#ET4online Recap, Reflections, and Review

As I regroup from last week’s Emerging Technologies for Online Learning (#et4online) conference, I am filled with ideas and inspiration. Inviting a group of teaching, learning, and researching friends invested in supporting online pedagogy is a fantastic way to wrap up April.With the help of a fab #et4online steering committee (especially that co-chair Michelle), we were pleased to bring OLC to my current hometown, Dallas, TX.

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Thanks to ALL who contributed to the #et4online program. I was genuinely impressed by the quality of content, interactions, and engagement in the conference workshops, sessions, #et4women dinner, panels, and more! I was told time and time again, how much participants enjoyed the program and felt motivated to bring these ideas back to campus. Way to bring your A-game to Dallas, #et4online! BIG THANKS and shout out to the #et4online Program Track Chairs (@adesinamedia@amichaelberman, @ajsalts@JLeafstedt, @Profpatrice,  & @unatdaly) and our proposal readers for putting this together!

ET4MontageThe conversations and interactions at #et4online really provided momentum for supporting my online learners. I am already thinking about ways to improve my own online teaching and learning, to include action-based pedagogy, #et4messy learning, and reconsider assessment in my curriculum.  It was also a  treat to listen to our #et4online keynote & plenary speakers reflect and share research, projects, and developments in the follow areas of technology emergence – thank you so much:

I am grateful for the collaborative and sharing spirit of the #et4online participants. I was so pleased by a number of new initiatives and happenings at the conference – which also left me contemplating and considering a few things ahead, including:

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Messy Learning sketch by Giulia Forsythe

  • The value of wrapping up a conference with #unet4online the ET4Online Unconference hosted in Canvas facilitated by @Jessifer & @slamteacher (About & remote support @Bali_Maha) + Tweets. Although I was exhausted at the end of the conference, this was  – BY FAR – one of my ET4 conference highlights. The discussions were very fruitful and active in the #unet4online room. It was nice to connect with a few new folks, and walk away with a few new ideas after this thoughtful debriefing session.
  • Hybrid participation in a conference with the #et4buddy pilot project with @Bali_Maha & @rjhogue – Submit feedback for the #et4buddy and #et4buddy video playlist. I am still thinking about this hybrid engagement for a few and its impact for others at the conference. What does it mean to be present at a conference? How does this type of digital involvement make meaning for in-person interactions? How does this interaction help or hinder everyone’s conference experience? Can this meta conference be the “same” or does it have to be?
  • The purpose of the Teacher Tank (Launch Pad) to #et4online, and beyond an entertainment value – how does this really serve #et4online participants? The ideas for this new program feature was to have  ed tech startup’s provide a solution for teaching and learning by sharing their results & preliminary feedback. After processing with the startups, judges, and reviewing the #et4snark meta backchannel, many agreed the format/concept has little value-added to the program.  During the #unet4online conference, we had a great talk about a hackspace and/or collaboration to provide a more meaningful concept — so I look forward to our next meeting about this in May to re-purpose the “shark tank.”
  • The after conference social times that included #et4Bonfire Sing-Songs, dinners, karaoke, 1st Ukulele Lessons #moocalele & harmonizing with peers. These impromptu lessons & creative spaces should have a bigger place for professional development and learning at our conferences. I want to think more about this for next year. How can the non-sessions provide a great space to dialog, learning & engage? Where could and should this fit into a future conference?

A HUGE thanks goes out to the on-going efforts and developments of the OLC Technology Test Kitchen. The addition of the hands-on demonstrations by the Technology Test Kitchen Chefs #et4TTK  was brilliant. I would like to give a shout out to @jlknott & @scragg_OSU for their efforts on organizing this play/maker space! Thank you.

I am continuing to absorb and read others reflections about #ET4Online from tweets and in the blogosphere – thanks for sharing Adam, Patrice, Maha, Jeff, Rebecca, and others to come. Please continue to post your blog reflections, write comments, and share your general thoughts. Also remember to complete the post-conference evaluation so we can better understand your impression of #et4online and improve future events. This survey will take less than 5 minutes, and the #et4online steering committee will use this information to learn about your experiences and utilize this for planning ahead:

Onsite Survey

Virtual Attendee Survey

This was my 3rd and last #et4online conference. Like the ones before it, ET4 did not fail to deliver quality memories and interactions. Next year #et4online will be replaced by the NEW OLC Innovate Conference 2016 in New Orleans, LA from April 20-22, 2016.

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We will be taking ideas from both #et4online and #blend15 for the OLC Innovate 2016 event. Are you interested in getting involved in planning this new event? Want to contribute to planning the program or being a member of the steering committee? Interested in being a program proposal reader? Do you have an idea or suggestions for Innovate 2016? Let me know – complete this Google Form:

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8 thoughts on “#ET4online Recap, Reflections, and Review

  1. amichaelberman April 28, 2015 / 9:29 am

    A thought on after-conference #et4bonfire events – one challenge is to make sure that everyone feels they have an opportunity to participate. I can imagine that if this was my first time with this group of people and I didn’t have any strong personal connections, it would be hard for me to walk into a karaoke group or ukulele singalong without an invitation – so we need to figure out how to invite people as openly as possible.

    • Laura Pasquini April 28, 2015 / 2:21 pm

      Absolutely, Michael. I was thinking more about creative spaces (not just the sing-song or karaoke) to allow participants to play, design, and interact. This could be during the conference program as well. The social aspects in the evenings are great – but often it is a challenge to connect when the crowd gets to be large and unknown for new folks. Point well taken-thanks!

  2. Matt Crosslin April 29, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    I would completely disagree about the Teacher Tank. That was one of the most valuable parts of the conference for me. But I can see why the judges and vendors might have hated it – but then again, they weren’t the audience. It might be interesting to see what people in the audience thought. For me, it was incredible chance to view some real-time sociocultural commentary on the Ed Tech world. So often conferences are so full of “Education Urban Legends” – but there is never a chance for the academics to push back. The Teacher Tank was a great forum for push back against the huge disconnect caused by those legends. You could actually see people in the room shaking their heads to some of the wilder claims that the vendors made, and then looking shocked when one of the judges disagreed, and then shaking their heads again when the judge explained why. I think more misconceptions were corrected in that session than any conference session I have ever been to. Maybe there is a better format to offer it as. But then again, would people come to a different format? Hard to say. But I think it had incredible value.

    • Laura Pasquini April 29, 2015 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts on this, Matt. Beyond commentary or entertainment – I am curious to learn what participants got out of this session, so I appreciate your candid feedback on this. What value did you or others get? How could this be more impactful in the future? Would it take the same format or something else? Let me know – yourself or others.

    • Laura Pasquini April 30, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      Thank you for this! I will read through your #et4online Teacher Tank comments & share with our steering committee, Matt. Cheers!

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