Monday, February 16, 2009

Podcast #179 - Does the Economic Situation Create a Tipping Point for Online Conferences?

Hello. In tonight's podcast I share some thoughts on how the current economic situation could create a tipping point in which more people are willing to attend an online conference instead of a face to face conference. I also ask about the opportunity to share the sessions from face to face conferences as a paid "subscription".

Here are some questions to think about (and BTW, I would enjoy hearing any of your thoughts in the form of a comment to this blog post):

- If your district, or organization, pays to allow you to attend conferences such as NCSS or NECC - has the current economic situation caused them to tell you "no" yet?

- If you pay for all your own expenses to conferences such as NCSS or NECC - has the current economic situation caused you to decide not to attend?

- Would you be wiling to pay a set fee - $25 for example - to be able to download an audio or video podcast of all the sessions at the upcoming 2009 NECC? What would you pay to have all these sessions available in that format?

- How you feel as a presenter at one of these conferences if they "sold" a subscription so that someone could download your session? Would you ask to be paid for your presentation? Would it impact if you submitted a proposal if you knew you were not being paid and they were making your presentation available.

Please discuss in small groups.....

Direct link to Podcast #179 - Does the Economic Situation Create a Tipping Point for Online Conferences?


  1. Anonymous10:55 PM

    Hey Eric,

    K12 online while not designed to replace f2f conferences already offers much of this for free. In addition, our sessions are designed specifically for the web whereas simply recording presentations often don't translate all that well.

    Not that the conference was done to combat the economic down turn, since it's been in existence for 3 years, it does provide a powerful, way to provide high quality PD for schools. Given there are already 3 years of content and over 100 presentations, it's a great place to start.

  2. Dean - Yes, I love the K12 online conference and encourage anyone who has not visited to benefit from its vault of great content.

    Quick question - are schools in Canada being hit with the same harsh economic cuts that are happening in part of the United States right now or is there a difference?

  3. I would pay to "attend" a conference virtually - whether in Second Life, or by being able to download the information at a later time. We have considered offering a virtual attendance option for our statewide FCCLA student conference. Questions that must be considered, though, include will the sponsoring organization make enough $ from those virtual attendees to cover the real costs of hosting the conference? F2F conferences have so many expenses for the sponsoring organization that attendees never realize exist. Professional speakers vs. laypersons giving presentations is also something to consider. Many professional speakers have contracts limiting recording and distribution of their presentation in its entirety. But, I think it is an option that we must take a look at and begin to do some experimentation. Thanks for posing the question in this format.

  4. Anonymous6:59 AM

    I am a homeschool mom and prefer virtual conferences. I can tell you that our school district has eliminated all travel for teachers and they are cutting 400 teacher positions as well. Booster clubs are trying to step up but donations are down because of the economy so they're not much help.

  5. Anonymous2:05 PM


    I am a new 8th grade Social Studies teacher starting in the classroom for the first time this year in Lincoln, NE. Just recently I attended a new curriculum meeting and someone mentioned your site.
    The past few days I've been scouring the past years of posts you have made and have so many great ideas I'm stoked to use in the classroom.
    Thanks so much for the wealth of ideas.

    Go Huskers!
    -Steve Orton
    Schoo Middle School (Fallbrook)