Patron Training, Staff Training, WJ Online Conference

Online Conference: greater than the sum of its parts

By Jennifer | August 1st, 2011 | Comment?

We’re moving into a new month with great anticipation for the upcoming August 10-11 online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. In my communications with co-planners (thank you LearningRT!), presenters, members of the production team, and libraries arranging for viewing parties, I’ve come to realize that this online conference most certainly will be greater than the sum of its parts. This is WebJunction’s third online conference and building on experience, your and ours, and the ever-expanding modes of online and blended learning, here are some ways for all to benefit:

  • Host a Viewing Party: Whether pulling up a few chairs to view together on one computer or projecting the session in your meeting room for gathered staff, board members, and volunteers, your local conversations can make the sessions both relevant and actionable for all in attendance. And be sure to chime in during the conference when we ask who’s joining as a part of a cohort viewing the session!
  • Use the Discussion Question Guide: This year’s presenters have provided targeted questions related to each of their presentations for both individuals and groups to use to enhance their learning. Download the guide, add your own local questions, and join the ongoing conversations both during and after the conference, using WebJunction’s discussion forums.
  • Join Open Chat: WebJunction believes in the power of collaboration. The chat window is visible in our online events and it serves as one of the most efficient and powerful tools for real-time collaboration. While we ask that chat conversation remains relevant to the session topics, we encourage all to share their own expertise, questions, and brainstorming. We also know the power of Twitter and will keep an eye there too. If you’re tweeting, here’s a hashtag: #learntrends.
  • Use the Archives: All of the conference sessions will be archived and made available on WebJunction (as are all of our past conferences and webinars). We know many of you will be busy with summer reading or perhaps on vacation. If you and your colleagues can’t make certain sessions or attend some you’d like to review or share with others at a later date, they will be here! The viewing party and discussion question guides are excellent tools to use when viewing archives, whether you do so on your own, or with a group. In addition to the WebEx recording, each of the session archives will include slides, chat, session discussion questions, related resources and links, and all the other gems provide by attendees via chat.

As presenters, emcees, producers, viewing party cohorts and all other participants, active or passive, gather around the online conference using these modes and means of engagement, you will see, we certainly do equal more than the sum of our parts. I look forward to learning with all of you!

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