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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Supporting the connections across continents

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When people get together great things can happen. We can learn together, support each other and things that may have seemed impossible become do-able. As chair of the EuroCALL CMC SIG I am delighted to be involved in several initiatives recently which focus upon increasing the connections between the European activity and our colleagues in both the USA and Japan. 

Firstly here's a message from Sahar Matar of the EuroCALL Grad students SIG:


We, the board of the Eurocall Grad Students SIG, are starting a new method to connect members of the SIG and to help them to get to know about the activities of the conference in case they could not make it. We are inviting volunteering grad students to play the role of the SIG ambassadors this year. This role entails that they share on Twitter or any other preferred social media, updates on the conference sessions and information picked up in the various sessions they may go to during the conference using the conference hashtag #eurocall2018. 
This hopefully will give members more opportunities to have access to the projects presented at the conference and to get to know people with similar interests on social media. This is part of a collaborative work with our sister association, CALICO. We have implemented this method with the CALICO Grad Students SIG at CALICO2018 in Urbana-Champaign, IL (May 29 - June 2) and that was awesome. We are planning to do the same here to connect the members of both associations. If you are going to Eurocall2018 and you see yourself interested in being our ambassador, please email Sahar at saharmatar2@gmail.com
The conference twitter account is @eurocall2018

Secondly, thanks to @virtuallyconnecting we joined folk at the 25th anniversary of the  #JALTCALL2018 conference in Japan. This was such a joyous conversation with participants from several timezones chatting face to face, connecting practitioners, keynote speakers, researchers and enabling participation where costs of travel or other restrictions would often be a problem. You can watch the recording of the session here
Whenever we organise a physical conference many may come but many more are unable to do so. With travel bans, domestic responsibilities, financial limitations all playing a part in making physical mobility more challenging and with the technologies for connecting abundant and increasingly easy to use there is no excuse for not including such "open door" activities as part of your conference's arrangements. The opportunities we increase by using social media - new contacts, new networks, new collaborations - are too good to miss. I am delighted to support Sahar in her plan to find social media champions. I will never forget the way such an approach helped Parisa Mehran during @eurocall2017 
Here's a flavour of the social media conversations from #JALTCALL2018 (you will see Parisa here!) :

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