Strategies for Attending a Conference Digitally

I wasn’t able to attend ISTE this year, but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t learn from the conference! With over 20,000 conference participants, ISTE is exciting and messy all at once. There are vast opportunities for innovation in learning, but sometimes discovering the nuggets that will move you forward can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

I was determined to make meaningful connections so started documenting strategies I used. See what you think:

  • There were three hashtags: #ISTE15, #ISTE2015, #NOTATISTE15, and I followed via columns in TweetDeck.
  • I checked the hashtags 3-4 times per day (Ensuring the kids still had pool time!)
    • Early Morning was a great time to check out blog reflections from the day prior filled with ideas and resources as well as preview excitement for upcoming sessions.
    • During the day – I scheduled must see sessions in Outlook to check the hashtags. I was disappointed that not all presenters used the official ISTE calendar to share live links prior to the session. I figure it is like a test – the information should NOT be a surprise. I want to preview content and come to hear your thoughts!
    • Night – this became an amazing time to build my PLN as people were meeting each other and giving shoutouts. I clicked on their mentions and scanned the Twitter account to see what was being said. If I wanted to retweet something in three scrolls, I followed the person and gave a shoutout – this generated a lot of edu conversations!
  • Now that ISTE is over and participants have gone home, it is a GREAT time to check out the hashtags as reflection and goal setting are happening all over the world and people are continuing to share their thoughts on the hashtags.

Four “bonus’ strategies:

  1. Use Twitter’s built in search options:Twitter Search
    1. Photos– click on photos to expand and see who tweeted them. Future conference note as a presenter, I will add an image to my tweeted digital resources! Makes them easier to find.
    2. Videos– tons of great PD YouTube links to check out – located in one space!
    3. Top– check out what the ‘Bigs’ are saying. I enjoy seeing which sessions influential educators are attending as it gives you insight into what the cutting edge folks are learning.
    4. Live– don’t stop at “top” because a varied perspective at a conference is key to understanding where your own staff might be in their learning process.
  2. Stalk your favorite follows – know some people who will be there? Dive into their feeds and see what they are talking about and with whom.
  3. Don’t rely on “favorites” for the long haul. Consider using TweetDeck Collections to hold your conference feeds for future reference. After a 1,000 more favorites, you will thank me!
  4. See a quote or idea you like on Twitter? Don’t stop at a favorite or retweet – hit reply and ask a question. Engage in a conversation and follow your new friend!

What strategies do you find useful for conference learning via social media?

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