No More Boring PD with Flipped & Blended Conferences

With all the cool conferencing apps and social learning tools, there’s just no excuse for running an boring old fashioned get together these days.

Edmodo is a secure social learning platform most used by 26 million teachers and students.  It is frequently used to add a social dimension to conferences. Typically each session has its own Edmodo group allowing attendees to access presentation materials and discuss ideas shared during the lecture. Edmodo also allows attendees to connect and share before and after the dates of the conference.

Here’s a few of the big state tech conferences that have been powered by Edmodo:

Pathable will power the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in October. It’s a popular mobile event experience platform with online agenda, private meetings, exhibitors listings, and maps.  COO Matt Wicks recently previewed for the iNACOL Program Committee how Pathable can be used to “flip the conference.”

An upcoming Hewlett Foundation convening will use the Guidebook app to boost and extend engagement.  Participants are also co-constructing a Google Doc presentation. In fact, shared google docs are quickly becoming a conference staple, providing one place for all conference participants to “crowd source” all their learning from the event.

Pearson flipped a recent sales training by building Udemy courses for each product line. Participants consumed thousands of hours of content before the conference (had a contest to see who did the most too) and then did a lot of interactive discussion at the conference.

Many EdCamp events are using the app YappBox to create a unique mobile app for all participants- allowing them to check in, view the schedule, track the social media feed for the event, add their own photos and videos to the event’s gallery as well as view the event’s participant list.

Today, our teacher blogger Dave Guymon shares how he gamified his conference session on Google Apps to ensure the educators left with the knowledge they personally needed to improve their practice. Dave’s main goal was to ensure that the these teachers had an open, online resource that they could return to long after the conference was over where they could continue to learn more skills.

A quick search surfaces a handful of interactive mobile event and conference apps for including QuickMobile, DoubleDutch, EventMobi, CrowdCompass, and Guidebook.  There’s just no excuse for a boring, unconnected conference.

Edmodo and Udemy are portfolio companies of Learn Capital. Pearson and Hewlett Foundation are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Tom is a director of iNACOL.  

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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