So this past March, I was the inaugural Hybrid Experience Chair for the 2022 SIGCSE Technical Symposium. This conference is the Special Interest Group Computer Science Education’s (SIGCSE) flagship conference with over 1,500 attendees. My career plans included serving on committees like this. However, I hadn’t planned to volunteer for such committees until my kids were older and starting in a much smaller role.
But when I got the call, I couldn’t say no. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, I’ve been talking about how we can’t go back to pre-covid times as we glacially return to some new normal. In-person conferences are exclusionary. I experienced that first hand with SIGCSE TS 2020, the conference that didn’t happen due to the pandemic. I was eight months pregnant at the time of that conference and therefore couldn’t travel. So I had to remove my name from a submission because it required attendance. I supported my co-authors but couldn’t actually go and therefore couldn’t have my name on our submission.
We cannot let our flagship conference be so exclusionary in the future. So I agreed to be the first Hybrid Experience Chair. I wanted the experience to be good enough that everyone would agree that it was a good thing to keep, even if they didn’t feel as strongly as I do.
Since then, I’ve gotten multiple emails asking how to do a hybrid conference. So I’m starting a new series on my blog and hopefully will get out a bunch of posts as quickly as I can. Though, I’ll probably not get many out until mid-summer. I’ll be playing catchup on my teaching until the semester is over at the end of April. If you want the information sooner, you should probably email me.
Some posts I’m already thinking about:
- Questions to think through if you want to do a hybrid conference — This one is first in my queue and will be a more nicely organized version of what I’ve been sending to those who email me asking about hybrid.
- An event for online attendees first: Authors’ Corner — We created this for authors and attendees participating virtually. If you can’t wait for this post, the SIGCSE TS 2022’s website has text about it for the authors and the attendees. And it looks like the RESPECT conference is also planning to do one.
- It should be a Hybrid Committee — I was a committee of one. I really shouldn’t have been. But we didn’t know any better at the time. I’ll discuss in this post the plans for SIGCSE TS 2023 and the committee I’m creating (the hybrid chair position is for 2-years).
- People will change modality. Plan for it! — A discussion on how to think through last-minute modality changes, how we handled it, and what I wish we did.
- Should videos be required? — My opinion about when to require videos and how to use them.
- How much time this all took me — This is more like my usual reflection + quantitative-self posts.
So how much are you all interested in these? Any I should do before the others? What other things should I write about? I hope to spend more time this summer writing on this blog. Writing this blog helps me reflect a lot more, and I think I need to do that to make 2023 even better. So if there’s something that you all want me to think or write about, requesting a post on it is one way to do it.
Disclaimer: Opinions are my own.