MIT Stem Pals
September 2013

STEMxCON Brings Educators Together from Across the World!
From Jim Vanides

Dick LarsonMore than 3700 educators from 108 countries signed up to attend STEMxCON, the world’s first Massively Open Online Conference for STEM Educators. The excitement began on Thursday September 19th at 8am Pacific Time, running around the clock with over 180 online interactive presentations, concluding with a closing keynote on Saturday September 21st 5pm Pacific Time.

What made this event so exciting is that it offered an opportunity for educators across the world to learn from one another. One participant even called it “Professional Development in my PJ's” (@LynnKoresh via Twitter). Best of all, if you missed the event, the archives are available for free, too.

With support from sponsors that included HP, iEARN, Adobe, and more, the entire event was offered at no cost to attendees. STEMxCON was coordinated by and was managed and run by co-chairs Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon, founders of the Global Education Conference. A host of volunteer moderators from around the world supported presenters and attendees. The result was a rare confluence of ideas and sharing among STEM educators:

I was unsure of how I would like this online 24 format. However, it has been wonderful. I love being able to interact with the presenters from my own home and use my computer to look up sites and other resources while they talk. (USA)

This conference is really important, because sometimes it is difficult to attend from where I live and share with so many different people. (Chile)


This is my first online conference and wasn't able to "attend" until Saturday, but the quality of the three presentations I've seen is incredible. Living in Bogota I don't get this kind of access to tech ed thought. Most stimulating. (Colombia)

Due to time differences and work commitments, I was only able to attend today (Sunday morning in NZ) but it was definitely worthwhile... (New Zealand)

It has been a cerebral feast and I get to take home a doggybag full of treats and ideas (South Africa)

It’s not too late to benefit from STEMxCON. All sessions were recorded and are available via the web for viewing. Peruse the program schedule for a topic of interest, then search the recordings archive that is sorted by the presenter’s last name. There were a WIDE variety of topics and presentations, and each offered practical tips and insights. Examples include:

These are just a few of the 180+ presentations that made STEMxCON so amazing. The feedback during the event was a testimony to the impact (“My name is Meg and I am addicted to #STEMx13. :)” @megomainsky via Twitter)…and the positive feedback continues to pour in. If you were not able to attend live, we highly recommend you take a moment to enjoy any of the recorded sessions. Bring some friends, make some popcorn, and be inspired.

If the success of this inaugural event is any indication, then we may see more “MOOCon’s” in the future...

Jim Vanides is an educator and technologist who leads the vision, strategy and design of education technology programs for the Hewlett-Packard Sustainability & Social Innovation Team.

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