Getting the most out of a conference

Susan Manning and Dan Balzer, hosts of the Learning Times Green Room, talked about how to get the most out of conferences. You can listen to the podcast on their website: LT Green Room. As always, they start a discussion board within the Learning Times network and I added my comments last week.

Now, as I sit in a hotel room in Memphis, TN, I’m eagerly awaiting the kick-off of the Laptop Institute tomorrow.

Credit: kodomut

In reflecting on how to maximize and leverage my time over the next 3 days, I’ve decided to follow my own advice – what I posted in the LT Green Room discussion:

  1. I have looked over the session descriptions and have chosen some that will deepen my knowledge and some that will push me out of my comfort zone. I also will go to a session or two focusing on topics that I present in order to learn more.
  2. I have set three goals for the conference: add more educators to my PLN, learn as much as possible about 1:1, leave with a plan to implement 1:1 in my classes
  3. Talk with the presenters after their sessions. Make sure that I’m following them on Twitter/Flickr/LinkIn/YouTube and check out their blogs.
  4. Participate in the backchannel – being sure to check out the archives after the sessions
  5. Get to know people sitting around me
  6. Visit the vendors – I’m not sure there are any for this conference; but if there are, I’ll be talking to them.
  7. Attend the socials and network, network, network.
  8. When I hit information overload, I’ll skip a session and take a breath – refresh and reframe
  9. Take my rolling computer bag, laptop and power cord – too many conferences of lugging my over-the-shoulder bag … it makes me cranky after a while
  10. Drink lots of water – all the F2F venues are air conditioned, so I want to avoid getting dehydrated …. I last longer that way.
  11. Create a tags in my Diigo account for all the conference online resources
  12. Blog about what I learned, what I will try, what I agreed or didn’t agree with – really spend some time processing the experience

After the conference I’ll post a follow-up on how my strategies worked.

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