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5 Tips for a Great Time at STEMxCON – join us online Sep 19-21!

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It’s going to be amazing: Nearly 3000 registrants from over 60 countries, 177 presentations, and 21 amazing keynote presenters, online starting 8am Pacific Time this Thursday, September 19th. How do you take it all in? Here are my 5 tips for making the most of the world’s first “massively open online conference” for STEM educators…



TIP #1 – Register (it’s free) to stay informed!


If you haven’t already done so, go to www.stemxcon.com and sign up. It’s free, and you won’t be spammed. The organizers will simply be able to keep you informed that way.







TIP #2 – Calendar Your Time


Find the sessions you are most interested in and add them to your calendar! Like any other professional meeting, you get the most out of it by what you put into it. My suggestion: Don’t try to multi-task while attending, but rather plan to actually participate! Each session will have a back-channel, so you can text chat with other attendees and ask questions of the presenters.

Here’s how:


  • Search or browse through the “Accepted Presentations”. They’re all amazing! Note the titles of the ones you’re most interested in.
  • Go to the Conference Schedule page and scroll down to the “Schedule Pages by Time Zone”. Click on your timezone to get the scheduled presented to you in YOUR timezone (e.g. I’m in Pacific Time, so I clicked on GMT-7 and got a Conference Schedule with Pacific Times). Remember, these are all “live” sessions, so be sure to place them on your calendar at the right time. This page will help you do this.
  • Search the schedule for the session title of interest. I use CTL-F and let my browser do the work.
  • Open the session to read the details, and scroll down to the bottom of the session description. There, you will find the “copy to my calendar” link. If you use Google Calendars and are logged in to Google, you’ll love this feature.

For example, you might want to join us for the Opening Keynote Panel at 8am Pacific Time on the 19th (here’s the session ID link to the virtual room, for your convenience). I’ll be moderating the panel – so please don’t ask any REALLY hard questions! Smiley Wink



TIP #3 – Invite a Friend to a “Viewing Party” with you


Just because it’s online doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the session with your friends in person. Get a digital project and speakers for your laptop, and invite your colleagues and friends to watch a session or two together. Bring snacks – have fun!




(CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/superiphi/




TIP #4 – Be a Friend by Telling a Friend!


The more the merrier! STEM education innovation is too important to keep it a secret – so tell your colleagues and friends if you haven’t done so already:


  • If you use Facebook, we invite you to be a fan at www.facebook.com/stemxcon. From there, you can “share” announcements to your own timeline or education groups that you belong to.
  • If you use Twitter, follow the event hashtag #stemx13 – and feel free to Tweet your experience in real-time!
  •  …or simply email your friends to let them know that www.stemxcon.com is coming!



TIP #5 – Watch and Share the Recordings


Unless you are super-human, it’s not likely you’ll be able to attend EVERYTHING. After all, the conference runs 24 hours a day. Fear not – the sessions are being recorded, and the keynotes will even be posted on YouTube. Come back to www.stemxcon.com after the event for details and links.


I hope to “see” you there! If you do attend, please post a comment here and let me know what inspired you…









Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Global Education Program Manager
Sustainability & Social Innovation

Follow me on Twitter @jgvanides


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About the Author
  • Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is the effective use of technology to create powerful learning experiences that help students around the world succeed. He has been instrumental in launching over 1200 primary, secondary, and higher education projects in 41 countries, including the HP Catalyst Initiative - a 15-country network of 60+ education organizations exploring innovations in STEM(+) learning and teaching. In addition to his work at HP, Jim teaches an online course for Montana State University on the Science of Sound, a masters-level, conceptual physics course for teachers in grades 5 through 8. Jim’s past work at HP has included engineering design, engineering management, and program management in R&D, Manufacturing, and Business Development. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
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