#ET4Online This Week in Dallas – what’s on tap?

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying to Dallas to attend #ET4Online, the OLC/MERLOT 8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium 2015. I have attended every one of the previous seven ET4Online events, but this year is special for me as I have the honor of being the Conference Chair.

The past year of planning has brought me closer to many amazing leaders in the online learning space, including Jason Rhode, Assistant Conference Chair; Laura Pasquini, OLC Program Chair; and Jane Moore, MERLOT Program Chair. This dynamic group brought endless energy, ideas, and creative problem solving skills to our planning. The conference steering committee was also incredible to work with. Far too many rock stars there to list!

While there is no way for me to capture all the great things happening at ET4Onine in Dallas this Wednesday through Friday, here some of the sessions I’m especially looking forward to. If you attend any of these sessions, look for me and say hello! 🙂

Wed, 4/22
*Sessions noted with an asterisk will be streamed live for our virtual attendees.

  1. 8:30am-10:00am: How and Why to Humanize Your Online Class.*  #ET4Humanize. I will be co-facilitating this workshop with my great colleagues, Jill Leafstedt and Kristi O’Neil-Gonzalez. In-person attendees (up to 50) will receive a copy of our infographic (shared in this blog post) and I’ll be raffling off two copies of my book for those who are there in person (sorry, virtual attendees).  
  2. 10:30am-12:00pm: VoiceThread 101*.  If you are reading this blog, you know I’m a fan of VoiceThread. This workshop by Jaimie Hoffman (a colleague of mine) and Patrick Krispen will be a must-attend for anyone interested in becoming a VoiceThreader! Oh! And they’ll be giving away a PRO account or two. VoiceThread is also a National Sponsor of the conference this year and will be on site in the exhibition room! Stop by and say hello!
  3. 1:00pm: Leading from Where You Are: How to Develop Great Ideas and Get Senior Administration to Support Them*.  Michael Berman (who I work with), Crista Copp, Kyle Johnson, and Jennifer Sparrow will lead this session. What can I say? They’re all incredible, so how could I miss it?
  4. 2:00pm: EdTech as a Practioner/Leader – Career Forum Roundtable.  I’ll be one of the featured panelists and will be joined by Michael Berman and Sorel Reisman.  Catherine Honig and Barbra Sperling will be facilitating this event. I look forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned in my career as I shifted from an art history professor to a consultant and then into my recent role at CSU Channel Islands as a Teaching & Learning Innovation Specialist. 
  5. 4:00pm: Connected Learning, keynote by Mimi Ito.* To me, there is nothing more important than examining how social technologies are changing the way people learn. We are so very fortunate to have Dr. Ito present this year’s keynote. I’ve been excited about this since last summer!
Thurs, 4/23
  • 8:15am: Beyond Alt-Metrics: Identities and Influence Online.* Plenary session by Bonnie Stewart. Issues of identity are always of interest to me. It will be especially intriguing to hear findings from Bonnie’s research on this topic, as they relate to online experiences.  
  • 9:40am – Teacher Tank.* #ET4TTank. NEW this year! Join five of the startups in this year’s Launch Pad as they each share 5-minute presentations designed to dazzle our superstar edtech sharks: Tanya Joosten, Bonnie Stewart, and George Siemens. Thanks to Donna Murdoch for coordinating this session! Also, the winner of the Teacher Tank will lead a hands-on session in the Technology Test Kitchen at 4:30pm on Thursday!
  • 3:30 – EdTech Women: A Conversation.* Inspired by a blog post by Rebecca Hogue after last year’s conference, I coordinated this panel comprised of Amy Collier (moderator), Tracy Clark, Keesa Muhammad, Patrice Torcivia Prusko, and Maha Bali.  Can’t wait to hear the reflections and stories shared by this diverse group of women in edtech. 
  • 6:00pm – Women in EdTech Dinner. This new, special event is sold out! But you can follow our reflections via Twitter using this hashtag:  #ET4Women.  A generous sponsorship by LoudCloud allowed the $20 donations contributed by each attendee to go towards funding an EdTech Women scholarship for the 2016 OLC conference.  Many thanks to Whitney Kilgore, Christine Hinkley, Katie Fife Schuster, the OLC leadership team, and LoudCloud for supporting this extra endeavor this year!
Fri, 4/24
  • 8:00am: Thought Vectors in Concept Space*.  Plenary Session by Gardner Campbell.  I’ve heard so many great things about Gardner Campbell and this will be the first time I will have the pleasure to hear him. Looking forward to this one!
  • 1:15pm – The ET4Online Unconference — follow along at #unET4Online.  This year’s unconference is going to be dynamic and inclusive, as it will be fueled by the energy of Jesse Stommel (on-site facilitator) and Maha Bali (virtual facilitator). I arrange my flight home around this event! See you there!
Other things not to miss:
  • The Technology Test Kitchen — a hands-on lab for emerging technologies led by Master Chefs. You’ll find the TTK in the exhibition hall. Many thanks to Laura Pasquini, Jessica Knott, and Ben Scragg for their great work on this event!
  • Discovery Sessions — This year, for the firsWht time, the Discovery Sessions will be shared on-site and online!  Virtual attendees may view the presentations through this ThreadBox (a curated collection of VoiceThreads) and ask questions in the form of voice or video comments. ThreadBox is a VoiceThread feature that has not yet been released to the public. This exciting sneak peek was made possible through the generous sponsorship of VoiceThread. VoiceThread also provided all participating Discovery Session presenters with a free 1-year Individual Higher Ed License ($99 value). 
  • Launch Pad — Visit the seven edtech startups that were selected to participate in the Launch Pad this year! Interact with these entrepreneurs and provide honest feedback about their emerging products. There are some great tools to check out here!
  • Virtual Buddies — #ET4Buddy. If you are attending virtually, Maha Bali and Rebecca Hogue are pairing up this year to pilot a new idea. Maha will be attending virtually from Cairo, Egypt and Rebecca will be on-site. Rebecca will be using synchronous video tools to pull Maha into the live action. These video feedback will be pushed out to Twitter so all virtual attendees (or anyone else) can share in the experiences. To engage, check out #ET4Buddy.
I know I missed a lot of great happenings in this list — but I hope it’s helpful to you, especially if you are a first-time attendee at ET4Online. See you in Dallas!

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