The education landscape is rapidly changing globally as technological advancements are picking up the pace, paving the way for online education and e-learning opportunities. The development in online education in the past decade has happened immensely. With virtual events on the rise, it’s only natural for e-learning platforms to make the most of them especially in the wake of Covid-19 that brought the world to a standstill. A good example of the merger of e-learning and virtual events is the Open edX virtual conference that is happening on 27th May 2021.

The conference that previously used to last for a few days as a physical event is going to be held virtually this year which further emphasizes the importance of technology in the ed-tech industry. This half-day event will bring together the Open EdX community and educational experts to highlight the importance of virtual classrooms and discuss the future of educational technology.

What is Open edX?

Edx is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform that was the product of the joint effort of educational experts at Harvard and MIT, aimed at making education accessible for the masses. A wide range of university-level courses from all disciplines can be found on edX by a global student body. 

Edx is also known for its massive research on online learning. One of its initiatives is Open edX, an open-source learner management system (LMS) empowering organizations worldwide to host Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) along with training and virtual classes. The Open edX project by edX caters to higher education institutions, government organizations, and enterprises.

Open edX has been powering several e-learning platforms, edX being one of them, and comes loaded with useful features that make online learning a breeze. Since it is open-source, it is constantly evolving and improving its offerings with the aid of a robust group of technology partners.

Why is the Open edX Conference Important?

Open edX virtual conference

On 27th May 2021, the Open edX virtual conference will bring together the world’s top education experts to share their ideas about e-learning techniques. Leading ed-tech specialists are invited to the edX annual conference to discuss the latest research, modern technologies, and methodologies. 

The open edX virtual conference aims to find the best ways to integrate technology into virtual classrooms and hence, is a fantastic opportunity to interact with and learn from the opinion leaders of the ed-tech community from the comfort of your home. This year’s virtual conference will allow attendees to join from all over the world, communicate with each other, and navigate the event with ease, thanks to LoudSwarm’s intuitive and all-in-one user-friendly interface.

The conference provides a chance to learn about the importance of collaborative learning in the current technological landscape. It’s an opportunity to explore the future of educational technology and how the stakeholders (students, educators, technology experts, etc.) can contribute towards the development of enhanced e-learning methodologies.

The topic for Open edX Virtual Conference 2021 is “Shaping the Future of Education Together.” With eight talks on the subject matter, keynote speeches by thought-leaders, and networking space to build connections with other attendees, the virtual conference is going to be an amazing event for bringing together like-minded people from the e-learning industry.

Preparation Guide for Open edX Virtual Conference

Online learning

1-Define your Goals
Before attending the conference, make sure you have a clear idea of what you aim to gain from the conference. Start by asking yourself why you are attending the conference. Then list down the outcomes and goals you wish to achieve from it. Make sure you are confident and enthusiastic about the conference.

2-Explore Tools and Learning Opportunities
Maximize your learning experience at the conference by being fully prepared. Ensure you have a stable internet connection and don’t forget to test your device’s microphone, earphones, and front camera. Laptops work better than smartphones on most conference platforms. 

Do explore the demo of the video conferencing platform to get a hand on most of the features.

3-Plan your Schedule
Make sure your schedule is well planned and sorted. Schedule your meetings and commitments accordingly to have an uninterrupted experience. The most recommended tip would be to turn on “Do Not Disturb Mode” on your smartphone.

Keep your family and friends informed about the conference so that no one disturbs you during the conference. Prepare and plan your snack breaks before the conference to keep yourself caffeinated and hydrated.

4-Research on the Speakers and Specialists
Interacting with the experts is a massive opportunity, so do your research and homework on each of them. That will give you a headstart and help you in asking relevant and valuable questions from them. An appropriate and relatable reference from your research about them can leave a good impression of you on them.

5-Read about the Open edX Virtual Conference
It is always wise to read about the organizers and the past conferences. Visit the Open edX website and find out more about the Open edX conferences that happened in the past. You can also reach out to the guests of previous conferences and get their feedback.

Critical Tips for Attending Open edX Virtual Conference 2021

Online conference

1-Interact as Much as you Can
You are attending the conference to learn and not to listen only. Be an active participant by getting involved in discussions. Be confident and ask well-thought-out questions from the speakers. You can benefit from their extremely valuable first-hand experiences and advice.

2-Take Notes
Keep a notepad and a pen with you and jot down all the key points and questions you want to ask in the Q/A session. You may also be comfortable typing down the notes on your laptop, but that might loosen up your focus from the conference.

3-Take Caffeine Breaks
Virtual conferences can be lengthy, making it difficult for the attendees to focus and retain information. To deal with that,  take snack breaks in between the sessions. Get yourself a mug of coffee or tea along with some snacks to munch on.

4-Schedule One on One Sessions
Always avail the opportunity to interact with the speakers. If there is an option to schedule one-on-one sessions with the speakers, go for it. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask. The best way is to introduce yourself, tell them about your interests in technology and online education, and then benefit from their advice.

5-Socialize with Other Participants
Apart from learning, conferences are meant to be a good platform where like-minded individuals can socialize and make connections. Relationship and network building can benefit you in a wide variety of ways, so make lots of friends and share your experiences.

Necessary Steps to Take after Attending the Conference

Virtual conference

1-Utilize On-demand Features
One of the benefits of virtual conferences is the on-demand feature allowing you to re-watch the sessions online after the conference. It is a good tool if you are looking to take notes. You can simply pause the video and take notes at your own pace.

2-Get Connected with Organizers and Specialists on LinkedIn
The best chance for you to connect with the specialists and organizers of the Open edX Virtual Conference is to send them connection requests on LinkedIn right after the conference. Do not forget to introduce yourself while sending a request to enhance your chances of becoming a part of their network.

3-Revise the Learning Goals
It’s time to reflect on the goals and objectives you set before the conference. Evaluate the conference by assessing each goal and your learning. It will allow you to judge how helpful the conference was for you.

4-Give Feedback
Now that you know how fruitful the virtual conference was for you visit the Open edX virtual conference 2021 platform and share your feedback with the organizers. That will not only help them improve but might also provide you a reply.

Bonus Tip: Make sure you enjoy the virtual experience of the Open edX Virtual Conference 2021. The objective is to learn, grow and contribute to technological advancement in the ed-tech industry.