  Mathematics  and  Science  Teaching  for  the  21st   Century.    Some  of  the  drawbacks  include:   1) It  is  impersonal  and  often  educators  say  they  lack  a  sense  of  community.  there  are  also  some  drawbacks.• Teachers  support  one-­‐another     Practical.     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.  and  in  education   generally   • Generate  and  contribute  new  knowledge  to  the  profession     • Increase  the  ability  to  monitor  students’  work.       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.       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   .  virtual  professional  development  may  be  one  potential  solution  to  the   problems  of  face-­‐to-­‐face  professional  development  for  teachers.  2000).    Knowing  this  to   be  true.     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.  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.

  Many  of  these  drawbacks  are  also  problematic  in  face-­‐to-­‐face  professional   development.  where  Hrastinski  highlights  which  environment  has  larger  gains  in   for  professional  development.  discussing  both  less  or  more  complex   issues.  one  of  the  inspirations  for  this  conference  came  from  a  free  an   asynchronous  K12  conference  experience  (K12  Online).    Therefore.         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.    For  example  if  you  wanted  to  ask  a  question  of  the  presenter  and   have  them  demonstrate  a  feature  of  the  learning  tool.    As  mentioned.  I  thought  it  was  important  to  highlight  both  of  these  in  this  chapter.  for  my  virtual  conference.  I  felt  disconnected  and  isolated  from  my  peers  who   were  attending  the  conference  since  there  were  no  options  to  participate  in  a   synchronous  way.5) There  is  no  flexibility  in  the  experience  (being  able  to  segway  from  the  main   lecture).    For  many  years.  in  particular  the  lack  of  community.  gaining  motivation  and  commitment  from  participants.  while  I   enjoyed  the  archived  sessions.  and  planning  and     8   .    Ultimately  stating  that  a  synchronous   environment  is  best  for  getting  acquainted.  I  wanted  to  make  sure  it  had  a   synchronous  approach.  asynchronous  was  the  easiest  and  most  often   selected  option  for  online  learning.   2008).    Considering  that  both  approaches  have  benefits  and   drawbacks.  with  the  increase  in  bandwidth.   options  for  online  synchronous  learning  environments  have  opened  up  (Hrastinski.     Below  is  a  comparison  table  from  Stefan  Hrastinski’s  (2008)  study  of  the  two   environments.    As  mentioned  in  the   introduction.  however.

   By  and  large  there  are  greater  benefits  from  a   synchronous  approach.    The  parents     9   .  work  collaboratively  to  build  knowledge  and  view  each  other  live  on   webcams.    While  he  found  that  an  asynchronous  environment  is  best  only  for   reflecting  on  a  complex  issue.     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.  the   instructor  could  stop  presenting  and  take  a  few  minutes  to  show  the  participants   how  to  do  that  activity.    In  an  asynchronous  presentation.  the  instructor  could  not   immediately  answer  questions.    While  some  of  the  education  technology  topics  in  the   conference  may  be  more  complex.  networking  rarely  occurs.    Often  participants  are   unaware  of  other  participants  socio-­‐economic  backgrounds  and  by  using  the  many   collaborative  features  of  an  online  environment.    In  addition.    For  example.  where  the  presenter   cannot  easily  stray  from  the  presentation.  chat  with  other   participants.     Collaboration   In  an  asynchronous  learning  environment.  brainstorm.    Therefore.  a  synchronous  approach  allows  for  the   presenter  to  take  the  individual  participant’s  needs  into  consideration.    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.  the  participants  can  become  more   or  less  “equal”  on  the  playing  field.  it  gives  the  participants  more  of  a  feeling  of  a  face-­‐to-­‐face  classroom   experience.   if  a  participant  asks  a  question  about  how  to  do  something  in  the  presentation.         Networking   Since  there  is  little  time  to  do  real  time  chatting  or  collaborative  amongst   participants  in  an  asynchronous  environment.  participants   can  work  together  to  build  ideas.    In   synchronous  environments  participants  can  exchange  contact  information  in  real   time  and  continue  their  collaboration  on  their  own  time.  and  collaborate  on  a  project.    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.  this  conference  could  connect  to  the  K12  teachers  familiarity   of  a  traditional  classroom  experience  through  the  virtual  synchronous  classroom.  I  found  that  there  were  other  unique  benefits  to   synchronous  online  learning.doing  tasks.     Flexibility   While  an  asynchronous  experience  is  a  modular  approach.  there  is  little  to  no  room  for  real  time   collaboration  or  knowledge  building.    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.    In  a  synchronous  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.

   The  following  could  be  true   of  a  synchronous  online  conference  for  K12  teachers.  rather  than  hypothetical  “what  ifs”  that   often  happen  in  “event”-­‐type  professional  development.offering  other  resources  that  may  meet  the  same  goals  or  giving   an  anecdote  about  a  situation  in  their  classroom).  ask  questions  without  assumptions  being  made  about  how  they   dress.  “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. Participants  can  add  or  extend  the  information  being  presented   (eg. One  eager  participant  cannot  as  easily  dominate  the  discussion  (which   could  “turn  off”  or  frustrate  others  in  the  session).    In  addition  the  flexibiligy  in   scheduling  virtual  times  can  appeal  to  differing  working  hours  for  parents  or   community  members  and  presenters.  the  virtual   environment  can  control  for  this  with  private  messages  and   moderating..   1) Develop  a  community  of  learners   a. Participants  can  ask  presenters.   2) On-­going  professional  development  at  your  own  pace   a. There  are  numerous  free  or  low  cost  virtual  learning  spaces  online.  or  the  car  they  drive.       c. Participants  do  not  feel  as  isolated. If  the  conference  focuses  on  K-­‐12  teachers  and  educators  sharing   their  K-­‐12  experiences.       b.    They  are  more  willing  to  ask  questions  and  participate     10   . Teachers  who  may  “hang  back”  in  a  face-­‐to-­‐face  professional   development  experience  can  express  themselves  more  easily  in  an   online  format.       d.    They  have  dialogue  with  the  presenters  and   network  with  other  participants.   5) Express  Yourself   a.       4) Low  to  No  Cost   a.can  participate.  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.       b.     A  synchronous  virtual  conference  has  the  potential  to  do  the  following…   After  researching  synchronous  and  asynchronous  online  learning.. Time  is  not  a  limitation  in  the  virtual  world   3) Authenticity   a. All  the  sessions  can  be  archived.     This  allows  teachers  in  districts  with  little  professional  development   funds  to  still  participate  in  on-­‐going  professional  development.  what  they  look  like. Participants  are  live.  then  there  is  potential  to  allow  each  session  to   be  authentic  and  real-­‐world. In  virtual  rooms.  thus  the  participants  can  download   the  sessions  anytime  and  watch  them  at  their  own  pace.  participants  can  private  message  presenters  and   participants  live  and  receive  immediate  response.   b.  I  found  that   synchronous  learning  had  the  potential  to  solve  some  of  the  problems  of  traditional   face-­‐to-­‐face  professional  development  for  K12  teachers.

   In   addition.    The  following  are  some  steps   we  took  to  make  sure  that  we  were  meeting  the  professional  development  needs  of   our  participants.  tweet.  Facebook  and  other  networks  about  the  conference.  it  was   important  that  I  set  up  the  virtual  conference  to  maximize  the  potential  professional   learning  opportunities  for  the  participating  educators.  schools   could  send  their  entire  district  to  the  conference  at  no  cost  and  receive  state   continuing  education  credits  for  attending  the  conference.    It  is  less  daunting  then  being  in  a  room   of  dozens  if  not  hundreds  of  other  teachers.    They  could  have  a   backchannel  discussion  (such  as  private  messages  back  and  forth  between   individual  participants)  and  share  resources  during  the  conference.  our  conference  focused  on  teachers  teaching  other  teachers   based  on  their  own  classroom  experiences.  none  of  them  offer  free  CEUs.  they   were  encouraged  to  participate  and  to  create.     Continuing  Education  Credits   While  there  are  some  online  conferences  that  are  free.     11   .  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.  we  included  a  hash  tag  so  that  participants  could  social  network   via  Twitter.  answer   without  hesitation  or  anxiety.     By  offering  the  CEUs  it  allowed  the  teachers  to  get  “credit”  for  the  conference  in   their  school  districts.         Participation  was  encouraged   Rather  than  allowing  the  participants  to  sit  back  and  watch  the  presentations.   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.  ask  questions.     No  Cost   It  was  vital  that  the  conference  did  not  have  any  cost  for  the  participants.     Presentations  by  in-­service  teachers   Instead  of  an  “expert”  researcher  or  Ph.  this   included  continuing  education  credits.    For  our  second  year  we   were  able  to  offer  up  to  2.0  credits  (a  total  o  20  one  hour  sessions).     Opportunities  for  Collaboration   Since  each  session  was  live.  share  resources.  there  were  opportunities  in  every  session  for  chat-­‐room   dialogue  and  private  messaging.  and  network  on  their  own   time.    This  allowed  for  authenticity  and  for  the   complexities  of  education  technology  in  K-­‐12  classrooms  to  come  to  the  surface.    Therefore  any  educator  in  any  school  district   could  virtually  “attend”  without  having  to  worry  about  funding.5  credits  (a  total  of  5   one  hour  sessions)  to  any  educator  who  was  interested.    In  fact.  we  had  “open”  rooms  where   participants  could  continue  discussions.D  (who  may  have  never  taught  k-­‐12)  coming   to  speak  to  the  school.    For  our  first  year  we  decided  to  offer  .    Furthermore.    In  addition.

   Teachers  could   continuously  review  all  the  material  presented  as  well  as  the  chat  room   conversation  at  their  own  pace  and  on  their  own  time.  rather   than  a  lecture-­‐format.     They  could  also  use  the  recordings  in  their  own  schools  for  professional   development  or  to  share  with  their  students  for  lesson  learning.    This  provides  a  life  long  learning  opportunity  for  the  teachers.questions.  therefore  teachers  could  choose  sessions  that   resonated  with  their  interests  and  needs  and  didn’t  have  to  worry  about  “missing”  a   session.    In  addition  there  were  over   50  different  sessions  to  select  from.       12   .     Lifetime  Learning   Every  session  of  the  conference  was  archived.  even  after  the   conference  ended.  share  their  experiences.    It  created  a  collaborative  atmosphere.  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.     Personalized  Learning  and  Choice   Each  session  could  be  downloaded  and  watched  on-­‐demand.  thus  providing  opportunities  for   teachers  to  log  into  the  conference  session  recordings  anytime.    Furthermore.

   Kristin  taught   in  our  school  of  information  and  was  an  expert  in  library  media.  Teresa  McMahon.  writes  books  on  technology  in  teaching  and   has  impeccable  technology  skills  and  understanding  of  pedagogy.         Forming  a  Committee   In  order  to  enact  my  idea  for  a  virtual  professional  development  conference  around   education  technology.Chapter  3:    Conference  Beginnings…   Chapter  3.    In  addition  I  wanted  to  find  someone  from  the  outreach  department  who   has  knowledge  about  continuing  education  credits  and  public  relations.    Kristin  Fontichiaro  and  Dr.    I   needed  experts  in  education  technology.  and  5    will  outline  how  the  conference  was  developed  over  a  7  month   period.  and  connections  in  the  school  of  education.  I  began  to  think  about  developing  a  conference  committee.    The  very  first  item  we  did   as  a  group  was  to  brainstorm  many  ways  to  create  a  unique  and  effective  learning     13   .    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.  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.    Next.    While  not  an   education  technology  expert.  Jeff  Stanzler.  Dr.    While  we  had  a  committee.  I  knew  that  I  could  not  build  the  entire  conference  by  myself.  McMahon  has  great  knowledge  of  teaching.    It  will  include  different  ideas  presented  as  well  as  decisions  made  during  the   process.    One  of  the  members  of  our  technology  services.    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.  and  experts   in  outreach.     This  was  purely  a  grassroots  effort.  it  will  include  all  the  complexities  of  developing  a  virtual  conference  on  a   zero  dollar  budget.    In  addition.  it  was  important  to  have  the  support  of  a  faculty  member  who  was  in  a   leadership  role  in  the  school.    I  knew  I  needed  to  find  experts  with  various  strengths.  it  was  important  to  include  graduate  students.    She  has  a  large   following  in  the  library  media  world.     Therefore.  since  the  University  of  Michigan  was  a  research-­‐based  and   teaching  school.    Having  zero   budget.    For   this  I  found  two  colleagues.     November  2010:    The  First  Meeting   Our  first  committee  meeting  occurred  in  November  2010.  one  of  our  outreach  coordinators  was  willing  to  come  aboard  and  help  out.         First.    Third  I  needed  to  find  other  teacher  educators  with  some   technology  education  knowledge  who  taught  in  the  same  programs  as  myself.    As   the  University  of  Michigan  is  a  teaching  institution.    In   addition.    Dr.  Dr.  experts  in  teacher  education.  I  had  to  rely  on  colleagues  who  would  be  willing  to  volunteer  their  time  and   expertise  to  do  the  work.  I  also  thought  it  was  important   to  include  a  graduate  student  who  was  studying  education  technologies.  4.  Ron  Miller  was  willing  and   eager  to  help  out.  Laura   Roop.    I  recruited  the  coordinator  of  one  of  our  Master’s  in   Teaching  programs  to  join  the  committee.   professional  development.    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.

   However.experience  for  teachers.    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.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.    Teaching  and  learning  was  just  too  broad.  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  .  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.  thus  we  decided  to   focus  the  conference  on  using  education  technology  in  K12  schools.   • 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.    In  addition.  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   .     Our  criteria  for  the  theme:   • It  had  to  tell  participants  that  this  was  a  practitioner  conference.  and  there  are  always  new  technology   tools  that  teachers  need  to  learn  about.  we  had  to  come  up  with  a  catchy  name.  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.    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.    Therefore.    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.  after   deciding  to  focus  on  education  technology.

   We  were  sold!         15   .  The  Practical  Virtual  Conference  on  Technology.   Many  ideas  were  tossed  around  in  our  committee.    While  it   did  not  say  anything  about  virtual.    We  thought  it  sounded  hip  and   engaging.  we  could  shorten  the  title  to  4T  Virtual   Conference.   Teresa  came  up  with  4T:    Teachers  Teaching  Teachers  about  Technology.    Teaching  with  Technology   Conference.    But  we   could  call  it  the  UofM  4T  Virtual  Conference.  UofM.    It  also  did  not  say  anything  about  the  University  of  Michigan.    Ultimately.

0  resources.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.     16   .  I  needed  to  try  to  keep  the  conference  100%  free.    With  the  assistance  of  free  or  low-­‐ cost  web2.  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.    Originally  I  explored  many  free  online   conferencing  resources.  so  it   was  important  that  I  explored  the  many  free  virtual  meeting/conferencing  tools  on   the  Internet.  there  are  plenty  of  virtual.    There  were  many  free  tools  to  choose  from   and  below  highlights  many  of  the  tools  considered.  iPods.    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.    Below  is  a  list  and  short  description  of  the  different  tools  that  I   evaluated.  images  and   movie  files   • The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to  websites.  interactive  classrooms  that  could   be  used  for  the  conference  sessions.  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.  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.    In  this  chapter  we  will  share  our  exploration  of  these   resources.     One  of  the  great  benefits  of  a  virtual  conference  versus  a  face-­‐to-­‐face  conference  is   the  low  cost.    A  virtual  conference  could  be  created  and  developed  for  an  extremely   low  cost  (actually  it  could  be  done  100%  free!).

 real-­time  synchronous  to   any  place  in  the  world   X   X   X     The  ability  for  participants  to  chat  and  ask   questions  of  the  presenter.    DimDim  allowed   anyone  to  create  a  synchronous  webinar  with  both  video  and  audio.   DimDim  (http://dimdim.    I  found  that   DimDim  was  excellent  for  small  class  webinars.com)   The  first  resource  that  I  considered  using  was  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   .  but  sometimes  had  bandwitch   issues  and  DimDim’s  free  version  only  allowed  20  participants  per  session.               Need     Yes   Yes  but   you  must   pay  for  it     No     Ability  to  present  live.

 images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.  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.    One  of  the  big   concerns  was  that  you  could  not  upload  a  file  (such  as  a  PowerPoint)  rather  you  had     18   .com)   Anymeeting  was  a  very  easy  to  use  resource.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.    It  had  some  great  benefits  (up  to  200   participants  in  a  virtual  room  and  easy  recording  and  polling).  but   you  do  not  get  a   spreadsheet  of   names)           The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.

 but   you  do  not  get  a   spreadsheet  of                 19   .to  screenshare  your  desktop.  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.  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.             Need     Yes   Yes  but   you  must   pay  for  it     No     Ability  to  present  live.    Although  I  did  not  have  any  problems  while  testing   the  site.

 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.me  )   Join.     20   .names)   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.me  (http://Join.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.  images  and  movie  files   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X       (but  you     The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.    While  you  can  screenshare  and  talk  and  chat.    It  is  downloaded  to  your  desktop  and   runs  off  of  your  desktop.

 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.     Need     Yes   Yes  but   you  must   pay  for  it     No     Ability  to  present  live.  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.

brainshark.  upload  resources  such  as  PowerPoints  and  record  a  presentation.  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.    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  cannot  record  and  present  live  to  participants  in  Brainshark.    You  can  use   audio.       22   .you  do  not  get  a   spreadsheet  of   names)   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.com)   I  immediately  learned  that  Brainshark  was  more  of  an  asynchronous  presentation   tool.     Brainshark  could  also  be  used  as  a  “module”  activity.  where  participants  can   “learn  at  their  own  pace”  and  download  recorded  presentations  or  modules.  images  and  movie  files   X   X   X   X   X         (but  you     must  screen   share)   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.

 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.  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.

The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.  recording.    You  cannot  upload  files  to  present  (such  as  a  PowerPoint.  not   live)   X(can     download   presentation)                 X   X      X   X             24   .    In  addition.yugma.  images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.  email   invitations  and  chatting.  but.com  )   Yugma  is  a  tool  that  you  can  use  online  or  download  to  your  desktop  for  virtual   conferencing.  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.  but  not   live)             X   X     X(just  audio)               Yugma  (https://www.    The  free  version  allows  for  easy  screensharing.  you  must  pay  for  more  than   30  minute  webinars  (at  one  time)  or  to  file  share.    Yugma  is  a  nice  tool  for  easy   webinars  that  only  need  to  screenshare  for  less  than  30  minutes.   X   X(yes.   you  must  screenshare  them  or  file  share).

  cannot  upload)     25   .  real-­time  synchronous   to  any  place  in  the  world   X   X   X     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     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                     X     X         X   X     X   (but  you  must   screen  share.   Need     Yes   Yes  but   you  must   pay  for  it     No     Ability  to  present  live.

   The  fact  that  there  is  a  limit  of  20  participants  per   meeting  ruled  out  Live  Minute  for  our  virtual  conference.  but  it  is  a  useful  tool  for   smaller  online  sessions  and  professional  development.  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.    This  is  a  nice  platform  for  documenting  group  work  and   small  group  knowledge  building  (very  similar  to  using  a  Google  document).    In  addition.         26   .    The   archive  of  LiveMinutes  is  a  nice  PDF  report  of  the  chatroom.  whiteboard.    It  has  a  built  in   notes  feature  that  acts  like  a  wiki  where  participants  can  add  their  notes.  wiki  and   any  other  documentation  shared  in  LiveMinutes.The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.  edit  and   build  knowledge  together.  LiveMinutes   integrates  nicely  with  Skype.com)   LiveMinutes  is  a  wonderful  tool  for  simple  online  conferencing.

 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.

 there  is   an  innovative  sticky-­‐note  annotation  feature.  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.  where  presenters  and  participants  can   “mark”  places  in  the  presentation  with  voice  or  text  comments  using  sticky-­‐notes.  view  and  use  tools.  images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.    One  excellent  feature  is  the  “moderating”  feature  for  presenters  to   control  how  the  participants  were  able  to  participate.  view  and  upload.    In  addition.  there  are  many  “levels”  of   moderation  to  select  from  such  as  view  only.  which  was   important  for  the  purpose  of  our  conference.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.   X   X   X  (as  a  report   at  end)                   X     X   X             28   .   full  privileges.The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.

 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       .

 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.  which  works  with  YouTube.The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.    Other  than  the  recording  feature.  I  highly  recommend  districts  with     30   .    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.    Another  nice   aspect  of  Google  Hangouts  is  that  there  is  not  a  limit  on  the  number  of  participants.  images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.     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).     The  one  awkward  aspect  was  the  recording.

 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.zero  budgets  and  who  have  a  large  audience  for  their  virtual  conferences  (or   webinars)  consider  using  Google  Hangouts.         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   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  easily   navigate  the  conference  tools   The  ability  for  the  presentation  to  be   recorded  and  archived                           31   .

 images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.The  ability  to  take  “attendance”  at  the   sessions  for  SB  CEU  credits   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  include  their   own  PowerPoint.  I  was  worried  about  how  public  the     32   .    Therefore  we   decided  to  explore  both  of  these  tools  as  well.       Elluminate/Blackboard  Collaborate  (http://elluminate.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).  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).  we  did  have  free  access  to  a  paid  synchronous  conferencing  tool   at  the  University  of  Michigan  called  Elluminate  and  Adobe  Connect.

 video   cameras  or  microphone  to  participate  in  the  session.    I  met  with  the  technology  services  to  find  out  if  I  would  be  able  to  use   Elluminate  for  the  virtual  conference  sessions.  real-­time  synchronous       to  any  place  in  the  world   X   X   X   The  ability  for  participants  to  chat  and  ask   questions  of  the  presenter.       • 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).YouTube  recordings  would  be  and  I  wanted  to  make  sure  I  had  some  control  over   the  recordings.      What  I  learned  was  that  Elluminate   would  be  able  to  fit  my  particular  needs.  images  and  movie  files   The  ability  for  the  presenter  to  link  out  to   website.    Since  I  could  not  find  exactly  what  I  was  looking  for.  chat  room.  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.  I  decided  to   turn  to  my  teaching  institution.       • Multiple  rooms  open  at  the  same  time  (thus  allowing  for  multiple  break  out   sessions  during  each  hour).   • The  sessions  could  be  live  and  recorded     Need   Yes   Yes  but   No   you  must   pay  for  it   Ability  to  present  live.  screen  share  their  desktop  to   participants                         X   X   X   X     X     X                 33   .  we  had  a  license  for   Elluminate.    At  the  school  of  education.    I  had  used  Elluminate  to  teach  some  virtual  classes  and  knew  I  liked  the   tool.   • 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.

 real-­time  synchronous       to  any  place  in  the  world   X     34   .     Need   Yes   Yes  but   No   you  must   pay  for  it   Ability  to  present  live.    Our  license  allowed  for  200  participants  per  room.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.    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).    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).    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).

 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.  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     .  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  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.    While   both  Adobe  Connect  and  Elluminate  were  essentially  “free”  for  me  to  use.    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.  I  will  also  discuss  grant  opportunities  that   would  help  to  purchase  Elluminate  licenses  for  K12  schools.         36   .  I  realize   that  it  does  cost  money  to  purchase  a  licenses  for  a  school  district  to  use  Elluminate.   these  include  WizIQ  and  GotoMeeting.    Besides  Elluminate  there   are  other  paid  versions  of  web-­‐based  virtual  rooms  that  work  in  a  similar  fashion.     The  cost  varies  greatly  depending  on  how  many  participants  you  would  like  to   accommodate  in  each  room  (as  well  as  other  features).    Later  in  the  book.

        Once  we  found  a  virtual  space  to  conduct  the  live  sessions  our  next  agenda  item  was   to  find  a  webspace  for  the  conference.    While  you  could  password  protect  the  webpages.  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.    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.    While  I  enjoyed  using  Google   Docs  and  the  fact  that  Google  Sites  was  100%  free.    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.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.    There  were  not  a  lot  of  choices  and  most  of  them  were  too  basic   or  too  unprofessional  for  us.com/sites)   One  of  the  first  tools  that  I  looked  at  was  Google  Sites.  I  was  not  very  pleased  with  a  few   of  the  features  on  Google  Sites.    Second  concern  was  the  template  for  Google  Sites  did  not  look   very  professional.    I  also  did  not  like  that  the  templates  all  had  the  Google   search  bar  at  the  top  of  the  screen.  while  I  could  integrate  the  Google   Forms.    I  did  not  want  our  participants  to  be  forced  to   get  a  Google  account.    In  addition.     37   .  which  could  take   some  time)  and  instead  create  a  website  that  we  could  completely  control.  I  could  not  find  a  way  to  easily  let  people  who  completed  a  form  include  a   document  to  upload.   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.     Google  Sites  (http://google.  a   Google  account  was  required  to  login.  images.    Thus  we   began  to  investigate  many  free  online  website  creation  tools.

   I  was  nervous  about   relying  a  website  that  heavily  used  Java  when  people  from  all  over  the  world  would   need  to  access  the  site.  and  I  really  needed  a  site  that  would  allow  presenters  and  participants  to   upload  forms.    I  really  liked  the  professional  template   choices.    Another  problem  was  that  participants  could  not  upload   documents  into  the  forms  pages  (for  example  presenters  could  not  upload  their   resume).   Wix  (http://wix.    On  negative  was  that  the  site  did  use  a  lot  of  Java.com)       38   .com)   Wix  had  a  very  professional  look  and  feel.           Yola  (http://yola.

Yola  was  one  of  my  top  choices  for  the  website.    In  the  end  I   decided  on  Weebly  as  the  best  option  to  meet  our  criteria.    Weebly  had  an   excellent  selection  of  professional  templates  to  choose  among.  Yola  had  free  password  protection  on   individual  pages.    The  one  negative  of  Yola  (similar  to  Wix)  was  that  participants   could  not  upload  forms  into  Yola.  which  would  make  our  collection  for  the   continuing  education  credits  more  difficult.               39   .    There  also  was  a  wide  variety  of  widgets  to  select  from.       Weebly  (http://yola.    Another  aspect  of   Weebly  that  was  nice  was  that  they  had  specific  pages  that  were  designated  for   blogging.    Yola  had  a  professional  look  with   many  templates  to  choose  from.    In  addition.com)   Weebly  was  one  of  the  last  sites  I  looked  at  and  by  far  my  favorite.

 yet  professional  look.    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.    In  order  to  make  this  decision  I  looked  at  a  variety  of   conference  websites.   images  and   files?   Blog  Option?   Mobile  Site   Option?   ecommerce   Option?   Google  Sites   Free   Poor   Yes.    I  also  knew  that  I  could  add  my  own  pictures  into  the   template  (although  I  opted  to  use  the  template  pictures  the  first  year).  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.   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.  but  very   clunky   No   Yes   Wix   Free   Fair   No   Yola   Free   Easy   Yes   Weebly   Free   Easy   Yes.     Homepage     40   .  but  must   upgrade  to   premium   Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes.  I  needed  to  decide  on  what  “pages”   we  wanted  to  have  on  the  site.

    I  wanted  to  have  a  place  where  educators  could  subscribe  to  our  site  and  easily  get   updates  in  their  email  or  RSS  readers.    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   .    I  wanted  to  develop  a  short  paragraph  describing   the  purpose  of  our  conference.    I   was  hoping  for  a  very  clean  and  simple  look  to  the  webpage.First  I  worked  on  the  Home  Page.    Thus  I  wanted  a  blog  page.         Conference  Blog   Fortunately  in  Weebly.    I  also   wanted  to  include  some  widgets  on  the  blog  page.  it  is  incredibly  easy  to  create  a  blog  page  within  our  website.    In  addition  it  was   important  that  readers  of  the  blog  be  able  to  comment  on  new  blog  posts.

    42   .

  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)    

 

 

43  

 

   

 

44  

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    

 

 

45  

        46   .

   Originally  I  was  going  to  embed  a  Google   Calendar  into  Weebly  with  titles  and  times  of  each  session.    I  had  to  make  sure  that  I  was  clear   about  communicating  these  features.    But  I  found  the  Google       47   .     Conference  Schedule   The  conference  schedule  page  was  going  to  convey  all  of  the  individual  conference   session  information  to  the  participants.  when  sessions  were  occurring.  and  the   Elluminate  links  to  participant  in  the  sessions.    It  was  the  page  that  would  communicate   the  title  and  descriptions  of  each  session.

Calendar  to  be  difficult  to  read.                 48   .    Therefore.  I  decided  to  individually  type  in  every   session  in  linear  order  for  each  day.

        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   .  where  participants  could  download   the  one-­‐page  document  to  see  all  the  session  titles  and  times.    Finally.

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  on  two  keynote  speakers  and  about  five  or  six  featured  speakers.  Kristin.     Fortunately  since  the  committee  was  full  of  practiced  professional  presenters.    In  addition.  we   decided  that  Jeff.  my       50   .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.

 Webpages  and  LinkedIN  pages   • Information  about  each  speaker’s  session         51   .  we   could  not  offer  to  pay  anyone…yet.former  advisor  and  a  faculty  member  at  the  University  of  Michigan.  Barry   Fishman.  which  would  allow  us  to  pay  a  few  speakers  for  their  participation.  while  we  were  working  on  a  grant.  we  did  not  have  any  money.    Our   featured  speaker  page  included:   • Pictures  and  Bio  of  Speakers   • Links  to  Speakers  archived  presentations   • Links  to  Speakers  Twitter.    So  we  put  the  second  keynote  speaker  on  hold.  was  a  member  of  the  national  technology  education  plan  committee  and  a   perfect  choice  as  a  kick-­‐off  keynote.    He  would  talk  about  the  national  education  technology   plan  and  demonstrate  how  it  will  and  could  affect  practicing  K-­‐12  teachers.    It  was  also  a  no-­‐cost  choice  as  Dr.    When  we  started  preparing  for  the   conference.    We  were  hoping  to  receive  our   grant.  Dr.    Our   second  keynote  would  be  more  difficult.   as  well  as  asking  a  couple  other  featured  speakers.  Fishman  was   willing  to  present  for  free.

 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   .    Once  again.   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.

      53   .

 it  was  important  that  any  educator   be  able  to  easily  participate  in  the  conference  without  inhabition  of  the  technology.     Thus  I  decided  to  dedicate  a  page  on  our  website  to  Elluminate  tutorial  information.   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.     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.

 so  we  were  able  to  track  how  often  sessions  were  downloaded  (to   see  what  sessions  were  the  most  popular).    We  thought  if  the  archives   were  completely  public.  it  would  be  very  difficult  to  track  the   number  of  participants.    Thus  I  added  a  simple   password  to  the  archives  page.    As  the  sessions  finished.    We   were  approved  for  .  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.    We  needed  to  include  a  page  dedicated  to  teachers   who  were  interested  in  earning  the  CEUs.    Participants  can  watch  the  sessions.    Additionally.     Conference  Session  Archives   One  of  the  great  benefits  of  a  virtual  conference  is  that  all  the  sessions  can  be   archived.    Without  registration.    Therefore.    Elluminate  also  tracks  all  downloads  of   each  recording.     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.  their  reasons  for  participating.  which  we  emailed  out  to  all  registered  participants   so  that  they  could  access  the  recordings.  at  their  own   convenience.    We  worked  with  the   state  of  Michigan  to  get  approval  for  20  of  our  sessions  to  count  for  SB  CEUs.    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.     Elluminate  emails  a  link  to  the  recording  of  the  session  for  each  moderator.    Additionally.  making   it  very  easy  for  me  to  access  the  recording  links.  then  many  educators  would  forgo  registration  and  simply   wait  for  the  archives.   communication  with  participates  would  also  be  very  difficult.  I  dedicated  a  page  to  the  recordings  of  every  session.  I  would   post  the  recording  links  on  the  session  archives.5  SB  CEUs  for  the  first  year  (which  is  the  equivalent  to  attending   5  hours  of  conference  sessions).  start  and  stop  them.    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   .  I  decided  to  password   protect  the  session  archives  page.     In  addition.

   In  this   chapter  we  describe  our  methods  for  funding  the  conference.org/pages/educators/grant-­‐programs/grant-­‐ application/learning-­‐and-­‐leadership)  and  Cisco  Product  Grant  Program   (http://www..  state  education  technology  organization  and  local  universities  tend  to  have   grants  that  collaborate  with  the  community).  website  domains.     Grant  Writing   While  I  knew  that  I  could  conduct  the  basic  conference  without  funding.com  for  funding  opportunities.  PhD   School  of  Education   Feb  1.    Below  I  share  a   copy  of  our  grant  proposal  that  was  accepted.    Thus  we  looked  into  possible  grants  for  the  funding.  we  were  hoping  to  find  some  small  funding  to  pay   potential  keynote  speakers.   which  was  more  than  we  needed  to  run  the  conference.  I  found  very  few   hits.  PhD  and  Teresa  McMahon.       Our  Grant  Proposal  that  was  accepted:   Learning.com  )  to   see  if  there  were  any  higher  education  grants  for  teacher  education.  Any  Pace:     Creating  an  annual  virtual  teacher  education  conference  run  by  current  Master  of  Arts  with   Certification  (MAC)  teaching  interns.    Another  option  for  grant  funding  is  to   use  the  website:      DonorsChoose  (http://donorschoose.  and  possibly  people  to  moderate  the   presentation  rooms.  Any  Place.com/web/about/ac48/pgp_home.50.    Therefore  another  committee  member   Teresa  McMahon  and  I  applied  for  the  grant.Any  Where.    I  first  explored  Grantwrangler  (http://grantwrangler.  2011       56   .    While  virtual   conference  costs  are  very  minimal.  I  would  need  some  funding  for   speaker  fees  and  possibly  other  expenses  (such  as  a  domain  name)  to  increase  the   conference  appeal.  and  I  would  recommend  that   any  K-­‐12  school  take  a  close  look  at  Grantwrangler.    There  were  numerous  grants  for  K-­‐12  teachers.     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.    A  few  other   national  organizations  have  small  grant  opportunities  that  would  be  perfect  for  a   K12  virtual  conference.neafoundation.cisco.  and  ended  up  receiving  $5149.Chapter  6:    Funding  the  Conference   Now  that  we  had  a  website.  intermediate  school   districts.org  )  where  you  can  place   your  school  project  and  ask  people  to  donate  small  sums  of  money.             Faculty  Development  Fund  Grant  Proposal   Liz  Keren-­‐Kolb.html  ).    They  include  Learning  and  Leadership  Grants  with  the  NEA   (http://www.  our  hope  was  that  after  2  years  we  would  be  able   to  use  sponsors  and  vendors  to  pay  any  costs  of  the  conference.  in  order  to   get  keynote  speakers  that  would  have  a  big  draw..    I  highly  recommend  looking   locally  for  grants  (many  K12  schools  have  PTO/PTA  grants.

      57   .

 lecture.  poster  session.       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.    In  addition.com).  archived.  Michigan  teachers  will  have  the  option  of  earning  and  paying  for   State  Board-­‐Continuing  Education  Units  (SB-­‐CEUs)  for  participating  in  the  conference.  current  ELMAC   interns  will  have  the  opportunity  to  network  with  educators  from  different  regions  of  the   United  States.  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.  or  workshop.    The  conference  will  be  conducted  virtually  with  the  assistance  of  Elluminate   software  (http://elluminate.    Furthermore.  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.  Project  Design   We  are  requesting  funds  to  support  a  student-­‐led  professional  virtual  education  conference.I.”    Interns  will  choose  to  develop  a  60-­‐minute  virtual  presentation  using  one  of   four  approaches:    Panel  discussion.     For  five  consecutive  days  at  the  end  of  Spring  2011  term.  there  will  be  virtual  “breakout   rooms”  for  ELMAC  alumni  as  well  as  rooms  for  meeting  up  with  individuals  of  mutual   interest.    Interns  will  participate  in  other  presentations.    All   segments  of  the  conference  will  be  captured.  Thus.         The  conference  will  have  two  keynote  speakers  as  well  as  featured  speakers  each  day  who   are  experts  in  the  field  of  technology  education.                 58   .  and  available  on  line  after  the   conference  has  ended.  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.    Interns  can  work   individually  or  in  groups  on  an  issue  or  topic  related  to  technology  in  education.

weebly.  Impact  on  Learning   A  goal  of  this  project  is  for  interns  to  show  how  they  have  honed  their  technical  skills  with   virtual  teaching  tools.  Teresa  McMahon   the  ELMAC  program  coordinator  will  assist  in  overseeing  the  conference.  hold  live  discussions.   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.   and  Workshops   9:00pm   Virtual  “region”   rooms     Thursday  May   26th     6:00am   20  minute   Feature    starter   speaker   7:00am-­‐12:00pm   Virtual  Seminars.   Posters.    The  interns  will  be  encouraged  to  contact  experts  in  the  field  (teachers.  or  divide  participants  into  smaller  discussion   rooms.  seminar.  Panels.   Posters.  Liz  Keren-­‐Kolb  will  support  the  ELMAC  interns  with  the   technical  and  content  aspects  of  their  conference  presentations  while  Dr.    The  interns  will  have  one   month  to  develop  a  one-­‐hour  session  (poster.   Posters.    They  will  have  the  option  of   working  alone  or  in  collaborative  groups  for  their  presentations.     The  interns  will  have  an  authentic  audience  for  their  presentation  topic  and  their  techniques.    In  this  performance  assessment.     V.  Panels.  share  a  website.  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.  or  workshop)  on  their  chosen   topic.  interns  may  project  a  PowerPoint.    For  example.  panel.     Registration  will  open  in  February  for  all  interested  in  attending  the  conference.  higher-­‐education  faculty.III.    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.    In  January  2011.         VI.  students…etc)  to  participate  in  their  session  at  the   virtual  conference.  Project  Implementation   Lecturer  and  research  associate  Dr.  Panels.    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.  poll  their   participants.  have  participants  circle  items  on  pictures  (using  live  interactive  whiteboard   tools).  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.  Dr.  Teaching  Approaches   The  instructional  method  is  experiential.  Panels.  interns  will  show   that  they  have  learned  how  to  teach  virtually  using  interactive  approaches  in  the  Elluminate   rooms.    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.   Posters.com  ).   and  Workshops   12:00pm  Virtual   Keynote  Speaker   1:00pm   Virtual  live  wrap-­‐ up  discussion  and   conference   evaluation     IV.   Virtual  Seminars.   administrators.    Ultimately  the     59   .  Keren-­‐Kolb  and  Dr.  project  videos.    The  call  for   proposals  begins  in  February  and  will  run  until  the  end  of  March.

 School  of  Education   Jeffery  Stanzler.    Each  proposal  will  have  2  reviewers.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).  Scope   This  project  has  the  ability  to  reach  hundreds  of  the  MAC  alumni.       X.interns  will  leave  the  university  better  prepared  to  teach  in  virtual  and  blended  K-­‐12   schools.  Evaluation   All  sessions  will  be  evaluated  by  survey  feedback  from  participants.  Lecturer.  Director.  Timeline   September-­‐December  2010   • Conference  committee  began  planning  for  conference     January  2011   • Began  development  of  Conference  Website     • http://uofmvirtualconference.     IX.  School  of  Education   Committee  Members:   Teresa  McMahon.   In  addition  there  will  be  a  general  pre-­‐  and  post-­‐survey  on  the  conference  and  the   individuals  who  attend.  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.  School  of  Education       60   .    The  following  is  a  breakdown  of  the  number  of  people  who  are  likely   to  be  involved  in  this  conference.     VIII.     XI.     VII.       • 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.    The  ELMAC  interns  will   reflect  on  their  experiences  in  a  post-­‐conference  written  reflection.  School  of  Education   Kristin  Fontichiario.   • 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.  Clinical  Assistant  Professor.  the  hope  is  that  this  conference  will  be  annual  conference  that  the   interns  can  return  to  each  year  for  continuing  education  and  networking.  Assistant  Professor.  Lecturer.  Outreach.  current  interns  and  other   practicing  educators.  Personnel   Project  Chair:    Liz  Keren-­‐Kolb.S.  School  of  Information   Laura  Roop.    Moreover.weebly.

    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.   Keynote  Speaker  Honoraria  ($1.349.50.  Budget  Justification   Total  Budget=$5149.75)   Contribution  to  School  of  Education  Elluminate  fee  ($2.    In  addition  we  would  like  to  have  our  own  domain  and  archive  each   conference.50)   We  will  need  to  develop  a  website  that  allows  for  registration.     Website  development  and  Registration  Log  and  Login  ($2.75)   • Unique  URL  for  5yr  ($149.00)           61   .  and   tracking  of  participants.  log  ins.  databases.XII.    The  feature  speakers  will  help  to  pull  more  educators  to  our   conference  and  provide  gravitas  to  the  event.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  ($199.000.

   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.    I  was  not  very  happy  with  this  logo  but   we  did  use  it  for  the  first  few  months  on  our  website.    Next  we  went  to  our  professional  learning  networks  on   Twitter.    I  had  over  2400  followers.    Myself  and  a  few  of  the  other  committee  members   sent  out  tweets  about  the  conference  to  our  followers.       62   .    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.     Below  is  the  original  logo  for  the  conference  (with  our  original  tag  line  of   Learning…Anywhere.    Thus  we  created  a   Twitter  account  for  the  conference  (@4Tvirtualcon).  mostly  educators  and  a  few  other  committee   members  had  similar  numbers.    In  addition.    This  chapter  describes  the  marketing  methods.         The  Logo   A  large  part  of  marketing  the  conference  was  having  an  appropriate  logo  that   represented  the  goals  of  our  conference.    50  of  those  participants  would  be  from  Michigan’s   preservice  teaching  program  and  the  other  50  from  k-­‐12  schools.    The  logo  would  be  used  as  the  profile   picture  for  both  the  official  Facebook  and  Twitter  conference  pages.  a  conference  hash  tag   (#4tvirtualcon)  and  a  Facebook  Fan  Page  for  the  conference.    We  tried  to   include  some  aspects  of  the  conference  that  would  draw  in  participants  and  make  the   conference  a  unique  experience.    I  embedded  the  social   networking  feeds  on  the  conference  website  blog  and  homepage.  encouraging  them  to  register   and  propose  a  session.    First  I   knew  that  we  had  a  Facebook  alumni  group  site  with  about  250  UofM  teaching   alumnus.     Grass  Roots  Marketing  with  Social  Networks   Considering  that  it  was  the  first  year  of  the  conference.  we  realized  that  we  should  have  social   networking  feeds  devoted  strictly  to  the  conference  itself.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.  anyplace.    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.    It  did  not  look  all   that  professional  and  I  knew  that  we  needed  something  that  could  be  marketable.  any  pace).  the  committee’s  goal  was  to   have  about  100  participants.

 free.         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.     Looking  for  something  more  professional.  we  contact  the  PR  department  at  the   school  of  education  at  UofM.    The  plan  had  five   strands  of  themes  concerning  where  we  were  going  in  technology  in  education.    Next.    We  eventually   chose  the  logo  below  and  then  posted  the  logo  on  our  website.  live  and  archived.    But  our   committee  wanted  another  way  to  stand  out  with  our  content.    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   thought  that  if  presenters  would  select  a  strand  of  the  plan  to  focus  their  session  on.    They  agreed  to  help  with  all   three.  Twitter  and   Facebook  feeds.  and  we  will  talk  more   in  chapter  11  about  how  this  ended  up  not  working  very  well  for  the  conference.    One  unique  aspect  already  was   that  our  conference  was  100%  virtual.   it  would  be  a  unique  way  to  send  the  message  that  our  conference  is  about  the   future  of  teaching  with  technology.    What  we  did  not  anticipate  was  how  few  K12   educators  and  technology  specialists  were  aware  of  this  plan.  thus  we  decided  on   the  newly  developed  2010  National  Education  Technology  Plan.     Featured  Speakers  to  Draw  in  Participants       63   .  they  put  together  a  few  logo  options  for  us  to  consider.  synchronous.

   Then  I  remembered  the  speaker  I  had  seen  who  inspired  me  to  start   this  conference  in  the  first  place.    She  was  also   heavily  involved  with  gaming  online  in  teaching  and  learning.  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.    We  also  considered  other  contacts  that  might  be  willing  to  be   keynote  for  free  if  we  did  not  receive  our  grant  funding.    Dr.  Department  of  Education.  Fishman  agreed  to  be  a  keynote   speaker  for  not  cost.    Our  committee  wanted  our  closing  Keynote  to  introduce   our  educators  to  new  ideas  in  teaching  with  technology.   Barry  Fishman  is  an  excellent  speaker.    Being  that  she  does  not  have   to  travel  to  the  conference.  we  sent  personal  email  invitations  to  graduates   from  our  program  who  were  now  teaching  with  technology  in  the  K12  world  that     64   .  Fishman  is  a  member  of  the  National  Education  Technology  Committee  to  write   the  National  Education  Technology  Plan.  so  we  looked  internally  at  UofM.    Once  we  had   the  list.    We  asked  other  educators  the   following  questions  about  the  potential  speakers.    We  also   targeted  a  few  of  our  other  colleagues  at  UofM  who  had  strong  followings  in   education  technology  to  present.    Most  of  the  committee  members  including   myself.S.     Interestingly.         Once  we  received  our  grant  funding.  I  knew  we  could  afford  to  pay  a  closing  keynote   speaker  an  honorarium.    We  used  our  social   networks  to  contact  her  via  her  email  on  her  web  blog.  Jeff  Stanzler  (head  of  the  Internet  learning  simulations  at  UofM).     Dr.  has  been  on  the  national  education   technology  committee  and  is  very  well  know  in  the  field  of  learning  technologies.  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).    In  addition.    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.  Dr.    The  committee  had  brainstormed  a  long  list  of  people  including   others  who  worked  on  the  national  education  technology  plan.    We  sent  out  mass  email  and  Facebook  messages  to   our  alumni  groups.    Dawley  agreed  and  we  were  thrilled!    She  would  become  our   closing  keynote  on  the  last  day  of  the  conference  at  9:00pm  EST.  it  is  much  less  time  for  her  and  less  cost  for  our   conference.  Lisa  Dawley  from  Idaho  State.    Dr.  the  committee  members  went  to  our  professional  learning  networks  (social   networks)  to  get  “reviews”  of  these  speakers.    Originally  we  did   not  have  any  money.  people  who  worked  for  the  U.    Our  committee   decided  that  Dr.  a  bridge  to  the  future!    We   wanted  our  closing  keynote  to  engage  the  online  audience  (especially  because  it  was   synchronous).         Now  that  we  had  our  keynote  speakers  we  began  to  consider  some  featured   speakers  to  draw  in  more  participants.    Some  of  these  were   “big  names”.  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.    One  of  our  colleagues  Dr.Another  important  aspect  of  the  conference  was  to  obtain  a  few  featured  and   keynote  speakers  that  would  draw  educators  to  the  conference.  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.

 we  really  had  no  idea  how  many  would   attend  the  live  sessions.  therefore  we  originally  were  targeting  graduates  of  UofM  only.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.  reaching   beyond  our  UofM  alumni  to  all  educators  in  our  professional  networks.         Participation   While  our  target  was  100  participants.  we  knew  that  some  would  come   just  for  those  particular  sessions.    Since   we  were  offering  free  continuing  education  credits.    Thus  we  begin  to  post  about  the  free  professional   development  and  free  continuing  education  credits  to  our  social  networks.       65   .    Each  live  session  could  accommodate  up  to  100   participants.    We  were  assuming  that  possibly  5  to  50  participants  would  attend  at   each  session.  not  full  of  research  but  full  of  practice  and  practical   solutions  and  innovations.

        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.  Wufoo…etc).  where  participants  would  be  expected  to   participate  in  parts  of  the  workshop  as  they  were  learning  new  technology.    With  only  a  month  left.    Below  is  a  copy  of  our   session  evaluation  created  with  Google  forms.Chapter  8:    Presenter  Preparation   This  chapter  will  focus  on  the  conference  breakout  sessions.  there  were   four  types  of  available  sessions:  Panel.    The  Panel  was   devoted  to  discussion  around  a  topic  (often  with  multiple  panelists).    The  committee  decided  to  specifically  target   University  of  Michigan  alumni  that  we  knew  were  doing  innovative  activities  with   technology  in  their  teaching.       66   .  emails   and  Facebook  posts  to  our  learning  networks.  so  we  did  not  have  to  limit  questions  or  responses.    How  they  sessions  were   set  up.    Since  we  only  had  20  proposals  we  decide  to  accept  all  of  them.    While   most  were  excellent  and  even  the  marginal  ones  were  acceptable.    For  our  evaluation  tool  we  decided  to  use  Google   Forms.    Almost  all  of  the  alumni  responded  and   agreed  to  write  proposals.    Finally.    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.   the  Poster  was  for  presenters  who  simply  wanted  to  show  a  static  poster  (often   through  Glogster.    While  there  are  many  survey  evaluation  tools  available  online   (Surveymonkey.  Polldaddy.  Workshop  or  Poster.       Call  for  Proposal  Submissions     The  committee’s  goal  was  to  get  at  least  20  proposals.  therefore  with  only  one   month  left  before  the  call  for  proposals  closed.  we  needed  to  do  some  more   marketing  of  the  conference.  and  the  information  given  to  presenters.    In  addition  we  began  to  send  our  more  Tweets.    The  Lecture   was  a  more  traditional  format  with  one  or  two  people  presenting  information.    Eventually  by  March  30th.  we  found  the  Google  Forms  was  100%   free.com)  about  a  project.     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  had  20   proposals.    Most  of  the  committee  members  each  sent  about  4  to  6   alumni  emails  asking  them  to  participate.    The   Workshop  was  a  “how  to”  format.    Therefore.  there  were  a   couple  that  we  were  a  bit  nervous  about  but  decided  to  accept  them  anyway.  the  call  for  proposals.

    67   .

   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).  we  decided  to  “hire”  4   moderators.  but  many  of  the  20  professional  presenters  were   presenting  alone  and  had  not  used  it  before.    We  paid  the  moderators   $50.  it  gave  them   an  opportunity  to  network  with  current  K12  teacher  and  administrators  and   enhance  their  professional  credentials.    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).    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.00  per  session  from  our  grant  money.    I  held  a   couple  of  virtual  training  sessions  just  for  the  moderators  to  give  them  their  job       68   .    We  decided  to  hire  our  preservice   teachers  who  were  highly  skilled  with  Elluminate.    We  wanted  the  conference  experience  to  be  pleasant  and  as  seemless   as  possible  for  our  presenters.    Therefore.    Beyond  a  little  cash.  who  would  each  oversee  about  5  sessions.

. Introducing  the  session.  moderate  chat  room. Reminding  participants  about  their  CEU  responsibilites     Each  moderator  received  four  PowerPoint  slides  that  they  were  expected  to  use  at   each  presentation.    The  moderators  were  in   charge  of.    The  third  slide  had  a  map  of   the  world.  where  the  moderator  would  ask  participants  to  select  where  they  reside.   1.  the  presenter  and  the  basic  elements  of  Elluminate   for  the  participants  (they  were  give  a  4  slide  protocol  to  follow  for  each   session)   5.   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   .    The  moderator  was  expected  to  go  over  how  to  use   Elluminate  briefly  for  the  participants  of  each  session. 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  first  slide  had  the  4T  conference  logo  and  the  moderator   filled  in  the  Title  and  Presenter  for  the  session.     The  final  slide  was  a  simple  “thank  you”  slide  that  included  a  link  to  the  session   evaluation. Sending  out  the  evaluation  link  for  the  session  to  all  participants   7.    The  second  slide  had  a  screenshot  of   the  Elluminate  interface. Holding  practice  sessions  with  the  presenter  (at  a  mutually  decided  time)   3.     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.  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.descriptions  and  protocol  for  moderating  the  sessions. 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.

edu/?page_id=54  ).  the   presenter  and  the  conference  hashtag.   they  would  know  they  were  in  the  correct  room  because  of  this  opening  slide.     Slide  1:    This  slide  was  important  so  that  each  session  would  have  a  “consistent”   look.   Thank  presenter  and  participants   Reminder  participants  to  “close  out”  of  session     70   .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.   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.  find  the  link  for  your   session  and  paste  it  into  the  chat  room.    When  participants  would  log  in  to  the  room.soe.umich.    The  logo  displayed  clearly  on  the  slide  along  with  the  title  of  the  session.

   We  wanted  to  make  sure  the  same  information  was  given  out  for   each  session.   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).         71   .

  thus  every  session  had  a  short  2  minute  tutorial  on  “how  to”  participate  in  a  session   with  Elluminate.  such  as  the  whiteboard  tools.    The  moderator  would  go   over  various  pieces  of  the  interface  that  the  participants  may  be  using  during  the   session.             72   .   Slide  3:    This  slide  is  an  image  of  the  Elluminate  interface.  even  the  most  novice  of  technology  users.    It  was   important  that  participants  felt  welcome.  the  chat  room  and  the  polling  features.

 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.       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.    Finally.    In  addition.     73   .

      74   .   Slide  5:    This  was  our  closing  slide  (the  moderators  put  this  up  at  the  end  of  the   presentation).    Similar  to  the  first  slide.  this  slide  was  meant  to  give  a  consistent  feel   to  the  conference  as  well  as  a  reminder  to  take  the  session  evaluation.

   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.  we  had  a  page  on  our  website  with  video  tutorials  on  how   to  use  the  Elluminate  rooms.  the  committee  knew  that  more  than  half  of  the   presenters  had  never  used  Elluminate  before  (we  had  this  data  from  their  proposal   submission  form).    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.     The  live  training  sessions  were  offered  as  options  to  our  presenters  starting  about   two  weeks  prior  to  the  conference.    In  addition  the  training  sessions  were  recorded.    Wanting  our  presenters  to  feel  comfortable  in  their  virtual  rooms   we  set  up  four  live  training  sessions  with  Elluminate  before  the  conference  began.    We  emailed  the  link  to  the  practice  room  as  well   as  posted  the  link  on  the  website.    Furthermore.   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   .  thus  any   presenter  who  could  not  make  it  to  a  training  session  could  still  watch  the   recording.    In  addition  we  emailed  some  basic  tips  for  using   Elluminate.

   The  presenters  received  email  updates  about  once  a   week  starting  three  weeks  before  the  conference  reminding  them  to  register  for  the   conference.    We  also  used  MailChimp   (http://mailchimp.     Email  Updates   In  order  to  communicate  conference  happenings  with  our  presenters  we  created  an   email  list.    One  of  the  categories  on  the  submission   form  was  for  email  address.  it  will  take  them  some  time  to  answer.    The  email  list  was  easy  to  create  from  the  Google  form  that  the  presenters   used  to  submit  their  presentation  proposal.    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).  visually  appealing  newsletters.                 76   .   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.   MailChimp  would  allow  us  to  track  who  was  opening  the  newsletters  and  clicking  on   the  links  provided  in  the  newsletters.  and  included  step-­‐by-­‐ step  reminders  for  their  presentations.   Links  will  NOT  work  in  the  PowerPoint  that  is  uploaded  to  Elluminate.com)  to  create  free.  to  attend  the  Elluminate  live  training  sessions.

 we  knew  we  had  to  provide  some  tutorials   and  resources  on  Elluminate  for  our  participants.    I  created  a  webpage  on  the  conference  site  devoted  to  step-­‐by-­‐ step  instructions  on  how  to  receive  those  credits.  and  their  email  address.    Therefore  we   included  the  following  requirements  or  recommendations  to  help  make  the   conference  a  smooth  experience  for  our  participants.     Elluminate  Test  Rooms  and  Video  Tutorials   One  of  our  goals  was  to  make  the  conference  easy  to  navigate.  they  could  troubleshoot  the  problem  before  the  conference  began.    In  order  to  persuade  people  to  register.  participants  needed  to  register.         In  addition  to  preparing  our  presenters  to  present  in  a  live  synchronous  online   room.     Frequent  Email  Updates   Similar  to  the  presenters  I  sent  numerous  email  updates  to  the  participants.    I  also  sent  out  emails  before  and   after  the  conference  with  the  instructions.     Beginning  in  May  when  the  official  conference  schedule  was  posted  (around  May     77   .    We  let  people  know  that  we  were  not  phishing  and  would  not  sell  or   distribute  any  of  their  information.    Therefore.  so  that  we  could  create  a  mass  participant  email   list  to  easily  communicate  with  participants.    This  is   because  we  wanted  to  know  how  many  educators  had  signed  up  for  the  conference.  so  that  we  could  use  that  list   for  future  conferences  to  advertise  and  market  to  an  interested  audience.  where  they  were  encouraged  to  try  opening  our   Elluminate  open  “test”  room  on  their  computer  BEFORE  the  conference  began.    Yet.    Many  of  the  participants  stated   they  had  never  attended  an  online  conference.    That   way  they  could  see  if  Elluminate  would  work  on  their  chosen  computer  and  if  they   had  trouble.  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”).  we  also  needed  to  prepare  our  participants.    In  order  to   receive  the  password.    Each  participant  was  sent  a  link   to  our  Elluminate  tutorial  page.     Required  but  Easy  Registration   Despite  the  fact  that  the  conference  was  free.    In  addition.    In   addition  there  were  video  tutorial  on  how  to  use  Elluminate.   where  they  were  from.    Second.  even  for  the  most   novice  of  technology  users.         Step-­by-­Step  Continuing  Education  Credits  Information  and  Reminders   Another  draw  for  some  participants  was  the  ability  to  earn  free  continuing   education  credits.  we   password  protected  the  archive  recordings  of  sessions  and  only  emailed  out  the  live   session  links  (and  posted  them  in  a  password  protected  schedule).    It  was  vital  that  we  had  the  email   addresses  for  two  reasons.Chapter  9:    Preparing  Participants   Chapter  9  highlights  how  the  committee  prepared  the  participants  to  interact  in  the   live  virtual  sessions.  we  required  registration.  let  alone  a  live  one.    First.  therefore  we  only  asked  a  few  simple  questions  in  addition  to  the  email   addresses.  we   did  not  want  to  deter  potential  participants  by  making  it  difficult  to  sign  up  for  the   conference.

          78   .    Therefore  we  gave  some  incentives  for  participants  to   complete  the  evaluation  form.  during  the  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.  attendees  could  leave  sessions  that  were  not   meeting  their  needs  and  enter  sessions  that  were  already  “in-­‐session”.     Flexibility  in  Attendance   Similar  to  a  face-­‐to-­‐face  conference.   and  Weebly).1st).     In  addition.         Social  Network  Updates   In  addition  to  email  reminders  we  also  posted  reminders  via  the  conference  Twitter   and  Facebook  accounts.    Sessions  did   not  “lock  out”  or  “lock  in”  participants.  so  they  were  able  and  encouraged  to  find   sessions  that  fit  their  interest  and  needs.    First.     Incentives  for  attending  live  and  completing  final  conference  evaluation  form   We  wanted  to  make  sure  that  we  received  some  feedback  from  conference   participants.  they  received  one  email  a  day  with  all  the   conference  information  for  that  particular  day.  Zooburst.  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  order  to  better  select  future  sessions  and  provide  a  richer   conference  experience.  participants  received  about  one  email  update  per  week  before  the  conference.

 we  also  wanted  to  get  some  feedback  on  why  people   choose  to  attend  the  conference.  who  applied  for   continuing  education  credits.  and  any  suggestions  they   might  have  for  the  conference  committee.    Finally.  age  and  years  in  teaching.  and  which  sessions  they   enjoyed  the  most  and  least.  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.    Most  sites  said  yes  and   gave  us  anywhere  from  3  to  15  free  premium  accounts  to  give  away.    We  were   curious  about  teaching  specialty.  since  we  already  used  Google  Forms  for  the   individual  session  evaluations.    The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  Google   Forms  survey  that  we  sent  out.       79   .  Teacherweb.    Therefore.  so   knowing  which  sessions  rated  the  highest  was  also  important  for  handing  out  our   top  session  awards.  we  decide  to   create  a  final  conference  evaluation  and  encouraged  participants  to  take  the  survey.    We  originally  thought  we  would  use  some  of  our  grant   money  to  award  “best”  sessions  to  the  K12  teachers  or  preservice  teachers.  and  Prezi.   by  offering  incentives  of  free  premium  accounts  to  favorite  educator  web2.       Developing  the  Conference  Evaluation   We  decided  to  use  Google  Forms.    In  addition  it  is  easy  to  copy  and  paste  forms  so  we   could  use  the  same  one  for  future  conferences.0  sites   such  as  Zooburst.      In  addition  we   were  curious  about  which  sessions  they  choose  to  attend.  so  that  we  could  improve  for  the  following  year.  Weebly.  if  they  will  return  next  year.  we  posted  their  logos   and  links  to  their  webpages  on  our  conference  homepage  and  blog.    In  total  we   ended  up  with  33  premium  accounts  to  give  away.    In  return.  location.    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.    It  was  important  to  get  a  sense  of  the   demographic  of  educator  that  decided  to  participate  in  the  conference.

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   We  had  many  more  veteran  teachers  than  new   teachers.    One  reason  may  be  that  the  veteran  teachers  needed  the  continuing   education  credits  more  than  the  newer  teachers.    We  were  shocked  at  how   much  participants  enjoyed  the  conference  experience.         85   .     Evaluation  Feedback   The  evaluation  feedback  was  overwhelmingly  positive.    We   were  pleasantly  surprised  to  see  that  the  majority  of  participants  had  between  16   and  25  years  of  teaching  experience.    About  20%  of  the  registered   participants  gave  feedback  in  the  final  evaluation.     Participant  Demographics   We  ended  up  with  619  educators  registered  for  the  conference.  much  above  our   committee’s  original  goal  of  100  registered  participants  for  the  conference.    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  had  plenty  of  baby  boomers   attending  this  conference.     The  top  answer  was  that  participants  liked  that  they  could  participate  virtually.    There  were  some  teachers  in  their  20’s  but  far  more  teachers  in  their  40s   through  50s.   Age   Don’t  let  the  “tech  generation”  fool  anyone.           86   .    In   addition.             Why  did  you  attend  conference?   We  were  also  interested  in  learning  why  participants  chose  to  join  the  conference.  the  highest  age  range  was  between  50   and  55.    As  a  matter  of  fact.  participants  really  liked  the  fact  that  the  conference  was  free  and  were   excited  by  the  session  topics  that  were  offered.

 about  20%  applied  for  the  free  CEUs.   Applying  for  Continuing  Education  Credits   We  found  that  of  the  respondents.             Attending  future  conferences   We  were  thrilled  to  see  that  93%  of  respondents  said  they  would  definitely  or   possibly  attend  future  conferences.         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.    Only  2  respondents  said  they  absolutely  would   not.    Overall  we   had  21  participants  apply  for  the  continuing  education  credits.

    Session  Description  did  not  Match  Presentation     88   .         Qualities  of  favored  sessions   Practicality   Since  the  conference  was  geared  toward  and  attended  mostly  by  K12  preservice  and   inservice  teachers.  citing  they  were   not  “useful”  or  “practical”  for  K12  teachers.While  there  was  some  disparity  in  which  sessions  were  the  most  well  received.    In  particular  the  comments  spoke  to  really  enjoying   seeing  the  K12  students  presenting  their  work  and  giving  their  perspective  on  using   the  education  technology.    For  example  a   session  that  completely  focused  on  using  Google  Forms  or  on  using  cell  phones  with   7th  graders  were  well  received.    Sessions  that  were  titled.  the  more  practical  sessions  rated  the  highest.  useful  and  free   resources  (but  not  too  many  lists  of  resources).    Again  stating  that  while  the  sites  were   interesting.     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.     Lists  of  Resources   Sessions  that  focused  on  “lists  of  resources”  such  as  the  “top  15  web2.  “Theories  of   gaming  in  the  classroom”  would  be  an  example  of  a  research  heavy  and  unpopular   session.   sessions  that  included  “step  by  step”  or  “how  to”  type  guides.”         Simplicity   Sessions  that  had  one  theme  as  the  focus  were  also  given  high  marks.    For  example.    These  sessions  tended  to  get  lower  marks.       Least  Favored  Sessions   Research  Heavy   There  were  a  few  sessions  that  focused  more  on  “research”  in  education  technology   rather  than  “how  to”.         Including  K12  Students   We  only  had  a  few  sessions  that  included  K12  students  as  presenters.  there  was  little  presentation  about  “how  to”  use  the  sites  in  the  k12   setting  effectively.  in   general  there  were  some  themes  to  the  top-­‐rated  sessions.0  resources   for  teachers”  were  given  low  marks.    It  often  overwhelmed   the  participants  and  many  complained  of  having  trouble  “keeping  up”  with  the   presenter.  but  all  of  these   sessions  received  high  marks.  or  a  strong  K12  topical  focus  such  as   “blogging  with  2nd  graders”  or  “setting  up  Glogster  for  literacy  learning.

 Glogster”  rather  than  the  “type”  of   session  (such  as  panel.  workshop…etc).  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.A  danger  of  any  conference  session  (face-­‐to-­‐face  or  virtual)  is  the  description  of  the   session  not  matching  what  is  presented.    Below  are  summaries  of  suggestions   made  by  participants  to  improve  the  conference.  lecture.   • There  was  also  a  call  to  have  the  sessions  begin  over  the  weekend  rather   than  weekday  only  sessions.    We  had  a  few  sessions  where  the   participants  felt  “duped”  by  the  session  description.   • 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.  biology.         89   .         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.

    However.    It  did  help  that  all  the  sessions   were  archived.    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  reminded  the  presenter  that  the  sessions  would  be  downloaded  and  watched   many  times  from  the  archives.Chapter  11:    Mistakes  and  Mishaps   Chapter  11  exposes  some  of  the  mistakes.    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.  when  the  presenters  where  doing  their  official  presentation  some  found   that  when  they  were  screensharing  their  participants  were  unable  to  view  the   screenshare.  so  for  the  second   year  we  narrowed  down  to  40  sessions).  and  have  all  of  the  sessions  qualify  for     90   .  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  assumed  that  participants  would   be  able  to  see  what  they  (as  the  presenter)  were  seeing.    One  future  correction   for  this  is  to  have  fewer  sessions  (we  had  49  sessions  the  first  year.    Unfortunately  Elluminate   can  be  quirky  and  does  not  always  show  participants  what  the  presenter  is  viewing.    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.  mishaps  and  problems  that  occurred  during   the  first  year  of  the  conference.         While  the  first  year  of  the  conference  did  run  fairly  smoothly  for  the  participants   and  presenters.  so  participants  could  watch  the  recording  anytime  they  wish.  it  was  still  disheartening  to  some  presenters  that  all   their  hard  work  was  only  being  viewed  by  a  few  participants.  there  were  some  mishaps  and  problems  that  we  will  discuss  in  this   chapter.     The  Live  Sessions   Below  I  will  discuss  some  of  the  issues  that  arose  during  the  live  sessions.    Thus.     Lack  of  Participants   Another  problem  was  that  some  sessions  only  had  one  or  two  participants.         Presenters  practicing  sessions  alone   While  we  held  four  live  tutorial  sessions  on  Elluminate  and  had  numerous  open   practice  rooms.  they  had  to  attend  the  session  live  (this  is  a  state   of  Michigan  requirement  for  continuing  education  credits).  when  the  presenter  would   screenshare  or  do  a  web  tour  on  Elluminate.     Too  Many  Participants   A  few  sessions  went  over  the  maximum  of  100  participants.     Therefore.    In   some  presentations  this  occurred  fairly  smoothly.  while  in  others  it  took  valuable   time.    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).  if  the  participant  was  attending  the  session  because  they  needed  the   continuing  education  credit  from  it.

   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.    Thus.         Long  Week   We  found  that  in  the  virtual  world  as  in  the  face-­‐to-­‐face  conference  world.   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.    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.  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.  with  many  waiting  to  get  into  the  room.    Our  closing  keynote  only  had  68  participants.  while  our  opening   keynote  had  well  over  100.     First.    This  was  mostly  because  the  presenter  requested  the  particular  time  and  we   were  trying  to  accommodate.    While  there  is   no  easy  fix  for  this  problem.    Yet.continuing  education  credits  (this  was  a  big  incentive  for  many  to  attend  certain   sessions).    While   we  did  have  links  back  to  the  UofM  School  of  Education  homepage.    We  also  should  have  stoped  sessions  at  10:00pm  rather  than  11:00pm.  we  did  have  decent  participation  in   the  1:00  sessions.         Long  Days   During  some  hours  of  the  breakout  sessions  we  had  5  sessions  happening  at  one   time.    However.  some  teachers  complaining  that  they  are   teaching  and  cannot  attend  these  sessions  live  (especially  if  they  were  sessions  that   qualified  for  continuing  education  credits).    Below  are  some  of  those  concerns.  while  the  last  day  of  sessions  were  only   somewhat  full.    We  made  some  corrections  for  the  second  year  (see   chapter  X).  we  realized  that   the  second  year  we  would  need  to  move  the  website  from  weebly  to  UofM.  so  that  we  feel  they  would  be  implemented  again  during  our   second  year.           91   .     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).  the  first  two  days  of   sessions  were  packed  full  of  participants.           Pre-­Conference  Issues   Participants  and  presenters  brought  up  concerns  about  the  conference  even  before   it  began.    We  did  get   some  negative  feedback  about  this.         Session  Times   Our  sessions  ran  from  1:00pm  EST  to  11:00pm  EST.  it  does  seem  that  spreading  out  the  type  of  sessions   over  4  days  might  be  smart.

00  classroom  technology  grants.  mainly  because  the   session  description  did  not  match  the  presentation.  we  decided  not  to  award  any  sessions  because  it  was  too   complicated  to  figure  out  a  fair  and  unbiased  system.    In  addition.  I  still  had  a  handful  of  participants  contact  me  during  the  conference   stating  that  Elluminate  was  not  working  on  their  computer.  I  was  not  able  to  keep  up   with  registrations  that  occurred  during  the  conference.    While  I  did  not  want  to   deter  people  from  participanting  it  was  difficult  to  manage  individual  Elluminate   issues  in  the  middle  of  conference  sessions.    Since  I  was  sending  out  email  communication  by  hand   copying  the  email  addresses  into  the  participation  email.Late  Registration   One  problem  that  I  did  not  anticipate  was  that  some  people  would  register  after  the   conference  had  begun.    Another  problem  was  that  some  people   registered  after  the  conference  was  over.         Awarding  Sessions   Originally  the  committee  thought  we  would  use  some  of  the  grant  money  to  award   the  top  3  sessions  with  $200.  we  needed  to  find  ways  to  limit  the   possibility  in  the  future.     Elluminate  Problems   Despite  my  efforts  to  provide  Elluminate  training  prior  to  the  conference  for   participants.    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).    I   thought  it  was  unfair  to  those  who  had  actively  participated  and  it  was  a  privilege  of   participating  to  have  access  to  the  archives.  some  of  the  most   favorite  sessions  were  also  some  of  the  least  favorite  sessions.    They  registered  to  have  access  to  the   archives  (which  were  password  protected.  so  one  needed  to  register  to  get  the   password).    Thus.  which  made  it  even   more  difficult  to  determine  the  “winners.    While  this  is  a  flaw  that   happens  often  in  face-­‐to-­‐face  conferencing.     Post-­Conference  Issues     Session  Descriptions   There  were  two  sessions  that  received  horrible  evaluations.    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.     Late  CEUs     92   .    We  were  going  to  use   the  responses  from  the  final  conference  evaluation  to  determine  the  top  3  sessions.    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.”    We  did  not  tell  participants  or  presenters   that  the  award  competition  was  happening  so  no  corrective  action  was  needed.     What  we  did  not  consider  was  that  there  would  be  a  7  way  tie  for  the  top  3   positions.

   I  realized  that  I  needed  to   give  more  explicit  instructions  for  the  second  year  for  those  interested  in  receiving   CEUs.    In  addition.Some  participants  did  not  send  in  the  continuing  education  credit  form  until  after   the  deadline  (30  days).   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.     93   .

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.    

 

94  

  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  

 

 

95  

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  

 

 

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 many   participants  let  us  know  that  they  would  like  have  more  sessions  qualify  for  CEUs.  which  was   difficult  to  manage  and  also  spread  participants  very  thin.    The  lightening  format  seemed  to  work  very  well  in  the  fast-­‐paced  virtual   world.  we  made  sure  to  stress  the   importance  of  the  presenter  practicing  with  someone  else  in  the  room.  some  presenters  did   not  submit  resumes  (a  requirement  to  qualify  for  CEUs)  for  the  second  year.  and  open  room).    At  times  we  had  5  consecutive  sessions  at  one  time.     FAQs   The  committee  decided  to  add  a  frequently  asked  questions  page.     Therefore  we  had  many  more  sessions  qualify  for  CEUs  but  not  all  of  them  (about  33   of  the  40  sessions  qualified).session.     97   .       Additions  to  Conference   Beyond  some  of  the  changes  to  our  original  format.    Despite  asking  in  the  call  for  proposals.  recordings.  we  also  added  a  few  items  in  the   conference.     We  noticed  that  the  sessions  that  qualified  for  CEUs  routinely  had  more  participants   then  the  sessions  that  did  not.    Each   moderator  explicitly  offered  a  private  practice  session  with  their  presenters.    Therefore  our  second  year  our  goal  was  to  have   every  session  qualify.  where   most  of  the  presenters  took  advantage  of  this  opportunity  and  stated  that  the   private  sessions  were  extremely  helpful.    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.    As  new  questions  came  in.     Continuing  Education  Credits   While  19  of  the  54  sessions  offered  continuing  education  credits  (CEU).         Number  of  Sessions     Our  pilot  had  a  total  of  54  sessions.    Therefore.  I  quickly  added  them  to  the  FAQ   page.    Presenters  who  had  few   participants  also  complained  that  there  were  too  many  sessions  happening  at  one   time.    In  the  end  we  realized  that  54  was  too  many  for   a  virtual  conference.  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.     Presenter  Training   While  we  kept  the  basic  protocol  of  our  presenter  training  for  the  second  year  (4   live  training  sessions.

   Since  the  4T  Conference  is  targeted  at  practitioners  as  well  as   teachers  in  training.    We  contacted  six  different  schools.  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.    Five  of  them  wanted  to  participate  in  our  pilot  virtual  job  fair.     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  wanted  to  give  both  an  opportunity  for  career  networking.S.    In  addition  to   the  K12  schools  outside  of  the  state.     In  our  second  year  of  the  conference  we  decided  to  add  a  virtual  job  fair.  4  virtual  schools  and  2   face-­‐to-­‐face  schools.    Each  school  submitted  a  short  description       98   .    While  the   University  of  Michigan  has  a  face-­‐to-­‐face  education  job  fair  every  Spring.  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.     We  did  not  charge  any  fees  for  the  schools  to  participate.  nor  did  we  charge  fees  for   the  students  to  participate  in  the  job  fair.

 as  well  as   links  and  photos.    We  asked  each  school  to  present  a  30-­‐minute  webinar   about  their  school.  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.         The  virtual  job  fair  was  a  bit  rough.  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.  highlighting  the  benefits  to  both  students  and  teachers.    All  of  this  information  was  compiled  on  a  virtual  job  fair  page  in   the  4T  conference  website.    In  addition.    The  perspective  employees  were  asked  to  submit  their   resume  and  ePortfolios  about  a  week  before  the  conference.    At  the   end  of  their  webinar.  the  certification  areas  that  they  were  interested  in  hiring.    Each  school  will   present  a  30  minute  webinar  and  at  the  end  take  applications  for  interviews  (which   they  can  conduct  on  their  own).    We  are  going  to  keep  the  job   fair  our  third  year.    It  was  very  difficult  to  mediate  between  the  schools   and  the  applicants  (and  a  lot  of  unnecessary  work!).of  their  school.  but  we  are  going  to  change  the  format  a  bit.         99   .  the  participants  (perspective  employees)  could  ask  questions   and  get  further  information.  the  schools  had  never  participated  in  a  virtual   job  fair  and  were  pretty  green  about  their  approach  to  the  webinars.

will take place May 19-22. features more than 40 sessions.    We  had  two  options. and includes access to archives of all live sessions. social media.   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.0 for all grades. I am delighted to offer SchoolDude a sponsorship opportunity at our upcoming virtual conference focused on technology-enhanced teaching.    Therefore  we  decided  to  offer  the  following…     Dear SchoolDude On behalf of the University of Michigan School of Education. online learning. The conference. literacy.  one  was  to  ask  many   sponsors  to  donate  a  small  amount  or  find  one  or  two  sponsors  to  donate  a  large   lump  sum. We will cover topics such as Web2.    Our  conference   sponsor  goal  is  $2000.     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. 4TVirtualCon: Teachers Teaching Teachers about Technology. and technology integration in mathematics. using iPads and iPods.00  per  year. and preschool     100   . flip classrooms. 4TVirtualCon is offered free of charge to all educators.

soe. school administrators. If you have any questions or require additional information. Sponsorship of this conference offers visibility with over 600 K-12 teachers. This year we are offering three levels of sponsorship: Platinum Sponsorship $1.edu School of Education University of Michigan     Unfortunately  no  businesses  decided  to  sponsor  us. I welcome you to contact me. Ph. and educational technology specialists. I think you will be very pleased with the audience you are able to reach through this conference.  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 have designed sponsorship packages that we believe maximize exposure and effectively educate participants about our sponsors? products.umich. Sincerely. I hope to have your response by May 3.000 (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.instruction. if possible. Thank you for considering this proposal.  we  really  wanted  the   sponsorship  to  reflect  the  mission  of  the  conference  (see  the  next  chapter  for  details   on  future  sponsorship  plans).    While  we  realized  that   we  could  go  to  larger  companies  and  even  local  companies. Elizabeth Keren-Kolb.    A  few  mentioned  that  they  would  be  interested  in  sponsoring  the   following  year  if  their  business’s  budget  would  allow  for  it.     Note  for  the  local  K12  schools  considering  a  virtual  conference:    In  reality.  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.D.    We  received  very  positive   feedback.         101   . Our conference participants are eager to hear about new resources and include hundreds of decision-makers for schools and districts. Coordinator of 4TVirtualCon http://4tvirtualcon.

   We  still  would  like   to  have  a  virtual  “meet  up”  for  alumni.  and  the  2nd  year  was   even  stronger.    One  of  the  problems  of  integrating  K12   students  into  the  sessions  was  that  our  session  times  were  mostly  focused  after   school  hours.       K12  Student  Presentations   In  our  pilot  year  of  the  conference  we  only  had  one  presentation  that  included  K12   students.  in  addition  to  the  four  live  synchronous  training  sessions  (these  are   optional  and  not  required).    In  addition  some  “UofM”  goodies  will  be  given  out  as  door  prizes  to  anyone   who  was  willing  to  present.    The  second  year  of  the  conference  we  had  two  sessions  with  K12   students.    We  originally   thought  that  by  having  a  moderator  in  each  session  to  assist  would  solve  any  lack-­‐of   skills  the  presenter  may  have.         Improvements:   The  alumni  rooms   These  were  incredibly  unsuccessful.         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.     Therefore.    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.  but  realized  that  having  a  random  room   opened  for  one  hour  at  night  is  not  the  best  way  to  attract  alumni  to  reconnect.    While   the  criticisms  were  not  concerning  any  of  the  preservice  teachers’  sessions  (they   had  extensive  training  as  part  of  their  UofM  teacher  education  program).     Therefore.    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.    All  of  these  were  incredibly  successful  and  well-­‐received  presentations.  for  our  second  year  of  the  conference.  we  knew  that  we  had  many  areas  to  improve  upon  and  many  new   ideas  to  enact.    This  is  a  way  to  network.  reconnect  with  alumni  from  different   years.  we  realized  that  a  moderator  was  not  enough.  we  wanted  to  integrate  more   sessions  that  included  K12  students.Chapter  12:    The  Future     While  our  pilot  of  the  4T  conference  went  better  than  expected.  we  are  going  to  ask  each  moderator  to  have  a  “training”   session  with  their  presenter.     Some  of  the  feedback  from  the  conference  evaluations  asked  for  more  sessions  that   included  the  K12  students  showcasing  their  technology  projects  and  ideas.    Despite  having  over  100  alumni  attending  the   conference.    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   .  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.

   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.  participate  in  readings  and  reflections  based  on  the  ideas  from  the   workshops.    We  are  hoping  to  offer  1  course  credit  in  education  technology   for  inservice  teachers.   but  we  hope  to  develop  this  idea  for  the  third  year  of  the  conference.    We  hope  to  have  short  15-­‐minute  student  showcase  presentations   between  sessions  (since  there  is  a  30  minute  break  between  sessions).    In  addition.  School  of   Education.         Unfortunately  the  webpage  devoted  to  K12  student  submissions  did  not  bring  about   many  submissions.  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.  the  ISDs  would  be  able  to  share  those  with  their   district  teachers  to  further  support  their  goal  of  professional  development.    This  sponsorship  would  benefit  the   local  ISDs  in  various  ways.00  per  person-­‐-­‐-­‐this  could  get  expensive  if  100s  of   educators  applied  for  the  CEUs).  we  only  had  3  sessions   that  included  K12  students.  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.    This   would  allow  the  ISDs  to  pay  less  for  individual  professional  development  sessions  at   their  ISD  (which  can  cost  well  over  $1.  which  in  turn   would  bring  in  more  participants.  by  allowing  access  to  all  of  the  archived   recordings  of  the  conference.    One  of  our   committee  members  Laura  Roop  had  an  idea.    For  our  second  year  of  the  conference.  where  they  would  attend  specific  workshops  and  then   develop  a  project.    First.    Second.  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.       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.00  a  session).  and  that  we  encouraged  these  types  of   collaborative  presentations.  the  ISDs  would  help  advertise  the  conference.  it  gave  the  ISD  a   chance  to  partner  and  networking  with  the  University  of  Michigan.    Our  course   credit  idea:     103   .    We  may   record  the  student  presentations.K12  students  participate  in  the  presentation.    Finally.    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.  we  have  decided  to  take  another  approach.    Therefore.    We  did  not  implement  this  idea  for  the  second  year  of  the  conference.000.

   We  hope  to  have  preservice  teachers  apply  for  the   grants  in  the  Fall.The  course  will  be  conducted  through  the  University  of  Michigan.  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.00  or  1  grant  of  $1.  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.       • 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.    Depending  on  sponsorship.    One  of  the  larger  complaints  we  hear  from  student   teachers  is  the  lack  of  technology  resources  and  PD  at  their  student  teaching   placements.    As  part  of  the  grant.  it  is  harder  for  preservice  teachers  to  find  education  technology  grants  for   their  preservice  teaching. Participants will have an interactive experience where they will evaluate online courses and create online courses.    While  there  are  numerous  small  grant  options  for  inservice   teachers. The course allows educators to practice skills to support student achievement in the online synchronous environment. The course culminates in the 4T Virtual Conference where participants will moderate and evaluate the online synchronous sessions.  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.     Student  Teaching  Grants   In  addition  to  the  sponsor  money  going  toward  basic  conference  fees.  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).  and  the  receive  and  use  the  grant  during  their  Winter  student   teaching  term.  we  hope  to  begin  by  offering  2  grants  of   $500.   • 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).000.  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   .

   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.

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