Dr. Clayton R. Wright’s Conferences in Educational Technology

Dr. Clayton R. Wright is an old friend, and he has been performing this remarkable service for 37 years.  37!  Where have the years gone? (Correction:  Stephen Downes was kind enough to point out that it has been about half that long — but 37 editions of the list were published in that time).  Here is his latest edition of the Educational Technology and Education Conference list.  Thanks, Clayton, on behalf of educators around the globe who benefit from your contribution!

I’m including the text of his email, as it is instructive about how you should use and interpret the list.

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Attached is the 37th edition of the educational technology and education conference list. It comprises URLs or weblinks to 1,728 CONFIRMED professional development events. Since the distribution of the previous list, 176 events have been added to May and June 2017.

At the beginning of every conference list, I ask viewers to “take the time to conduct your own due diligence for any events you want to attend or submit a paper to.” Fake journals and conferences are scams. We need to be “scam-resistant” to academic communications just as we have become resistant to Internet scams.

A colleague in South Africa recently attended a conference that was presented like a symposium rather than in the multi-track format that was advertized. The 80-100 people in attendance all had submitted a paper and their papers were accepted. Then, they were charged a high fee to attend the “conference” even though there were no keynote speakers, only one room was booked for the event, and no meals were served. During the two-day event, each attendee was given 10 minutes to “read” their paper. No time was allocated for questioning the presenters. Neither were debates or other interactive sessions held.

Another colleague in Toronto said she receives “two or three invitations a day to write articles… The last one wanted $100 to review the paper and $2,999 to publish it.”

While assembling this conference list, I saw a photo of a colleague on a conference site. I contacted my friend and congratulated him on his speaking engagement in China. He said “What are you talking about? I haven’t been invited to Asia!” Apparently, without his permission, his photo and name were used to promote the conference.

As Alex Gillis recently wrote in University Affairs, academics are being reeled in by scam journals. (A number of organizations that produce questionable journals also produce questionable conferences.) Some educators have relied on Jeffrey Beall’s list of potential or probable predatory journals. But that list is now only available at the Internet archive. However, others, such as Walt Crawford and Hontas Farmer, have questioned the basis for including journals on Beall’s list. Thus, one may want to review the guidance provided here http://thinkchecksubmit.org and check your gut – if it doesn’t feel quite right, perhaps additional scrutiny is required.

It is probably true that the rise of such journals and conferences is due to the low investment one has to make to use the Internet as a distribution channel. But I wonder if we, in general, don’t bear some responsibility for this increase as we need to have our papers published or presented in order to gain credibility and to further our career. And, we want this done as quickly as possible. But, do we gain credibility if we submit our article to a journal that doesn’t perform peer-review or edit the material? Do we gain credibility if we present at a conference that doesn’t actively review and select submissions and does not allow the audience to question the content of the presentations?
The 37th edition of the conference list covers selected events that primarily focus on the use of technology in educational settings and on teaching, learning, and educational administration. I trust that you and your colleagues will find something of interest.

Best regards!

Clayton

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