and LearningTimes LLC have joined together to launch the first in a series of free online education conferences. This conference, Feb. 4 and 5, will focus on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Through live presentations, moderated forums, and demonstrations of resource materials, Smithsonian curators will lead participants in explorations of Smithsonian research and collections. Additionally, an online exhibit hall open during the conference, will allow educators everywhere to experience virtually what Washington, D.C., area teachers have experienced for years at the Smithsonians annual education expo known as Smithsonian Teachers Night. In the exhibit hall educators will be introduced to the world of Smithsonian education, and its wealth of classroom-ready resources.
As with the Lincoln conference, each conference in the series will have a single theme or topic explored through the lens of several different disciplines by Smithsonian curators, said Stephanie Norby, director of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. With just a computer and access to the Internet, participants can get a behind-the-scenes look into the Smithsonians collections of artifacts, artworks, and documents from the perspectives of history, science and art.
Unlike other professional conferences, the Smithsonian Education Online Conferences have no physical venue, said Smithsonian Chief Information Officer Ann Speyer. Taking place completely on the Web, the conference is wherever you are. Registration for the conferences is free and open to everyone. All of the conference sessions will be recorded and archived, and can be replayed at any time via the Web.
Through the online event there is no shortage of opportunities to meet peers, share information, expand professional networks and learn from talented colleagues. Participants in all LearningTimes-produced online conferences report that the virtual experience is at least as meaningful and valuable - if not more so - than attending an offline conference, said Jonathan Finkelstein, president and executive producer of LearningTimes.
For more information or to register as a participant, online school students and educators may join the online community at http://smithsonianeducation.org/lincoln