Telecon FAQs and Etiquette

Please mute your phone.

Haven't participated in a telephone conference in a while or ever?  Here's a brief refresher course for a telephone conference (a.k.a. "teleconference" or "telecon").  Essentially, be sure your microphone is muted (see the technical instructions as to how) whenever you're not actively asking a question, and note the etiquette about sharing.  If you have any issues or questions, please don't hesitate to email us, or find us on the member team chat.

FAQs and troubleshooting:

  1. I forgot my login information / call-in information, or I don't have login information.  No worries, we usually include the WebEx or Call-in information in the email where you probably first heard about it.  Otherwise, just use this link to reset your password using your registered email address.  All the information for all the telecons are on our member Telecon Conversations page.  If you're not a member yet, you may read more about the Alliance and apply here.  There are also publicly available telecons.  In addition, other NASA Affiliate organizations are granted access through the NASA Nationwide website, and your organization's coordinator has guest login information you can use.  Organizations include the Night Sky Network, Solar System Ambassadors, STARNet Libraries, and more.  See the Nationwide website for a full list.
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  2. Where are the slides? If there are slides for a given telecon (there usually are), they'll be downloadable at the bottom of the individual telecon page (click here for an example).  If you're not a member, and someone forwarded you the call-in information (e.g. a colleague or supervisor), for the short term, you should contact that person to forward you the presentation materials, too.  For WebEx, you may also request the link to the slides at the end of the presentation directly in the WebEx chat.  Long term, you're welcome to join the Alliance and access them yourself.  
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  3. I can't hear the speaker that well.  The moderators on the talk (usually Jeff and/or Amelia) have already tested the speaker's sound quality before beginning the talk, and are listening along with you.  If they're not mentioning the poor quality, it might be a problem just with your phone line/signal.  Try disconnecting and reconnecting, and for WebEx, feel free to use the chat (you can chat publicly to everyone, or just privately to the host.
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  4. These are great! Can I share them?  We're always glad when you enjoy a telecon.  Don't be shy about letting us know in the team chat, or by just outright telling the speaker at the end of the telecon.  The Museum Alliance is always collecting comments and feedback to show our value to NASA and to help improve our services.  To be clear, the presentation files are almost always free to use in your programs and presentations as you see fit, unless otherwise stated, such as with "embargoed" information.  For the audio recordings and transcripts, we consider them as purely professional developmentso please only share them with your staff and docents, with that same understanding of professional development only.  If someone truly would like to access the recordings and transcripts themselves, including your staff, he/she is more than welcome to apply for Alliance membership.  There are also publicly available telecons which are free to share with everyone.  See our Important Note below.
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  5. How do I call in if I'm international?  There are sometimes international numbers offered, on a case by case basis.  For WebEx, you may have the service call you, or there may be an international number option provided.  Unless otherwise stated, all of our call-in numbers are US toll free lines (check each telecon for details), and international charges may still apply if calling from a traditional phone.  However, there are several programs and services which can make phone calls over the internet.  Some of those programs may offer free calling to US toll free numbers.  NASA does not endorse any third-party commercial company over another, but searching the internet for such programs yourself should give you plenty of options.  You can test them by calling any US toll free number, and if you need more assistance just contact us.  
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IMPORTANT NOTE: 
These professional development telecons are intended to prepare you for your upcoming presentations and events.  Out of respect to our speakers, the telecon is NOT to be shared LIVE in classrooms, museums or other venues for the public.  To that end, please keep the following in mind:

  • Please do NOT share the telecon call-in information (phone number, passcode, etc.) with non-members.
  • Please do NOT TWEET OR BLOG what’s being discussed in real time. 
  • If you think someone would benefit from a specific telecon, invite them to register for a Museum Alliance account.  If they miss it, the telecons are always archived for later listening, and we are always open for questions afterwards.
  • Note that registered members of other NASA networks (Night Sky Network, NEON, Solar System Ambassadors, STAR Net, Earth to Sky, etc.) are also welcome to join these telecons; contact your network's organizer for the links, logins, and passwords needed.
  • Sharing the recordings with your staff, colleagues, and docents is okay, as long as they are also made aware that these are not meant for the general public (unless explicitly stated).  Also, we'd prefer that you encourage them to sign up for their own Museum Alliance account anyway.  We are 100% publicly funded through NASA, and having an accurate list of people using our resources helps us show the impact the Alliance has. 

The Museum Alliance is more than just for museums; any education professional is welcome to join, including staff of libraries, youth serving organizations, camps, observatories, parks, etc.  Telecons are a time for YOU to become familiar with NASA information, and ask questions to NASA experts BEFORE conducting your events and addressing the public.  

Finally, on rare occasions, we will explicitly tell you when our speakers are sharing "embargoed" information with you, the professional community, in advance of releasing it to the public.  So, please respect those limits and do not release the information before the specified public release date.  

Thank you for your cooperation.

This special resource has been made available to all viewers.  Please note that (free) membership is required for full access to the Museum Alliance site; please visit Join Our Community to learn more.  

Resource Type: 
Professional Development