As sure as spring it arriving on the prairies, here is the new version of Dr. Clayton R. Wright’s list of Educational Technology & Education Conferences. It’s the best and most comprehensive collection I know of, and it is the generous gift from a fine friend and colleague–for the 35th time! Use responsibly… Dr. Wright is very careful about the construction of this list, but of course, you need to keep a watchful eye.
Attached is the 35th version of the educational technology and education conference list. Since the previous list was published, 89 events were added to June 2016. This version of the list contains basic information regarding 1, 511 confirmed professional development opportunities. Additional events are noted, but dates and/or locations could not be confirmed.
If you re-distribute all or part of this list, please ensure that the contact information (Clayton R. Wright, crwr77[@]gmail.com) is provided as that is how I receive updates. If you do not want to receive future lists, please send me an e-mail. If you can supply the missing information for some of the events on the list, let me know.
Do exercise your own due diligence regarding unfamiliar conferences that you may want to attend or submit a paper to. Thus, CHECK the specific conference website not only for basic information (dates and locations may change as well as the URL), but to assure yourself that the conference is legitimate.
You may recall that I wrote a rationale for the list and provided some conference tips to conference organizers in an article I wrote for the Association for Learning Technology, UK. Since I wrote that article, I have visited thousands of conference websites and can assure you that these three simple suggestions from the article are still valid:
Help viewers of your conference website by placing the title, date, and location of the event in a prominent place on the first web page of your conference site. Throughout the world, different standards are used to represent dates. For example, does 06/07/16 represent June 7, 2016 or July 6, 2016, or does 06/07/11 represent November 7, 2006 or perhaps June 7, 2011? Avoid confusion by spelling out the month and indicating the year in four digits. Remember, if this information is provided in a graphical form or is an overlay to a photograph, this essential information also needs to be placed in the text below the graphic or photo so that text-to-voice readers and on-line translators can interpret the data. Perhaps for stylistic reasons, numbers are used to represent dates, months, and years, but it can be confusing to the viewer. Listing only the month and day without listing the year is also confusing as a viewer never knows whether he or she is looking at the most recent web page – once an event has passed, not all web-pages disappear into the virtual ether.
Provide an explanation of all abbreviations used, including the name of your organization or association. People want to know who is organizing or sponsoring the conference so that they can decide whether the conference is aimed at them. Conference organizers often make the assumption that everyone knows the meaning of the acronym for their organization or conference. But if you are not a member of the organization or didn’t attend the previous event, what does the acronym mean? Not all organizations provide an explanation of their acronym – not even on their home page in tiny print at the bottom of the page! And, these organizations or conference organizers are less likely to make it easy for you to contact them by e-mail. I wonder how many potential conference attendees don’t make an effort to learn more about a conference because the organizers don’t provide enough information upfront and/or a way to contact them for additional information.
Link last year’s conference site to the new one. When an event is hosted by a different institution or organization each year, it is understandable that the new hosts would want to place the conference website on their institutional servers. But, there needs to be a link from the old site (URL) to the new site – how else will people who attended the previous year’s event find information about the future event?
Do share the list with your colleagues as they may find an event that aligns with their interests and professional growth. Please include 2017 events as your colleagues may be looking for a professional development event that is not held in 2016 as it is a biennial event.