Thursday, August 29, 2013

Conference 2.0 News - STEMxCon Deadline, Connected Educator Month, Reform Symposium, Library 2.013, and More

For many, this is the start of a new school year. We hope that, wherever you are, our peer and practitioner-driven professional development conferences make a difference for you. All of these events are free to attend.

"Conference 2.0" is not just about attending and learning (which we hope you are doing!), but also about providing significant encouragement to present. Because an online conference doesn't have the physical and financial constraints (and sometimes the politics) of an in-person event, we can accept the great majority of presentation proposals and allow the audience to decide what they want to attend. This means that the experience of presenting, which can be hard to come by for someone who hasn't done so before, is available to all. The great surprise of having done this process now for four years (hurrah!) is that the quality of the presentations remains significantly high. So we encourage you to be brave and to consider presenting at one of the following conferences.

(And don't miss the training and news sections at the bottom of this post.)

September 19 - 21, 2013
We've accepted 73 proposals so far and have 26 still to review, which means we're going to have at least 100 sessions for the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The proposal deadline is September 1, this weekend, but we know that for many this is the start of a new school year and so proposals can come in after September 1st, but those that do will be approved on a space-available basis. Submit one! It wouldn't surprise us to reach 150 proposals by the time of the actual conference. See the list of GREAT keynote speakers HERE. Please tell everyone you can about this new event, join our outreach and advisory board, become a partner organization, or even (please! :) consider helping to sponsor the conference.

October 2013
Not technically a Web 2.0 Lab's "Conference 2.0" event, but one which we support whole-heartedly, the second annual Connected Educator Month is a project of the Connected Online Communities of Practice working group formed by the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. With a focus this year on supporting districts and their professional development activities, stay tuned for really fun news about: nightly Connected Educator chats with special guests, a special Connected Librarian Day (we haven't forgotten about you!), special Connected Learners events, and much, MUCH more.

October 11 - 13, 2013
We are pleased to announce the fourth annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON), a free online three day event bringing together educators, students and innovators from around the world and in conjunction with Connected Educator Month. RSCON is a global community initiative to transform teaching and learning, and will be a highly inclusive and engaging event that will encourage students and educators around the world to share and learn about transformative approaches to learning and teaching. To attend this year's conference and to be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please 
join the conference at its new online home,

October 18 - 19, 2013
Our third annual Library 2.0 conference on libraries, librarians, and librarianship is also totally rocking along, with 80 accepted proposals so far for this terrific two-day event in its third year. There's lots of room--please consider presenting! There are eight conference strands covering a wide variety of timely topics, such as, MOOCs, e-books, maker spaces, mobile services, embedded librarians, green libraries, and more. Proposals can made between now and September 30th. As noted above, we're going to be doing a special Connected Librarians Day for school librarians--more information on that, and some joint conference sessions with the Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) to come!

November 18 - 22, 2013
This is the great "mother ship" of our virtual conferences. Coming into our fourth annual event, we are so excited for another five days of all-out connecting and collaborating. If you've never been a part of this event, you MUST find some time to participate. Focused on helping teachers and students connect globally, we're proud of the amazing network that has been formed around this conference. We might just hit 500 presentations this year! The call for proposals will open very soon, and all are invited to participate.

January 17 - 18, 2014 (coming)
We're in our early planning stages for an Australia / New Zealand time-zone friendly educational technology virtual conference. There some definite excitement building. More information to come.

February, 2014 (coming)
Also in the early planning stages, but very excited about this event!

March 27, 2014
After a terrific first summit this year, TICAL, the founding sponsor, has enthusiastically committed to doing this again! Look for more news in the fall.

  • With the exception of Connected Educator Month, all of the conferences above are held in Blackboard Collaborate, an online teaching and learning platform. Live and recorded training sessions are held regularly for both presenters and volunteer moderators, and please see the training page on each specific conference site for details.
  • We're still making some plans for a worldwide education film festival at the start of 2014. If you know filmmakers (or are one) and you want to talk about this with me, please reach out (!
  • A final tease is for a special event in November, under wraps right now, but tentatively titled "Reinventing K12." Stay tuned!.
  • The 2013 Homeschool Conference, the first ever, was a huge success. Organized and run in just five weeks after being announced, we had 1534 attendee log-ins for 48 presentations and 8 keynotes, all around sharing strategies, practices, and resources for those involved with homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative and independent education. . The recordings are all up and available (all free, of course), and plans are being made for Homeschool Conference 2 in early 2014.

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