Censemaking

Conferencing Remotely

As workshops and conferences go online it’s time to look at what does it mean for us as teachers, learners and professionals

Just as many workplaces have gone online so has professional learning. Where we once looked forward to traveling to new cities, connecting with colleagues, and engaging in workshops and social events that is now almost exclusively online.

What does that look like in practice? How have conference organizations designed events to support the various features that are what make conferences worth attending like socializing, learning, professional development, and gaining new perspectives?

In October, 2020 I ‘attended’ four different professional conferences and each of them offered a different model of delivery and execution. The topic areas ranged from the more technical (remote work and software) to professional development (evaluation) and from the more regional (North America) to global in their coverage. One was ‘hosted’ in India, another in Germany, and two in the United States. With four events in close proximity to each other it provided a relatively unique opportunity to compare the format, delivery, and design features to help inform those looking to either develop a conference or attend one in choosing what to look for, create, and aspire toward.

Each event will be reviewed from a design perspective with an eye toward ways in which it worked in providing a valuable experience and with commentary on what could be different. I’m not going to critique the content itself, however, I will remark on ways in which the type and format of that content was relayed and presented to the audience.

Stay tuned as we tour the world — and I mean the world — of online conferencing, learning, and networking in the week ahead.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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