You Too Can Go Virtual

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic seems change daily. It’s clear, however, that life as usual is not an option for anyone, including scientists. Researchers are being asked to shut down their labs and work from home. 

At the same time, academic researchers who teach classes are scrambling to take them online and serve the needs of their students, while other investigators are being asked to convert in-person scientific meetings, conferences and workshops into virtual ones. That means a large number of scientists are now preoccupied with the minutiae of going virtual.

That’s why we hosted two DIY online meetings on how to rescue your workshop aimed at sharing the tips and tricks we’ve learned in the past decade of prototyping virtual events. About 300 people joined us over two days. Here are a few things we promised to our participants:

  • The video from the March 17, 2020 event (see below).
  • A link to the Amazon shopping list we refer to in the video.
  • And, here are the slides used during the webinar.

VERY engaging, thought-provoking, and practical presentation,” wrote Stanley Maloy, Ph.D. to us in an email. Maloy is Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation, and Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. I have already applied several concepts I learned.” Likewise, Twitter users shared tips we shared with them.

Years in the Making

In recent years, KI has begun running fully virtual events, as well as augmenting in-person ones with pre- and post-event Micro Labs. What began as a way to help our clients decrease their carbon footprint by going entirely virtual has had the added benefit of increasing the inclusivity of their events. 

Those years of experience (a.k.a. experimentation) have put KI in the position of being able to help the scientific community as it faces the realities of life in the time of COVID-19. It’s our hope that science goes on — at least as best as it can. 

“We could see that some people who attended our first Rescue Your Workshop event were struggling with the basics, while others wanted to know how they could do more than just lecture or participate in conference calls,” said KI’s Donnalyn Roxey.  “We’ve figured out the technology and creative ways to use it. We really want to share both with the research community.”

Based on the feedback, we added more basics to the second Rescue Your Workshop event and are sharing the recorded video from that meeting. We hope it helps you go virtual and enjoy doing so.

Resources (added 4/16/20)