Social Media Journalists at Conferences: My Experience As One At NYCMER 2018

Added to Medium, May 24, 2018

At each conference I have attended, and of course I am sure everyone reading this post felt this way as well, there are so many sessions I have wanted to attend but I could not be in more places at once. Twitter began to provide opportunities to share information from conferences on the social media platform. This year the NYCMER conference, React & Respond: The Next Steps, held at Teachers College at Columbia University this past Monday (May 21st) had social media journalists sharing their impressions about the conference and the highlights of each sessions. Rachel Ropeik, the Social Media Coordinator for NYCMER, asked myself and other NYCMER members to join her team of social media journalists.

NYCMER Social Media Journalists, Courtesy of Rachel Ropeik, Social Media Coordinator, NYCMER via Twitter

We were asked to cover the conference via Twitter by tweeting our impressions of and thoughts about the keynote session and the rest of the conference sessions. I attended the sessions, and then I tweeted some highlights of the sessions I chose to attend. All of the social media journalists, and other NYCMER conference participants following on Twitter, used the hashtags #NYCMERsmj and #NYCMER2018 to participate in conversations on the social media site. We also included photographs we took during the conference to give followers visuals of what we covered in the sessions we participated in. In this blog post, I included some of my tweets I shared during the conference for each session I participated in with brief descriptions.

This year’s NYCMER conference began with a keynote that discussed this year’s theme: React & Respond: The Next Steps. The keynote was moderated by Keonna Hendrick who is School Programs Manager at the Brooklyn Museum, cultural strategist, educator and author, nurturing equity through art and museum education. Hendrick posed questions to the keynote participants Gonzalo Casals and Annie Polland. Gonzalo Casals is the Director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. His experience ranges from innovative cultural programming and authentic community engagement strategies to progressive cultural policy. Annie Polland is the Executive Director at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Previously, Polland served as the Senior Vice President for Programs & Interpretation at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum where she was responsible for developing programs and content for over 250,000 annual visitors.

Lindsey Steward‏ @Steward2Lindsey 9:04 AM – 21 May 2018
Welcome to this year’s #NYCMER2018 I’m looking forward to learning more about today’s theme 🙂 What are your thoughts about this year’s theme? #NYCMERsmj

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 21 May 2018, 9:23am
I’m also glad that NYCMER is requiring salary information in job postings. It is important for us to show our support for equity and best practices in salary sharing and negotiations #NYCMER2018 #NYCMERsmj

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 21 May 2018, 9:49am
Allows people to upload pictures that tell their immigrant stories. What a great idea to be able to share and identify with people’s stories #NYCMERsmj #NYCMER2018


Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 21 May 2018, 9:56am

Interesting thought: If you could create a poem or an inscription on the Statue of Liberty today, what would it say? #NYCMERsmj #NYCMER2018

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey
I think board of trustees should also participate in programs and conferences like @NYCMER This will also help staff and board work together especially on diversity. It is unfortunately not surprising when no one said they were from a museum board. #NYCMER2018 #NYCMERsmj
10:48 AM – 21 May 2018

The first session I attended was Virtual Field Trips: Traveling Through Time and Space to Connect Museums and Audiences. During this session, Frantz Lucien, an educator at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum who specializes in community outreach and engagement, and Charissa Ruth, a freelance educator whose resume includes the Intrepid Museum, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, discussed their experience with virtual field trips. Lucien and Ruth discussed the benefits and challenges of running and planning virtual field trips. They also performed a demonstration what a virtual field trip is like by giving us a brief demonstration of what it would be like to be in space without wearing a space suit.

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 11:29 PM – 21 May 2018
A test to see how Virtual Field Trips work via Skype #NYCMERsmj #NYCMER2018

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 1:13 PM – 21 May 2018
Lindsey Steward Retweeted Paul Orselli
Paul, I think there should be required professional development programs for museum leaders, directors and board of trustees, to talk about salary and the importance of having salary information included when searching for a job candidate. #NYCMERsmj #NYCMER2018
Paul Orselli @museum_exhibits
#NYCMER2018 Food for thought over lunch: How can we get ALL orgs to require salary ranges on job postings? #NYCMERsmj

During the lunch break, I attended poster sessions that shared various brief information related to this year’s theme. One of the most interesting poster sessions I attended is Neuroscience and Museum Education. Megan Kuensting from The Met’s School Programs team shared some highlights gleaned from her Master’s program in Neuroscience and Education at Columbia University Teacher’s College, including questions about the potential for inquiry-based education to reduce student stress.

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 21 May 2018, 1:37pm
Check out this fascinating information about Neuroscience and Museum Education! #NYCMER2018 #NYCMERsmj

The second session I attended was Beyond White Feminism: What Stands Between Museums and True Gender Equity: A Journal of Museum Education Facilitated Dialogue presented by Alicia Greene, the Community Engagement Program Developer for Boston Children’s Museum, and Margaret Middleton, the exhibit designer and museum consultant with over ten years’ experience in the museum field. In this session, we brainstormed topics about our concerns in the museum workplace in addition to discussing the upcoming edition of the Museum Education Roundtable’s Journal of Museum Education. An important take away from the session is that Museums still struggle to achieve gender equity in the workplace and the fight for representation in the galleries continues.

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey
This is to keep in mind when thinking about equity and resolving issues within the system put in place in museums. #NYCMER2018 #NYCMERsmj

The third session I attended was Making Room: Creating and Sustaining Effective and Inclusive Learning Environments presented by a former instructor and a current Museum Education Program Director at Bank Street College of Education, Cynthia Copeland and Cathleen Wiggins. This session was a participatory workshop which model interactive techniques and activities where participants explore scenarios and potential outcomes relevant to their communities.

Lindsey Steward @Steward2Lindsey 21 May 2018, 3:45pm
I love this quote! Everyone should feel like they are represented in the storytelling process. #NYCMER2018 #NYCMERsmj

I enjoyed this year’s NYCMER conference, and I thought it was a great idea to start having a team of social media journalists share information from the sessions. At first I was concerned that it would be a challenge to participate on Twitter and during the sessions at the same time. I decided to make a couple of tweets during the sessions then I tweet my reactions after the session ended. There was a lot of great reactions on the sessions at the NYCMER conference, and if you are interested in reading more tweets from the conference go to Twitter and look up #NYCMERsmj and #NYCMER2018.

How do you feel about having social media journalists during conferences? Does following conversations on Twitter make participation easier?


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