Tuesday, July 26, 2016

10 Tips for Effectively Connecting at #NYCSchoolsTech Summit - Even If You’re Not There

The #NYCSchoolsTech Summit is the largest annual #EdTech conference in New York City. At the conference innovative educators from across NYC Schools share their knowledge and expertise with other educators from NYC, surrounding areas, and even around the world thanks to social media. The conference is so popular, it trended on Twitter last year.  

There are dozens of workshops, lunchtime activities, and a terrific keynote speaker (we won't say his name, but here’s a hint) which makes it hard to choose and even harder to stay informed of all that is going on. But don’t despair. When educators connect, everyone benefits and learns even if they aren’t able to attend a particular session.  

Here is how participants (live or remote) and presenters can do just that at the 2016 #NYCSchoolsTech Summit.
  • Tip 1 - Check out the Agenda: At the #NYCSchoolsTech Summit all workshops have a link to an agenda which you can find by viewing any session at https://nycschoolstech.livecubeapp.com/?s=schedule_screen. #NYCSchoolsTech teacher and all around nerd, Eileen Lennon offers a hint that she has used before. “Scour the agenda beforehand for questions and discussion points. If you’re ahead of the game, you get the most out of the workshop and may even help steer the conversation in helpful ways.”
  • Tip 2 - Participate in Backchannel Conversations: You can see where and when all the backchannel conversations are taking place in Livecube right here.  Introduce yourself and jump into the conversation. If you are remote, look for the link to the Livestream shared there.  If no one has shared the link yet, let them know you are there and would like to watch.  
  • Tip 3 - Moderate: Ask the presenter if s/he would like you to moderate backchannel conversations and/or comments on the livestream from Google Hangouts or Facebook Live. This is for those who attend f2f or remotely. Just because you’re not there live doesn’t mean you can’t help by moderating a Livestream or backchannel conversation.  Message the presenter of a session you are interested in and offer your help.
  • Tip 4 - Hashtag Happiness: Follow the hashtag for the conference (#NYCSchoolsTech) and session you are interested in. You can see the hashtag for each session in Livecube when you “Join the Conversation” at https://nycschoolstech.livecubeapp.com/?s=schedule_screen.  
  • Tip 5 - Follow The Presenters: It goes without saying to follow the presenters on Twitter and any other social media. They may have a blog where they have shared their expertise in more detail. As innovative educator Eileen Lennon says, “Learning doesn’t happen all in one day in a classroom, neither should it from a one day summit. It’s the start of a journey. You might as well take a map and a guide with you.” To make this easier for you, there’s an #NYCSchoolsTech Summit presenters list which you will find at https://twitter.com/InnovativeEdu/lists/nycschoolstechpresenters/members
  • Tip 6 - Storify: Offer to Storify the session you attended. The moderator will be thankful.

  • Tip 7 - Welcome with Information: At the Summit every presenters agenda and backchannel conversation can be accessed at https://nycschoolstech.livecubeapp.com/?s=schedule_screen. Make sure participants all know to go there.
  • Tip 8 - Assign Participants: Encourage participants to share what they’re learning via social media.
    • Posts: Assign people attending your session to share what they’re learning using your session hashtag, the conference hashtag, and your name.  Give them a sample post such as “Excited to hear @StarrSackstein in the #writingdig session at #NYCSchoolsTech Summit. Join the convo at [livecube link.]
    • Livestream: Set up your phone or computer to Livestream your session. Let folks know when to tune in and what they’ll see.  Ask participants to help by recording, monitoring the comments in the stream, sharing useful links, and bringing to your attention feedback or questions.
  • Tip 9 - Post: Tell people what you are doing in advance in places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and include a link to your session in LiveCube.
  • Tip 10 - Share: Use Storify to share the story of your session. Make sure you include a link to the livestream. Maybe ask an enthusiastic participant to create this for you.

Eileen Lennon who will be manning this year’s #NYCSchoolTech Summit social media booth tells us that “One of the most important 21st century skills for students is to collaborate and work effectively in a team. What better way to model it than to do it ourselves?” You can do just that by joining us at this year’s #NYCSchoolTech Summit live or from anywhere you can get internet. You owe it to yourselves and to your students.


  1. The newest one for my on this list is live streaming so I am excited to give it a try and see how the presentation is received online. Also building in hashtag time is important for me because sometimes I get derailed and forget to guide the participants. I will be attempting to build in hashtag reminders throughout!

    One thing I wanted to share: We meet so many people virtually throughout the year we feel like we know each other. Go up to one of your online friends you never met in person and have a face to face convo at the Summit. It's been something very rewarding for me to know I have all these fabulous folks in my PLN!

  2. Looking forward to attending remotely when I can. I especially Hope many of the presenters will FB live stream their session and make a note of it. Lisa, is there one list of all the sessions which will be livestreamed? Sad to miss this event but thankful for the efforts those will make so that those of us who can't be there can continue learning. Have a great day tomorrow and I will miss everyone!!

    1. Our hope is all presenters will livestream. The best place to check is in the conversation in the livecube app. See if anyone has volunteered to livestream. If they haven't tell them you are attending remotely and ask participants by name if they will volunteer to livestream.

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