Love, Love, Love Virtual Conferences.
Due to the spread of the Coronavirus around the world, many conferences could not happen in person so they switched things to virtual.
Since July, I’ve attended five virtual conferences or summits. The first was supposed to be in New Zealand and rather than try to reschedule, they switched everything to online and it worked well. They had everything you’d have at a regular conference from presentations to virtual bars where people could hang out.
Not long after, I attended two more, one in Los Angeles and one in Columbus, Ohio. This month, I attended two more, including one for professional development relating to work. They were awesome.
I really love attending all these for so many reasons. First, most of the conferences recorded the presentations so people could go back to watch them later. This is great when there are three talks you want to see all scheduled for the same time.
This feature is extremely convenient for professional learning because I have a couple of weeks to catch up on the ones I missed due to working, and I can rewatch videos to pick up on things I needed clarification on.
The second reason I love virtual conferences is simply — Money! I don’t have to find a flight that leaves Alaska at a semi-decent hour so I can get somewhere at a semi-decent hour and have it be affordable. I don’t have to find the money to rent a hotel room, pay for a taxi or shuttle from the air port to the hotel, or find a decent place to eat at a reasonable cost.
I also do not have to request time off from work for the conference plus a day or two on either side for travel. Usually when I head off to conferences, I have to create lesson plans that keep the student learning with a substitute who probably can’t do more than add or subtract one digit numbers. Since, I teach math, this means I line up a bunch of videos such as Khan Academy for my students to watch and take notes on combined with extremely detailed guided practices.
The best thing is that I get to sleep in my own room, eat my own food, dress in my flannels, and slouch on my sofa. I don’t suffer from jet lag. I’m not exposed to new bugs, and I never feel rushed.
I don’t know if the virtual conference is here to stay but I will enjoy them as long as I can because I love the convenience they offer. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.