Welcome to the NAIS 2011 Annual Conference online community. The online conference community will serve as a virtual location where participants can enter into dialogue prior to meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, and continue the conversation beyond the final words of the closing session. This year’s community is again woven from the fabric of today’s social web. It is our hope that you will take this unique opportunity to personally experience this form of communication and join in a dialogue around topics from this year’s conference. But first a few things you need to know…
Things to know…
1. The online Annual Conference community is NOT meant to replace any existing communities (i.e. ISED, Independent School Ning etc.). Rather, it is a focused conversation that centers around a specific group of individuals and topics. Therefore, the expected active life of this community is approximately 4 to 5 months. While the community will not go away after that time, it is likely that these conversations will eventually filter back to locations where you have established roots. The advantage of this space is that it is focused around an event and its participants.
2. While the community conversations will eventually wane, the information and conversations will remain on the web as a digital artifact for years to come. This makes this community a permanent resource for anyone who is interested in independent school education related to topics from the conference and the community. We will all leave behind our digital footprints as we participate in this adventure. The size of your footprint will depend on your level of participation.
3. Since this community has a temporal and topical focus, it is our hope that you will take advantage of this unique opportunity to engage in new and dynamic ways using many of today’s communication and collaborative tools freely available on the web.
4. There are many different ways you can participate. We hope that you will take this opportunity to explore this community and engage in this unique experience by participating on as many levels as you can. There should be a place for everyone to join the conversation within their comfort zone. However, we only grow when we stretch this zone. Like Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), maximal learning will take place when we operate at the edge of what we know. Give yourself a little challenge for the next few months.
5. The community will feature special online interactions where you will have the opportunity to interact with others in real time (synchronous) as well as virtual time (asynchronous). These opportunities will be announced throughout different parts of the community.
6. The 2011 Annual Conference Online Community is a dynamic, fluid space. Therefore, you will likely see additional features appear over its life providing other opportunities to interact creating an even richer experience to all who join the conversation.
We look forward to this year’s conversations and hope to see everyone online and at National Harbor. For questions regarding this community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.