The text below provides extensive information about DLAC presentation types. We encourage everyone, and especially presenters who are new to DLAC, to review the information prior to submitting a proposal. This information is also available on the DLAC sessions page on the conference website.
To get started with the proposal process, click on the Login link above, and follow the instructions for a New User to create your account. Once complete, select "Submissions" from the top of the page, then "Add New" to submit your proposal(s). Please send any proposal related questions to email@example.com.
2020 Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) Call for Proposals
The program for the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) is not like the typical education conference. The time allotted to sessions will vary considerably, with an emphasis on shorter, more interactive discussions instead of longer, sit-and-get presentations. Sessions will range from very short presentations (6 minutes) to debates that might be as long as 90 minutes, with many options in between.
We are building a modular program in which the basic building block is a 20-minute segment, which must include at least 5 minutes of Q&A/discussion at the end, and include 2 1/2 additional minutes for transition. Four segments are combined into 90-minute sessions (including transition time), which may be built around a common theme. Several exceptions to this basic framework are provided and explained below.
This approach maximizes flexibility for conference attendees, with attendees frequently moving from room to room throughout the break-out session. We recognize that this approach is going to require us to socialize presenters, moderators, and attendees!
For example, an attendee may start by attending two 20-minute talks, and during the Q&A of the second one, get up and move to a room with a table talk that lasts two segments. Another attendee may begin by attending a panel session and a little after a half hour decide to leave (even though the panel discussion isn’t over) to attend three PechaKucha talks for segment 3 and then move to a contributed talk for segment 4. A third attendee may decide to attend a debate that lasts the entire 90 minutes and not move during that break-out session.
The potential combinations for how any given attendee chooses to utilize the break-out sessions are nearly endless, including deciding to not attend any session for a portion of a break-out session and, instead, utilizing that time to network in one of the lounge areas. The guiding idea is that attendees should feel free to move between sessions in a way that meets their learning and networking needs in order to create a truly personalized conference experience. It is not considered rude to move between sessions, and presenters should expect that people may leave and arrive throughout their presentation/discussion.
In order for this to work, segment times will be strictly enforced by a moderator in each break-out room. This will provide the needed structure to allow for the “organized chaos” of the break-out sessions to succeed.
Break-out Session Types
We are soliciting the following types of sessions. Remember, an individual segment is planned for each speaker to present for 20 minutes. Therefore, the total times are:
- 1 segment: 20 minutes
- 2 segments: 40 minutes
- 3 segments: 60 minutes
- 4 segments: 80 minutes
- Sessions are held in the 90-minute blocks of time, made up of multiple segments and transition time, that can be built around a specific theme/topic, which will combine different session types. In rare cases, two blocks may be combined for longer workshops. If you wish to request this for your proposal, select "Other" for the number of segments and explain the length of time being requested and why longer than 90 minutes is needed.
For your proposal, you will be asked to select one of the following session types:
- Contributed Talk (1 segment) - These talks are made up of 15 minutes of presentation and 5 minutes of questions and discussion including an additional 2 1/2 minutes of transition. The Program Advisory Board will organize these short talks together under broad themes. People that don’t want to stay for all of the contributed talks may use the Q&A time to move to another room. A room moderator assigned by DLAC tracks time to keep speakers on schedule.
- Organized Session of Talks (4 segments) - The presenter proposes the theme and all four speakers. These sessions are still based on 20-minute segments in order to allow conference attendees to move between sessions throughout the day. A session moderator may choose to have three speakers plus a 20-minute discussion for the fourth segment.
- Table Talks (2 segments) – Table talks are facilitated group discussions of 40 minutes plus ten minutes to move to a new topic or session.
- PechaKucha (6 minute 40 second presentation) – this is a very specific type of presentation where you must have exactly 20 images in a Powerpoint with slides auto-advancing after 20 seconds. See for more information.
- Poster Sessions (90 minutes) – Posters will be presented during two early evening receptions in the exhibit hall. We would like you to think of your poster as an “infographic” to stress that the graphics must convey a problem and solution, or research question and findings.
- If you have an idea for another session, please provide this information in your proposal in the "Other" area.
Blocks may also be used for the following types of activities, using the entire 90 minutes or a portion of the 90 minutes:
- Panel Discussion (2 to 4 segments) – after short introductory statements on the panel topic, a moderator will lead a discussion with the panelists on the topic, encouraging the attendees to pose questions. Panel discussions must be interactive between panel members and the audience and not be merely a set of individual presentations.
- Debate (2 to 4 segments) – this session is intended for a moderator to lead a debate-style discussion on online, blended, or digital learning topic (perhaps an area of policy) in which there currently are differing opinions. Structurally, a debate and a panel discussion may appear similar, but we are encouraging the free exchange of ideas and, as such, debates that feature differing views will be given priority.
- Workshops (4 or more segments) – this session provides an opportunity to explore a topic in depth. Given the length of the session, it is expected that the workshop will have various interactive components. While, generally speaking, sessions are limited to 90 minutes in length, workshops may propose a longer time period that would span more than one break-out session.
In addition, DLAC will support the following types of presentations:
- Coffee conversations on the second and third mornings of the conference
- Facilitated lunch conversations throughout the conference
- Meetup lounges in Zilker Terrace, Zilker Foyer, and restaurants
Planning and Writing Your Proposal
DLAC is based on these principles as explained on the website:
“Digital tools and resources aren't silver bullets that magically transform education, but online learning, blended learning, and the use of technology have the potential to increase student opportunities and improve student outcomes, when developed by thoughtful school leaders and implemented by effective teachers.
We seek to celebrate K-12 digital learning practitioners, researchers, and policymakers; learn from each other; and share best (and worst!) practices in this new and innovative conference.”
We seek presentations and facilitated discussions that explore:
- Instructional strategies using online, blended, and digital learning to meet educational goals at a district, school, or student level. We are especially interested in systemic approaches to using online tools, resources, or instruction in traditional schools.
- What does “success” look like—beyond test scores in particular?
- How can digital learning strategies and programs be sustainable and scalable?
- What have you failed at, learned from, improved upon?
- What research or evidence-based concepts are you putting into practice (or researching)?
- What policies are helping or hindering digital learning efforts?
This is not an exhaustive list but, instead, is meant to catalyze your thinking.
Each of these topics can be explored from multiple perspectives, including teachers, school leaders, parents, students, researchers, policymakers, and others. In particular, we encourage schools to consider including students in presentations and discussions, as appropriate.
We encourage differing perspectives and welcome debates and panel discussions.
As we explain above, individual sessions are typically short. Therefore, we encourage presentations and discussions that focus on a specific topic, particularly from the perspectives of “here’s what we tried and here's what was successful (or not)”, or “here’s what our data tells us about our successes and failures.” Specific topics might include content acquisition, teacher recruitment, professional learning, evaluation, student support, and on and on. The list is endless.
If you have a topic you’d like to explore, others are likely interested as well, and we encourage you to submit a proposal.
Also, you don’t have to consider yourself an expert to propose a session. If you are struggling with an issue, propose a table talk to attract others who are dealing with it as well. If you have a certain view and want to explore it with others who hold different opinions, propose a panel discussion or debate. If you have an issue that you feel is important and interesting but limited in scope, propose a PechaKucha presentation.
Finally, if you are interested in exploring a session topic but not sure if it’s a good fit, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to your email as best we can, and may include your question in our proposal FAQ (with identifying information removed).
DLAC Call for Proposals Timeline
We will be accepting proposals from June 10 - September 15, 2019. Submissions will be reviewed by members of the Program Advisory Board throughout the month of October and the program will be finalized by conference organizers in November. All submitters will be notified no later than November 16, 2019 on the status of their proposals, in addition to time and date of accepted presentations. We are providing submitters with an incentive to submit your proposal early to help us gauge the potential number of submissions we will receive. Submit a proposal by midnight PST on 7/19/19 to automatically receive 3 additional points (proposals are reviewed on a 20-point scale).
- June 10, 2019 - Call for Proposal Opens
- July 19, 2019 - Early Proposal Submissions Due (3 extra points are given to submissions submitted by EOD on 7/19/19)
- September 15, 2019 - Call for Proposals Closes
- September 22 - November 11, 2019 - Proposals are reviewed by Program Advisory Board
- Week of November 11 - Notifications are emailed to all submitters no later than November 16.
Helpful Information for Submitting Your Proposal(s)
If you are submitting a proposal with multiple speakers, please have all group presenters' information (name, title, org, city, state/country, pic, and bio) before submitting your proposal.
If you are submitting a proposal on behalf of someone else, please list them as the main speaker. You may add your email as part of the process to be copied on all correspondence.
Please only create one profile (account). All speakers should use the same email address for all presentations (both the ones you submit as the lead presenter and for the ones you are listed as a co-presenter for).
Each individual person (not based on organization) is limited to submitting 3 submissions (you may be listed as a co-presenter on multiple proposals).
Please remember that sessions are for educational purposes only and not vehicles for commercial gain.
A projector and speakers will be available in each Breakout Room.
You will receive a confirmation email with a record number within a few minutes of successfully submitting your proposal. The email will be sent to the email address you listed when you created your profile. Please be aware that sometimes school and company emails may be blocked or will send the confirmation to your junk mailbox. If you feel you have completed and submitted your proposal(s) and you do NOT receive a confirmation email, please go back into your account, make any necessary changes and re-submit. If you have any issues submitting your proposal, please contact us at email@example.com.
To get started with the proposal process, click on the Login link above, and follow the instructions for a New User to create your account. Once complete, select "Submissions" from the top of the page, then "Add New" to submit your proposal(s). Please send any proposal related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC), click here.