Tuesday, 22 January 2013

EduCon 2.5 Prep

     At the start of January I posted about this years upcoming EduCon professional development conference, held in Philadelphia. Well now the countdown is on and with only a few days until it begins, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for attending EduCon virtually!

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First off, if you want to learn more about EduCon you can:
- Visit their website
- Follow them on Twitter
- Read some of my previous posts!
     - EduCon 2.5
     - EduCon 2.4
     - My Thoughts on EduCon 2.4

     Now I have only participated in EduCon once, so I am by no means an expert, but here are some tips and tricks I learned after going through the process last year.

1 ) Clear Your Schedule!
- Let people know you are at a conference (it doesn't matter that you are in
  your PJs while doing it). Twitter conversations and live streams go so quickly
  and it can be easy to miss something if you are chatting on the phone, having
  people drop it, etc.
- Devote the same attention to it as you would an in-person conference, this will
  ensure you get the most out of the sessions you are participating in

2 ) Get Organized!
- I'm the kind of person that needs to take notes as I go in order to retain
  information so get you device/paper and pens/word document ready!
* If you are taking notes on your computer, save as you go! If your computer is
  anything like mine, once you have live stream, twitter and a word document open
  it may freeze.

3 ) Get Familiar With VOKLE Beforehand!
- Last year EduCon used VOKLE to stream their sessions and even though I
  set up an hour before my first session started, I still ran into technical issues and
  was scrambling up until the last minute.
- Get yourself set up with an account
- View some other events to ensure everything works correctly
- Links to the live sessions will be available on the specific session pages once
  they've started

4 ) Get on Twitter/Get Your Tweets Organized
- If you are not on Twitter, make yourself an account and get familiar with hashtags!
   Here is a prep guide if you are a beginner
- Figure out the hashtags for your specific sessions (if they have one). The EduCon
   hashtag is #EduCon but I've also seen people using #EduCon2.5 and #EduCon2013
- Determine if you will be using tools like TweetDeck or not, which is an organizational
   tool (personal preference).
* Twitter is not mandatory to participate in EduCon but it definitely opens up more
   learning experiences for you :)

5 ) Give Yourself Time! Have Fun
- There is so much information available during this time and it can get chaotic if you
  are trying to participate in Twitter conversations while taking notes, while eating an
  sandwich, etc. Give yourself a break in between sessions (if you can) so you can
  take time to reflect, take in the information, and prep for the next session.
- You know yourself best so only participate in as many sessions as you can handle.
  Give yourself enough time to participate in meaningful Twitter conversations so you
  can really get the most out of the experience.

Let me know if you will be participating in EduCon, I'm trying to set up conversations with those in my current PLN!

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