Overcoming Virtual Professional Development Fatigue

Overcoming Virtual Professional Development Fatigue

Professional development in our industry is comprised of learning experiences which enable us to grow and educate ourselves in an effort to best serve students, colleagues across the desk, and those in our office. Over the past few months as virtual opportunities have flooded our inboxes, we have all been challenged to find time and space for concentrated learning.

As the annual International ACAC conference approaches, we are mindful of this missed opportunity to connect in-person and step away from our day-to-day responsibilities. In a recent conversation, we realized we needed to be intentional about setting “space” to maximizing this year’s virtual professional development opportunity. With two and a half days of programming, 50+ sessions to select from, and forums that are both live and recorded, we know the learning and networking will be fruitful. 

To get the most out of this year’s International ACAC Conferenceor any virtual conferencebe purposeful with your virtual attendance. Here are some tips:

Ways We Plan to Overcome Virtual Professional Development Fatigue

  • Support others. As a community, we encourage our attendees to put up their out-of-office messages so that they can fully engage in as many sessions as possible. 
  • Review the schedule and attend as many sessions as you are able, but also realize that it is okay if you can’t attend it all or find that you can attend few than you planned or wanted to. 
  • Do not shy away from difficult topics or conversations. Online can be a great space where people can take an active role in topics they may not be as familiar with, or have experience in. It's okay to be uncomfortable. There will be several sessions and experiences focused on discussing systemic racism in our industry. Not sure where to begin this work? Join a conversation online; it's something we all need to work on.  
  • Plan to reach out to one other person from the session. Maybe it's the presenter, or a panelist you already know, or maybe a new contact. Connections from any session can be the most valuable asset for turning new knowledge into action.
  • Don’t forget Social! Follow along before, during, and after sessions with the conversations on the Facebook Group or Twitter Feed >> #intlacac2020
  • Share one thing you learned each day with your colleaguesset up a brief summary email that you can send out at the completion or each day or post on your own social media.
  • Save some for later! A benefit of recorded sessions is that the sessions will be available after the conference.

Like the past 26 conferences, the 2020 virtual conference has been a labor of love by our Headquarters staff, volunteers and President-Elect, Kathleen Schultz. As the professional development opportunity nears, we cannot wait to “see” everyone, to listen, to learn, and to say hello! 

Aaron Andersen, Past-President
Ruby Bhattacharya, Vice President for Admissions/Enrollment Practices
Becky Konowicz, President
Denise Nijhuis, Vice President for Professional Development
Kathleen Schultz, President-Elect

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