This is a somewhat belated post on a most pleasant, sociable evening I spent last week with some friends. We had some lovely, meaningful chit-chat. We picked up some wonderful advice, shared ideas and went away more peaceful and energized.
And it was all online.
What I attended was an online tele-conference through Homeschool Connections. Danielle Bean gave a very nice presentation on "Caring Connections: Maximizing the Benefits of Homeschool Family Relationships". Very cool talk, nice to have the accessibility of Danielle's notes right in front of us via Power Point as she was speaking and the connectedness of seeing her on video too as she spoke (although this particular feature apparently has some glitches for Mac users at the moment).
Walter, the brains behind Homeschool Connections, was a great host who kept the mood comfortable and friendly and helped tie in the interactive features of the forum as the evening proceeded. Yes, not only did we get to see and hear Danielle, but she was able to get immediate feedback from some polls that helped her focus in on certain sub-topics that were of particular interest to the participants. (There were around 15 participants in all.)
One of my favorite features was the chat forum. It was neat both because we had interaction between the participants and because Walter kept an eye on the chat forum and made sure significant questions were passed along to Danielle. I couldn't believe how fast the hour and a half flew by and my only disappointment was that they weren't yet set up for the participants to stick around and chat after the talk was over.
I highly recommend this conference format - particularly for those who aren't able to attend a local homeschool conference.