Welcome to the NAIS 2010 Annual Conference online community. The online conference community will serve as a virtual location where participants can enter into dialogue prior to meeting in San Francisco and continue the conversation beyond the final words of the closing session. This year’s community is different than those in past years in that it has been designed to provide a unique opportunity to experience many aspects of the read/write web or what many call Web 2.0. Rather than focusing on a single platform such as Ning or Sharepoint, this year’s community is 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, its expected active life 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 the 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. This is also a main purpose of this year’s design.
4. There are many different ways you can participate. We hope that you will take this opportunity to explore this unique experience and participate 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 2010 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 and creating an even richer experience all who join the conversation.
We look forward to this year’s conversations and hope to see everyone online and in San Francisco. For questions regarding this community, please contact email@example.com.