Category Archives: Virtually Connecting

Virtually Connecting at ELI 2017!

Virtually Connecting returns to ELI in February with four opportunities to talk with presenters on topics from virtual reality to digital citizenship, and hacking institutions to emotional presence in the classroom, and whatever else comes up as we talk! Come join us! (To reserve a seat, tweet to @vconnecting or leave a comment here.)

On Monday, February 13th at 11:30 AM Central, we’ll talk with Flower Darby and John Doherty about the ways emotional presence impacts learning, and how we can convey our emotional presence, and help students develop theirs, in both face to face and virtual environments. Helen DeWaard is our virtual buddy.

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(Edit from Future Joe…. Autumm Caines also pulled together a Monday afternoon session with Bryan Alexander, Eden Dahlstrom, Michael Berman, and Kyle Johnson to preview the NMC Horizon Report.)

On Tuesday, February 14th at 9 AM Central we’ll be talking with Kelvin Bentley and Lois Brooks, whose preconference is on hacking higher education institutions to make sure our processes help students succeed. Nate Angell will also be an onsite buddy for this session.

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And then at 5:30 PM we’ll be looping in Maya Georgieva and Emory Craig from Digital Bodies to talk about virtual reality. Maya and Emory will be running a series of virtual reality playgrounds on Tuesday, highlighting the ways VR is being used in different disciplines.

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Finally on Wednesday February 15th at 10:15 AM, we’ll connect with Sundi Richard, Autumm Caines, Jennifer Spohrer and Annie Almekinder about the post-conference workshop they’re offering on digital citizenship in the liberal arts. We’ll also have Kristen Eshelman as an onsite buddy for this session, and Ken Bauer as virtual buddy.

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So lots of opportunities and lots of good colleagues to learn with – tweet at @vconnecting to get a spot!

Many thanks to our colleagues Malcolm Brown and Veronica Diaz at EDUCAUSE, who’ve done a lot of work with us to set up these sessions. We appreciate the support and recognition!

Virtually Connecting at DST 2015

I’m excited to be heading to the International Digital Storytelling Conference September 25-27th.  I’ve been looking at digital storytelling predominantly as a form of personal expression and an educational activity, and I think I’m ready to spend some time considering the way that story sharing is inherently a vehicle for social change. Who we share our stories with, and which stories we share, is part and parcel of defining who our social group is and what we hold in common.

Which brings us to Virtually Connecting. Conferences are great places to share stories – but by definition, they lock out those who can’t pay to get to them (in either money or available time). Some conferences are providing an online analogue of the conference – by which we almost always mean “a videocamera in the back of some sessions, with a chat channel if you’re lucky.” That’s a good way to amplify your speakers’ voice, but it doesn’t even attempt the social transformation which happens in the crowd after a session, in the line at the hotel Starbucks, over lunch or dinner.  Maha Bali, Rebecca Hogue, and a growing group of fellow travelers thought they could address that gap. They hop on Google Hangout for an hour or so and have an informal conversation among presenters, attendees, and would-be attendees spread across the globe. No, it’s not the full conference experience, but it is the kind of relatively unguarded interaction which allows real relationships to develop.

Living in the future is cool.

So I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be the “onsite buddy” for a Virtually Connecting session with Joe Lambert of Storycenter. We’ve still nailed down the time – it’ll be Saturday the 26th at 11:30 AM Eastern. If you’d be interested in joining us, tweet us at @joefromkenyon and @vconnecting, or post a comment here. Come talk about stories and hear what we’re talking about!

Hey… here’s what we talked about!