The focus in design for DistributED is people. The focus for virtual conferences is technology. We believe people come first in design and technology can support the design.

DistributED Defined

Physically taking place in different locations

Participants can be meeting at the same time (synchronous) or sequentially at different times (asynchronous)

Can be augmented or enabled using a variety of technologies

DistributED events and meetings have been possible for several decades. Traditional conference gatherings in person have persisted due to economic inertia – and the allure of travel and sidecar opportunities for vacation and tourism.

DistributED is a hybrid of both physical and virtual events. Clusters of small local groups can converge into larger coordinated national or global activities.

DistributED also can be intentionally designed for greater participation, conversation, and group innovation. The emphasis is on people, participation and diversity of voices. In this way, DistributED gatherings differ from:

Distance learning where what is to be taught is a pre-existing body of knowledge

Virtual conferences, events, meetings and trade shows (CEMTS) where the emphasis is on technology translation of physical event to online event

Traditional CEMTS where experts are on stage and people are in an audience listening

DistributED as an approach promises to disrupt the way all gatherings function with building desire for participation vs. spectatorship.