Tech 21  Webconference

Preparing for the technology curriculum standards and hardware and software for the 21st century DoDEA school, teacher and student

20 September to  11 October 2000


Q. How will this online webconference work? Do I need to show up at a certain time?

       A. The DODEA Tech 21 Webconference will last for 3 weeks. A webconference is modelled after traditional face-to-face conferences. For example we may have  features such as speaker segments,  workshops, a cafe for informal chat and  networking, a web-library  with a  resource center, an interactive participant directory, an open  space forum where participants can create and facilitate their own discussion topics. All materials gathered and posted during the DODEA Tech 21 Webconference will remain accessible throughout the entire three week period.  All the material created and contributed will serve as a resource for more learning programs in the future.   Features are scheduled  over a period of time such as days or a week, instead of hours to allow participants from all over the  globe time to access and respond. There will also be a Help Desk available at all times.

  Q. The conference is planned from Monday September 18 through to Friday October 6. Can people join the online activities after the start date?
      A. Yes -but, the webconference will be ongoing from day one and there will be  new topics, new presenters, new sessions, and new features all the way until the end. However, the full proceedings will be available onsite at all times. you will be able to catch up and join in a  discussion even if it started days or weeks ago. but it will require more time. We really would like everyone to be there from the beginning for the duratio of the conference.

       Q. Will I be able to introduce my own agenda?

       A. The main programme area is programmed by us the organizers. However the break out sessions and open space are completely participant driven conference space. For example an Open Space, is a large group meeting process. The way it works is that anyone may start a discussion anytime. Those that start a topic must be willing to facilitate and moderate that item to the end of that discussion. Experienced online facilitator mentors will be available if anyone has worries about their ability to do this, and there will be written guidelines available as well.

      Q. Will you use a variety of media such as Audio Conferencing, or Streaming Video?

       A. The main media used is asynchronous conferencing where someone starts a conversation  by posting in writing and then everyone that arrives after the posting can respond. Posts are made in order of time posted so the result is much like a real dialogue. Discussion items are separated by subject and the person featured so it's automatically organized and archived as well. We will however be introducing other media such as real audio and possibly video streaming. Our software allows uploading of images and other media files, so basically anything you can do on the web you can do here!

      Q. What are some guidelines for appropriate participation in an online workshop?

       A. It's as simple as this: be thoughtful to other participants. We are building a community of  learners here. We expect many diverse perspectives, experiences, and insights. This will enrich our discussions and overall learning over the course of the DODEA Tech 21 Webconference.  Be yourself, share your knowledge, and have fun. The only thing that the your hosts will not accept is hostile and obscene language, but we're confident that participants will use their good judgment and expect this environment to be friendly and supportive to everyone involved.

            Q. Who will be able to access the DODEA Tech 21 Webconference and see our  conversations?

       A. The DODEA Tech 21 Webconference takes place entirely in a password protected web site. You must have been nominated by a DODEA district officer to participate. The College of Exploration  will issue logins and passwords to enable access to the site only to those who have been pre-registered. If you want to be nominated, or find out more about the program, please contact Barbara Shriver via email on  bshriver@hq.odedodea.edu.

       Q. For those who could not "attend" a particular presentation, will it be recorded somewhere  for playback?

      A. Because it is on the web over three weeks, participants should have ample opportunity to "attend" any aspect of the program they want. If this isn't realistic because so much content is developed  in the environment and you choose to participate in your specific areas of interest, as a participant, you will have access to full archive and plenty of time after the event to go back and catch up on areas that you didn't have time to attend during the three weeks.

      Q. What is required in order to be able to participate?

      A. Time, commitment, energy and you will need a browser and access to the World Wide Web. The minimum browser required is Netscape 3.1 or Internet Explore 3.02 or higher. If  you use AOL, version 3.0 or higher