Fun news for you, we hope! I know it's hard to get a long email, but there's lots of important information below that should be exciting to you.
FIRST, Elluminate's acquisition by Blackboard has just gone through this week, but I've been given permission to move ahead in full on the conference. I've spent the last couple of days getting the website (http://www.globaleducationconference.com) organized, and am very excited about what we're doing. Thanks so much for all the time you spent helping conceive the conference--hopefully, that will pay back to you and your organization in good ways.
SECOND, we're ready to announce our call for presentations. The form is live on the website as of yesterday, we just haven't announced it yet. We will do so later today or tomorrow. The initial announcements for the conference generated almost 1500 sign-ups, and so we are confident and hopeful that we're going to have significant participation.
So: here is an important feature of how we are going to solicit, and then accept, presentation applications. For our partner organizations our goal is to showcase you and your good work, and to give you incentive to advertise and encourage participation in the conference. There is a separate webpage for each partner organization on the conference website (they are up in simplified form at this time--you can click on your organization name to see your page). To the degree that you are interested in participating, you can then encourage submissions of sessions that will then be "branded" with your organization's name and be listed on that page.
Here's how this will work. When a presentation proposal is submitted, there is a field that asks if the presenter to indicate if s/he has been invited by a conference partner to submit a proposal. We will gather those presentation submissions where your organization has been indicated and email them to you by September 15. We will ask you to select the ones you would like us to accept by October 1. These sessions can be by any individual(s) in or out of your organization, can be in any and all of the conference tracks, and there is no limit on the number of sessions you can accept--we only ask that you agree to make sure the speakers for your sessions are are prepared and that the sessions will have a quality level that reflects well on your organization and the conference as a whole. (We will handle the training session in the use of Elluminate, and we will handle the actual scheduling of date and time for each session.) Your sponsored sessions will then be listed on your individual partner page on the website as well as being listed in the regular program under the time and track designations. You may ask your presenters to include a slide in their presentation which showcases your organization.
THIRD, sessions that do not have a sponsoring organization listed, or that are not accepted by a sponsoring organization, will go back into the general pool for our International Advisory Board to review. Please check out the advisory board page on the website, as we now have almost 100 advisors from 24 countries (wow). Julie Lindsay of the Flat Classrooms Project is the chair of that group, and their jobs will be to promote both participation and attendance at the conference, to help train and support presenters in their geographical region and local languages, and to help with the program selection and scheduling. The underlying goal of the conference is inclusion, and to the degree that it is possible, we are going to work to allow any reasonable effort at presentation by those outside of traditionally active areas.
FOURTH, keynote speakers. We plan on having at least one keynote speaker for each larger time zone area each day--which means roughly 20 total keynotes. We will be looking at a list of keynote speakers ourselves, but we also want to encourage you to help us arrange one or two keynote speakers that you may have special relationships with or who are within your organization. These keynote sessions will also be branded with your organization's name. We recognize that there may be speakers who would need compensation to speak, but in keeping with our interest in having no financial transactions related to the conference, we will either pass on those or, if you were to make a financial arrangement as a part of having them as a sponsored keynote, that would be between you and them.
We will also be looking at having a special opening and a closing keynote, which would need to have "big gun" speakers. If you think you have the right person(s) for this, please let us know quickly as those are likely to be harder to arrange given stricter timing requirements.
FIFTH, we hope, where appropriate, that you will engage your PR/Media operations to start outreach and exposure, especially to international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations. In particular we hope you will reach groups for whom inclusion and participation will make a difference. A sample announcement to send out is included below.
SIXTH, and finally, if we've missed something critical, or if you have a suggestion, please let us know! If you can think of ways that your organization could benefit from or help to enhance the conference, this is a good time to let us know. :)
Send a one-paragraph description of your organization to appear on your conference webpage
Send us the URL that you would like your conference page to reference for your organization, as well as a URL (not the actual file) for your preferred logo.
Please start corresponding with Lucy Gray directly about keynote speakers.
Send an announcement of the conference to your membership.
We're pleased to announce that [your organization here!] is a partner in the upcoming 2010 Global Education Conference, being held online November 15 - 19. This five-day free conference will have participation from all over the world in multiple languages and in multiple time zones. We hope you will consider attending or even presenting!
More detailed information about the conference is available at http://www.GlobalEducationConference.com. There are going to be five conference tracks: Teacher, Student, Curricular, Policy and Leadership, and Global Issues. Included in these will be a series of sessions specifically sponsored by us, and if you choose to submit a presentation, please indicate us as the sponsoring organization. The selection process will finalize in late September, and you'll hear directly from the conference organizers. The call for presentations is now open at http://www.globaleducationconference.com/call-for-presentations.html.
There is also an international educator advisory board from all over the world to help promote participation and attendance, to train and support presenters in local regions and languages, and to help with program selection and scheduling. If this is something that interests you, you can submit your interest at http://www.globaleducationconference.com/want-to-help.html.