Before & During

What will I need to do before the unconference?

After you’ve registered for the workshop, you can wait to get an email from Adeline and Brian. (We’ll be waiting to get a list of attendees from the MLA.) You’ll be given access to this site and instructions for how to go about posting here. In the weeks leading up to the MLA, you will want to share one or more ideas for things that you’d like to talk about during the unconference. These ideas will be the basis for the different sessions that happen during the workshop. Ideas could range from talking about a digital tool you’ve used in your teaching to an assignment to a broader, meta-conversation about the role of technology in undergraduate or graduate pedagogy. But please, no full-blown papers! We are simply looking for ideas to open conversations with the whole group that we can chew on during the workshop itself.

Of course, you’ll also want to be reading the other workshop attendees’ posts and commenting on them so we can hit the ground running.

What will happen during the unconference?

The unconference will last three hours on the morning of 3 January. We will begin the workshop explaining the ground rules for a successful unconference. In short, these guidelines help create a productive and collegial atmosphere. We will then have some quick voting to determine which sessions (or combinations of them) seem most useful for the group as a whole. We’ll then break into groups based on interest in the various topics for a 50-minute conversation. We expect to have as many as four conversations happening simultaneously! After the 50 minutes, we’ll take a quick break and then do another 50-minute round of concurrent conversations. For the final 15 minutes of the workshop, we’ll reconvene for some parting thoughts and initial feedback about the unconference format.

The room will be set up with a whiteboard or flip chart for each group to use as they see fit. What’s more, there will be monitors or projectors so you can connect your laptops and show us all what you’re talking about! We’ll even have a fifth space open in the room for spontaneous conversations to break off and have a space to meet.

Schedule of the unconference

  • 8:30-8:45 am, welcome. Ground rules.
  • 8:45-9:15 am, session voting and scheduling
  • 9:15-10:05 am, session 1 (4x concurrent, + 1 space left for spontaneous discussion)
  • 10:15-11:05 am, session 2 (4x concurrent, + 1 space left for spontaneous discussion)
  • 11:15 am – 11:30 am, workshop wrap-up

What should I bring with me?

  • Your own laptop, phone, or tablet.
  • A VGA adapter (if needed) for your device. Apple users will need to bring these.
  • Excitement!

What will the workshop leaders be doing?

In a very real sense, unconferences don’t really have leaders since it is the participants (that’s you!) who make it all happen. Still, someone needs to provide a basic framework. Adeline’s and Brian’s roles are to provide that framework, both on this website leading up to the workshop and during the unconference itself.

Prior to the workshop, we’re working to publicize the event and creating a space (this site!) for participants. During the workshop, we’ll help establish the ground rules for the event, get the workshop moving, and provide any help or coordination that is needed, such as establishing crowd-sourced Google Docs notes.