The best thing about using social media at a conference is that you have the potential of sharing what you have discovered and learned with thousands of people.
They could be at the conference, but unable to be in two places at one time – like the cool session you are in. They could be back at their district, but can’t attend, and would love to learn about the resources and thinking that happened in Grand Rapids. The possibilities are endless.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – ― Siddhārtha Gautama
So please help share the learning with the education community and add descriptive tags to your posts on your blog, your Flickr pictures and your tweets. Here are our suggestions for the conference:
We are thrilled to announce there will be no more dues for the same great MACUL membership over 4,000 of you have enjoyed this year. This historic move begins immediately. Like, right now. Invite your colleagues and friends around the world to enjoy the benefit of your favorite professional learning network for no cost.
MACUL’s mission is to ignite learning through meaningful collaboration and innovation. In order to increase the opportunities for collaboration, the MACUL board chose to remove the barrier of fees for membership. Several ISTE affiliate organizations (groups like MACUL in other states) have gone to a no dues membership and experienced tremendous growth. More MACUL members mean greater opportunities for collaboration and innovation. As a result, our organization will have bigger reach and impact throughout the state and even the nation.
Nothing changes for current members. Your membership is still active and you won’t have to pay to renew. Additionally by attending 2012 MACUL Conference or any other MACUL sponsored event you will be automatically registered for a MACUL membership.
For the past several years, the backchannel at the MACUL Conference has become an integral part of the Conference experience. It’s the backchannel, not the background…it’s important! If you aren’t a part of the conversation, you’re missing more than you realize. (Wasn’t it just last year that audience tweets during one of Leslie Fisher’s sessions brought aid to an ill attendee?) Coming to the Conference is no longer a passive activity…it takes work!
This year, the Conference Planners have made an extra effort to encourage presenters to take advantage of MACUL Space as an extension of their “live event.” (MACUL Space is kickin’ it with just under 3400 members.) For everyone who requested it, there’s a Forum waiting to be put to use. Presenters have been encouraged to utilize the Forums to share handouts, resources, and links as well as to facilitate conversations with participants.
The connections you make within the Forums are also a great way of connecting with people with similar interests. (Ever hear of a PLN?)
Be sure to check out the 2011 Conference Sessions in MACUL Space and get ready to bring the backchannel to the forefront.
Each year, the MACUL Conference is more and more inundated with ways to get connected. It seems like years ago (it was years ago) when we first heard about blogs. Next on the list were wikis…even Twitter has been around awhile. It’s certainly no longer “the new thing.” I checked on When Did You Join Twitter and found that I’ve been tweeting since March 2007. 2007! (I suspect there’s no coincidence that I signed up in March…I think there’s a conference that month.) Facebook has been around for over seven years…and remember MySpace? Well, they’re still pluggin away…barely.
As a society we’re very connected to what’s going on and at the MACUL Conference things are no different. There are many ways to stay informed before, during, and after we all arrive in Detroit. Watch for signs around COBO Hall describing how you can join the conversation. They’ll say something like:
Follow @macul on Twitter and join the backchannel throughout the conference. Use hashtag #macul11 with your tweets during the conference to share and learn from others.
Visit our MACUL Space online community to access conference presentations and handouts, participate in discussions, and meet other attendees.
Our conference blogging team covers many breakout sessions and other events. (Hey, you’re here now!)
“Like” MACUL on Facebook to find how others are learning, teaching and sharing ways technology continues to improve education.
I’m looking forward to a fun…and very social…MACUL Conference!
I must have come across RSS at a MACUL Conference…how else would I have stumbled across it? It seems like I’ve been reading feeds for years, but surely it hasn’t been that long. Google Reader was announced in the fall of 2005, but I was still with Bloglines before they were bought by Ask Jeeves in February 2005 (Remember Jeeves?) So that’s at least 4 years…well, I guess around 40 in Internet-years, so it’s been a while.
Now…40 years later…I can’t imagine not using RSS every day to follow news and events in ed tech and beyond. A person in my position is kinda expected to know what’s new and exciting…and Googling new and exciting on a daily basis does not return many usable results. I have to get more specific info from sources I know will be relevant. So, I subscribe to feeds about gadgets, web tools, and tech news as well as LOLcats, Star Wars, and Venn diagrams.
All told, as of right now, I have 67 subscriptions in my Google Reader. (No, I don’t read them all everyday…and really, that’s not that many…) Like Lee Lefever suggested in the video, I could go out to 67 sites on a regular basis to find out what’s new (Boo!). However, thanks to RSS I have all that info spilling in to my office everyday!