I’m organizing some Chat Backchannels for the breakout sessions at Tech Ed. Currently, a session is a speaker and a sea of people watching. Chat Backchannels have been very successful in other events. This is how it works. Attendees who have laptops open up the chat screen during the session. Participants can post questions and answers. The bandwidth for communication and learning grows with the number of participants. Perhaps someone wasn’t clear of the last point of the presentation. Another attendee can help clarify, and it can have a pretty good debate as well!
Here is how it will work:
When you attend your session, log into MSN chat. Go to a chat room with the name of the room you are in. For instance, if you are in room 109 AB, go to room “teched109ab”. Start the name with “teched” and finish it with the room name. No spaces and all lowercase. I’ve created some already, but if a room doesn’t already exist, create it. You are the first one connected. Other people will then connect, and the chat will begin. Here are some links to some rooms:
When creating a room (if you have to), when you type in the name, make sure you munge it together and make it all lowercase so that others will find it when typing it in.
Pass the word. This is a grass roots movement that I will be asking the speakers to support. Please blog about this to pass the word. If you know any speakers, encourage them to announce this at the beginning of their session to kick start the chats.