GAConf21 – Compassion via the Interwebs

The Geographical Association has officially confirmed that next April’s annual conference (GAConf21), with the theme of “Compassionate Geographies” will be held online.

As an independent member of the conference organising committee – I was aware of the decision before-hand, and I can say that it was made with a lot of thought and consideration. Also, discussions have been quite feverish regarding the various approaches to make it a success, and for it to be enjoyable and valuable.

I am certainly disappointed that the biggest opportunity for the UK #GeographyTeacher community to get together won’t happen for the second year in a row. I’ve made no secrets about my need, not just my desire, for the company.

Indeed, I was looking forward to it so much that I had already booked accommodation. But, I did so with full-cancellation insurance, knowing that this was a possibility.

It is the right call, at the right time – and now the organising committee can get to work turning this into an opportunity for putting on a great virtual conference.

Last year, the structure of GAeConf20 was limited with many sessions cancelled or adapted due to the very short turnaround time to move everything online. Hats off to the GA, and Harriet Brookes in particular, who managed to pull a great conference out of the bag in the circumstances given. Check out my blog posts about GAeConf20 for evidence!

This year, with more time, we can look to get as close to the real thing – and look into considering everything from the ability to virtually switch rooms, visit virtual exhibition stands and engage in social events. Also, the plans are for all presenters who have had their submission acccepted to still have the chance to give their talks and workshops.

The only thing I don’t have any certainty about is whether we’ll be using #GAConf21 or #GAeConf21 as the hashtag!

Booking information is now available! Check it out here.

Look forward to ‘seeing’ you all in April!

GAConf21 is going ahead, with compassion, online!


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