Entering the digital stream can be daunting for someone new to the #OER20 community AND for experienced attendees! In this post we would like to share a few brief tips for managing and participating in the online #OER20 conversation. We hypothesize that this post may be most useful for remote participants, but those spanning all modes of participation may also find useful tidbits!
While these reference last year’s conference, they both can help prepare you for the adventure ahead. Before jumping in, we would like to point you towards a post from last year for first time attendees and tips Martin Hawksey shared for attending #OER19 remotely. As first time attendees at OER19 in Galway, we noticed that the atmosphere at the conference is one of hospitality and warmth, and indeed care is at the core of the conference theme. By extension, the OER20 conference organisers have taken great care to be inclusive to participants both near and far.
Here are a few quick ways to get started:
Set up your Twitter stream(s)
The easiest way to do this is to use a tool like Tweetdeck which allows you to create columns to follow hashtags & accounts. At the very least, make sure you’re following @OERConf, @A_L_T and this hashtag #OER20 , along with the conference co-chairs:
Also, make sure you’re following @vconnecting which leads us to our next point…
Virtually Connecting volunteers, or onsite buddies, will be in attendance at the conference, and details about sessions will be available closer to the date. Virtually Connecting aims to enliven remote participation in conferences by connecting onsite guests with virtual participants who cannot attend in person. If you’d like to engage in a virtual session to chat informally with onsite guests, then do sign up – we promise that it’s a lot of fun!
Visit the #femedtech quilt
If you haven’t heard, the #femedtech community is in the process of creating a (physical) quilt made up of squares sent in from around the world. If you can’t make it to London in person, the quilt (along with associated conversations) can be experienced digitally. The digital home for the quilt is: https://quilt.femedtech.net/ – and you can see each square and contributions by visiting: https://quilt.femedtech.net/see-contributions/ You can also follow #femedtechquilt on Twitter. And be sure to follow @francesbell who is the woman weaving all of the threads together.
Finally, keep an eye on the conference website
The amazing OER20 & ALT teams will be continually updating the site and posting links to the livestreams. This is the central hub for all conference activity.
We (Kate and Leigh) are experienced (but certainly not expert) remote participants. If you’re ever feeling lost floating down the stream, feel free to send an SOS via DM to @hey_km or @gravesle and we will be happy to throw you a life preserver.
We hope these few tips help! Do you have others? Please be sure to comment and tweet out suggestions!