We took the opportunity to reimagine what learning looks like in a virtual conference.
To begin that reimagining, we engaged in a design thinking process to first empathise with our participants and presenters. What is the situation that most of our participants find themselves in and how can we design an experience that best responds to those needs?
Issues we considered
- Compared with a regular conference where you are distanced from the day to day issues of work and personal commitments there will be many potential distractions
- Schools are unlikely or unable to give substitute teacher cover for online events
- Educators are busier than they have ever designing online and/or hybrid learning
- Professional development budgets are constrained in many schools due to enrollment instability
- Covid has meant that many people have not had the opportunity to meet face to face with professional connections in other schools for quite some time.
Key features of our online event
- Rather than concentrating content into the typical 2-day constraint of F2F conferences we have spread the content over two weeks.
- Leaving Friday’s clear apart from the social events
- Breaking one-day workshops into two three hour blocks taking place over two Saturdays
- Live sessions taking place “after school” for Asian time zones, but still accessible for educators in Europe
- Scheduling some workshops early on Saturday mornings and afternoons
- Building in opportunities for conference participants to meet up face to face in their home cities during social events
- Pricing the conference very aggressively which allows attendance at one conference or at all three for a small premium
- All content recorded for later access both during and after the conference
- With an estimated 250 hours of programming this provides PD at around US$1 per hour. Fantastic value for money!