Episode 58

"Smithsonian Online Conferences"

Duration 00:12:33      Recorded on March 01, 2009

Susan and Dan talk with Stephanie Norby, executive director of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Recently, Stephanie’s group hosted a very exciting online conference, bringing together curators and educators across the Smithsonian to explore the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Show Notes:

Susan and Dan talk with Stephanie Norby, executive director of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies.

Recently, Stephanie's group hosted a very exciting online conference, bringing together curators and educators across the Smithsonian. That includes 19 museums, 9 research centers and a national zoo, as well as central offices. They can pull from a variety of resources when they want to explore a topic.

At least three thousand participants logged in for the conference on Abraham Lincoln, located in over 700 cities and 26 countries. They were surprised at who participated; classroom teachers, museums, universities, research centers, presidential libraries and others. If you would like to see the archived sessions, visit: http://www.smithsonianconferences.org/.

In an effort to offer their programs to a wider teacher audience (not limited by space and travel costs), they decided to go virtual.

The kids enjoyed participating because they got their questions answered. Curators and their staff worked the text messaging feature and followed up after the sessions. The participants who were very well educated brought additional content to the conference by way of their interactions. The presenters were prepared by the experience of working with public groups and teachers and understanding what it takes to engage learners. But the fact that they were coached by LearningTimes made them all the more successful in transitioning to the virtual environment.

The Lincoln conference was one of the first in a series. The next one will be a more modest event on Earth Day. They will ask for audience input on a bigger event in late September on the topic of climate change. Speakers include scientists researching the rain forests, anthropologists studying the effect on native people in the artic circle, and the national postal museum on how we can 'green' the delivery of mail.

To receive updates on the conference plans, visit http://smithsonianeducation.org.

Stephanie will also be sharing her expertise as a keynote speaker at the International Online Conference in late March. To see the program and register, visit http://www.internationalonlineconference.org. She will share over 1700 lesson plans, web sites, anything that addresses the subjects they teach in school. March 30-31, 2009.

 
About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.

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Susan Manning
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