Virtual Conference FAQ


What is the Virtual Conference?

The Virtual Conference is a hybrid conference that allows remote attendees to access live onsite sessions and events from their computers. The conference is hosted entirely over the Internet. Attendees participate through a conference website designed specifically for the virtual experience. The conference site is where you will watch conference sessions live via streaming video, and participate in sessions by chatting in questions and comments and participating in session activities in real time.


Online participants have access to all session materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and handouts, prior to the start of the sessions. A virtual session facilitator will be in the room for all live sessions, and will make sure that questions, comments, and group work are shared with face-to-face attendees and session presenters.

In addition to the live events, the Virtual Conference includes discussion forums, networking opportunities, a conference resource center, the ability to search for and chat with other conference attendees, and other features specifically designed to give virtual attendees the same opportunity to learn and engage with the presenters to achieve the same educational outcomes as onsite attendees.

Who should attend?

Educators who are unable to attend the 2012 Annual Conference in person will be able to participate in the same number of sessions as face-to-face attendees, with attendees being able to choose from a number of session options during each of the virtual sessions taking place during each session set of the three-day conference.

The Virtual Conference also allows an opportunity for educators from a single district, school, or agency to attend the conference together. We offer group discounts that allow each Virtual Conference attendee from the group to have his/her own unique login ID and password, allowing each person to participate in all conference activities.

The Virtual Conference is also available to people who attend the Annual Conference in person but want to view archived breakout sessions and Thought Leader Lectures they may not have attended on site.

What are the technical requirements needed to participate?

The Virtual Conference is accessible using any standard web browser. To participate, you need an Internet connection (at least 56K recommended), web browser, and Adobe's free Flash player. Windows users will need Internet Explorer version 6 or later, Netscape Navigator version 6.2 or later, or Mozilla Firefox. Mac users will need Safari, Netscape Navigator 6.2 or later, or Mozilla Firefox.

The online conference platform is html-based and can be accessed through any firewall. It doesn't require any proprietary downloads, and only uses standard port 80. All sessions will be streamed using Macromedia's Flash technology, which is also accessible through firewalls. If you're still concerned about firewall access, click here to perform a test. If you can view and hear the presentation, you will be able to access the conference. If you experience problems, contact tom.manning@learningforward.org for assistance.

What happens once I register?

Once you register, you will receive email updates from Learning Forward in the weeks leading up to the event.

Two weeks before the conference begins, you will receive an announcement with a complete schedule of live sessions, and will be asked to sign up for the sessions you want to attend.

The conference site opens a week before the start of the conference. When the site opens, you will receive an email with the site URL (Internet address) for the conference website, and your login ID and password. Prior to the site opening, all emails you receive will come from Learning Forward. Once the site is open, you will receive announcements through the conference site in your email inbox.

When the conference site opens, you will be able to view a presentation walking you through how to participate in live sessions, post in discussion forums, download conference materials, participate in live chats, and use the other Virtual Conference site functions.

What if I cannot attend some of the sessions I'd like to see?

All conference sessions will be recorded and posted on the conference site at the end of the event, so you can view all Virtual Conference sessions at your convenience.

How long will the site remain open after the conference is over?

The conference site will remain open to attendees for six month following the end of the conference.

Learn More

For more information on the Virtual Conference, contact Tom Manning, Associate Director of E-Learning, at tom.manning@learningforward.org.