We are Virtually Connecting at #dLRN15

pGX0zcuxCan’t make it to the #dlrn15 conference? Wish you could get a glimpse of what it is like to participate in the conference? That’s what Virtually Connecting is all about, and we are doing this at #dlrn15 October 16-17, 2015 to widen access to the conference.

What is Virtually Connecting?

As we write on our website (http://www.virtuallyconnecting.org):

The purpose of Virtually Connecting is to enliven virtual participation in academic conferences, widening access to a fuller conference experience for those who cannot be physically present at conferences.

Using emerging technologies, we connect onsite conference presenters with virtual participants in small groups. This allows virtual conference attendees to meet and talk with conference presenters, something not usually possible. Each session is recorded and, whenever possible, live streamed, to allow additional virtual attendees to participate in the discussion by listening and asking questions via Twitter.

Co-founded by Rebecca J. Hogue and Maha Bali, Virtually Connecting has expanded to multiple ed tech conferences (and even one ePatient conference!) and our two-person team has grown to encompass a team of over 20 “buddies” who handle the onsite and virtual hangout, as well as tweeting and blogging about the experience and events we participate in. We encourage participation from new people who are not necessarily connected to us. Our current team of buddies includes people whom we have virtually met only because of Virtually Connecting.

It is our hope that through this experiment, people will not only make new connections, but they will also make weak connections stronger. You can read more about us in our Prof Hacker article and check out post-hangout blogposts on our website: http://virtuallyconnecting.org/category/guest-post/

We are considering #drln a “partner event”. For #dlrn15, we have the following team of onsite buddies, working with Rebecca:

  • Autumm Caines (@autumm)
  • Whitney Kilgore (@whitneykilgore)
  • Andrea Rehn (@profrehn)
  • Patrice Torcivia Prusko (@profpatrice)
  • Ashley G Shaw (ashleygshaw)
  • Mandy Honeyman (@mkh_at_work)

We also have the following team of virtual buddies, working with Maha:

  • Apostolos Koutropoulos (“AK”) (@koutropoulos)
  • Helen DeWaard  (@hj_dewaard)
  • Dina Moati (@dinamoati)
  • Jennifer Englund (@jmenglund03)
  • Greg McVerry (@jgmac1106)
  • Yin Wah Kreher (@yinbk)

On on our website, we have posted a preliminary schedule of whom we plan to connect virtually with during these sessions. With an awesome list of speakers/organizers, including people like Adeline Koh, Kate Bowles, Bonnie Stewart, Dave Cormier, George Siemens, George Station, Mike Caulfield, Kristen Eshelman, Alyson Indrunas, Jonathan Rees, Laura Gogia and many many more (see list) we can almost guarantee a full and exciting schedule.

Aside from hangouts during down-times of the conference, there will also be a lunch-time workshop about virtually connecting that will involve multiple hangouts with multiple onsite buddies – whether you are onsite or virtual and would like a “sneak peak” into what a virtually connecting hangout can be like, join us on Friday October 16 at 12:30pm for one of these. Full schedule of virtually connecting hangouts, topics and onsite guests will be announced soon, and you will be able to sign up for particular hangouts. Meanwhile, to express interest in virtual or onsite participation, please fill in this form.

For updates, follow @vconnecting on Twitter, and watch our website for the schedule. For questions you can tweet us or email us at info@virtuallyconnecting.org. To join us long-term as a buddy for other events, click here.


Youtube page:

Google+ page: