This year of COVID has made many changes to our lifestyle especially face to face in person events like conferences. Every couple of years I would attend the ISTE conference in America (International Society for Technology in Education). Often over 20,000 people heading to talks, workshops, poster events, expo hall or just sitting around conversing. I was usually there presenting a poster session on the student blogging challenge I ran for 10 years before and after retiring from teaching.
But I have had experience of online conferences. Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon run an online Global Education Conference each year for a week. They use Blackboard Collaborate (or they did when I last went to a conference with them). Sessions are on 24/7 and each room has a moderator to help the presenter. Sessions are recorded and archived. Some sessions would have no attendees except the presenter and moderator but it was still recorded. I was a moderator at this conference and would hear some great sessions from people related somehow to education in their country. Lucy and Steve are from America so they would look after the time slots during daylight hours there and Anne Mirtschin and I would look after the slots during daylight hours in Australia. As I was retired, I would stay up until about midnight our time, head to bed, then start again about 9am our time. It was an exhausting week but well worth it.
Rootstech this year is also totally online. As well as having a main stage where the sessions will be streamed live, they will also have prerecorded sessions to view at your own pace. All sessions will be available for a year and if you join the Rootstech Connect via Family Search, then you will be able to create a playlist of those sessions you want to view.
Just click on the picture below and it will open to 17 different posts explaining Rootstech
— Rees Scott Archive (@Barry_RSA) February 19, 2021
What to do if you want to take part in Rootstech conference?
Here is the main Rootstech page where you register for the event. While there, scroll down to see the keynote speakers or to find out who will be on the mainstage each day and also a list of the other sessions available.
But how can you connect people attending the conference?
Once you are registered for the conference, create a free account at Family Search and start building your tree. This is a world wide tree and will connect with other information added by the users of family search. You will be able to add or correct information if needed.
When you log into family search, you will see a banner at the top of the screen “Join relatives at Rootstech”, click on that and you will see how many of your relatives are at the conference. The more people you have added to your tree, the more chance you will see relatives. At the moment, I have two relatives at the conference but I hope more by the time it actually starts.
Readers: What is your experience of face to face or online conferences? What are the pros and cons of both?