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Virtual Conference 2023: Useful Tips to Maximize Your Experience

March 17, 2023 | 2 comments

Virtual Conference 2023: Useful Tips to Maximize Your Experience


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During March 21-23, Share My Lesson’s free, for-credit 2023 Virtual Conference will be here! We want to make sure you are able to fully engage in these innovative sessions and receive the professional development credit you need, so we are offering some tips to help you. And if you haven’t already chosen which sessions you plan to attend, be sure to check out my other blog: Gearing Up for Share My Lesson’s 2023 Virtual Conference.

Note: All of the sessions will be available on demand with closed captioning in English and Spanish after the live broadcast; and if you have already registered, we will email the on-demand link to you.

Familiarize Yourself with the Bottom Toolbar

To ensure that you are able to participate fully in the session, be sure to locate the bottom toolbar when you log in to the session (see the yellow highlighted portion in the image below). From left to right, you will see the widgets for the media player, the resource list, the slides, the speaker bio(s), the Q&A, the group chat, the certification, the evaluation, the share experience link, the rate and review action, and reactions. The toolbar will allow you to close or open any widgets you may need during the webinar. Several of the widgets will already be open when you join the session. If you accidentally close a widget, no worries, you can just click on the widget again and it will reopen.

Note: If you can’t see a video or a presentation, then the best place to start is at the toolbar to make sure the widget is open.

webinar homepage

Engage with Others in the Group Chat

Although the conference is virtual, that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others. Be sure to open the “group chat” to converse with others about the webinar topic. When you first log in, it’s a great idea to share where you are from, what your job is, and why you are excited about the webinar’s topic. Additionally, throughout the session, the presenter(s) may also ask you to share your thoughts on particular topics by using the group chat, so it’s crucial that you can locate the widget from the beginning. 


Ask Questions in the Q&A Widget

It can be tempting to ask any questions you have—whether they are for the presenters or tech- related—in the group chat, but to ensure your questions are seen and answered, please utilize the Q&A widget. The Q&A widget will connect you directly to the presenters and tech support. This widget will not be open when you log in to the session, so you will need to click on it in the toolbar if you need to use it.

webinar toolbar

Technology Check

These tips will help make sure your technology doesn’t keep you from having a positive webinar experience:

  • Accessing the webinar from a laptop or desktop computer provides the best overall experience. Note: You will not be able to download your PD certificate if you are on a smartphone or tablet. But you will be able to log in to the webinar from a desktop/laptop about one hour after it concludes to download your certificate.
  • For the best user experience, use the Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox browser.
  • If you hear the lobby music even after the presentation begins, or are having general audio issues, refreshing your screen usually fixes the problem.
  • If you are having connectivity problems, it helps to close any other applications that might be using your bandwidth.
When in doubt, refresh, refresh, refresh.

Answer the Poll Questions to Receive PD Credit

Every webinar will have poll questions throughout the session. To meet the criteria to receive a PD certificate at the end of the session, you will need to answer at least two poll questions and listen to at least 35 minutes of the webinar. The poll questions will be located directly in the slide deck, and will require you to click on your choice in the slide and hit the submit button.

poll screenshot

After meeting the requirements, you will be able to download the PD certificate from the platform. Be sure to download it before the webinar ends. Click on the icon in your certificate widget to open your certificate in pdf and save it. You’ll need to submit the certificate to your school or district for their approval. If you somehow miss downloading your certificate or were unable to receive it because you missed a poll, then you can always log back into the on-demand session later to answer any missed poll questions and to download the certificate.

If you are confused about how professional development credit works with our webinars, you can learn more here:

Rate Your Experience

Let us and other SML community members know what you thought of a session by leaving a rating. This lets the SML team know what did or didn’t work so we are able to adjust our offerings to best serve your needs. You can leave a rating by clicking the button seen below in the platforms toolbar.

rate and review widget

Missed a Session or Want a Refresher?

With so much great content packed into a one-hour session, it may be challenging to recall all the knowledge that was shared. Luckily, all of our sessions are available on demand following the live presentation. This means you can always watch one you missed or go back for a refresher. You can even share the link with a colleague you think might benefit from the session.

Register for All 2023 Virtual Conference Webinars

Here is a complete list of all the 2023 virtual conference webinars you can register for. Register for one, or all!

Megan Ortmeyer
Megan Ortmeyer is an SML Team Member and has worked in the AFT Educational Issues Department since fall 2018. She received her M.A. in education policy studies in May 2020 from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. Prior to working at the AFT,... See More

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cynthiafey March 22, 2023, 2:48 pm

Thank you, Megan. Do you have an RCDTS Code for the Professional Development Provider of the conference? My Illinois State Board of Ed form is asking for the RCDTS Code.

cynthiafey March 22, 2023, 2:48 pm

Thank you, Megan. Do you have an RCDTS Code for the Professional Development Provider of the conference? My Illinois State Board of Ed form is asking for the RCDTS Code.