ET4Online Unconference

Get a head start by joining the pre-conference Unconference Twitter chat at #unET4Online on April 20 at 1:00pm Central.

Friday, April 24
1:15pm - 4:15pm
Where: Houston A/B
The ET4Online Unconference will be hosted by Jesse Stommel and Maha Bali (virtual host). But, ultimately, the conversation will be led by the participants. And Maha and Jesse will show up as full participants.
Quick Links:  
Facebook page:
Tweet about the Unconference: #unet4online

This year, ET4Online will run a hybrid unconference throughout the main conference. While the face-to-face unconference sessions will be held on Friday, April 24, additional meetups, hangouts, and conversations will take place all week. We’re using the Canvas learning environment as a home base for the unconference in order to give all participants — whether online or on-ground — full access to the content, brainstorming, conversations, and eureka moments generated during the unconference. We'll also be using Twitter as an ongoing backchannel with #unET4Online.

To sign up, join the Canvas course and enroll. Here’s how we’ll be using Canvas to keep everyone in sync during the unconference:

  1. We’ll keep track of unconference session proposals in a Google Doc available inside the course as well as online. As well, participants can post ideas for sessions in the Discussions forum.
  2. We’ll broadcast the Twitter stream for the unconference and the main conference right on the front page of the Canvas course. We don't want folks not on Twitter to be left out.
  3. Participants far and wide can post profiles inside Canvas and keep in touch with those on the ground and those online from one simple interface.
  4. We’ll use the unconference chat or "conferences" tools to talk synchronously with other attendees.
  5. And any participant can start collaborations with their online and on-ground colleagues from inside the course.

During the unconference proper, we'll be using a series of Google Docs to keep notes together during our sessions -- and to connect on-ground and virtual participants. These Google Docs will all be available inside of Canvas, and shared on #unET4Online, so if you’re attending remotely, you’ll easily be able to take notes, make comments, and chat with others.

Start proposing session ideas for the ET4Online Unconference today! Or just show up on ground in Dallas and join the fray!


The What and Why of an Unconference

Unconferences are unique. No two are ever the same. That’s because unconferences are what you make them. They assume the form desired by those who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the learner. This means that they are much more active, with participants taking control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure and helping keep things organized, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference your own. We encourage attendees to participate actively and fully in Unconference sessions by introducing a topic of interest to the group and/or engaging in discussion with other participants about topics of interest. Active participation is the hallmark of our Unconference sessions.

Should I Attend the Unconference?

Yes! Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, you will likely find value in the unconference session:

  • Are you a registered attendee of the 2015 OLC Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium? Are you attending the conference virtually and want to eavesdrop on or participate in the conversations happening at the Unconference? Are you not registered for the conference but interested in following along virtually?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions, and wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand on that content yourself?
  • Are you looking for ways to engage more directly in the conversation at the 2015 OLC Emerging Technologies Symposium?
  • Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques and models, and debate current trends?

If these things interest you, make sure to arrange your travel to accommodate Unconference, which will culminate at the end of the symposium as the final session. And even if you can’t make it in person, we will do our best to make this component of ET4Online available to anyone with eyes on the backchannel.


Your #unET4Online Hosts

Jesse StommelJesse Stommel is Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also Director of Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology. He is an advocate for lifelong learning and the public digital humanities. He is on Twitter @Jessifer.
Maha BaliMaha Bali is Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo. She is co-founder and co-facilitator of and columnist at Hybrid Pedagogy. She’s a MOOCaholic, Writeaholic and passionate open and connected educator. Tweets at @bali_maha.


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