Attending a conference can provide you with a wealth of information and inspirational ideas to help re-invigorate your teaching however, for me, the highlight of any education conferences is the amazing people you meet!
Tips for getting the most out of education conferences
Below are some tips for making the most out of your conference:
- Mix and mingle – Education conferences are not just about the workshops and keynotes, they're also about the people! Talk to the people next to you in workshops and during lunch and breaks. Remember, you all have something in common!
- Remember to take your chargers – Your laptop, tablet and phone are going to take a hammering so remember to take all your chargers!
Top tip: Take a notebook and pen just in case all your devices fail! I also recommend taking/purchasing a portable USB charger or back-up battery for your phone!
- Two heads are better than one – With so many great workshops, you may find it difficult to decide which one to go to. If you’re going with a colleague or friend, split up so that you can cover more sessions!
- Speak to the presenters – If you can’t make a workshop, seek out the presenter at the end of the workshop or during lunch and ask if they have any resources to share.
- Follow the hashtag – If you can’t make it to the conference, Twitter is the next best thing. Search for the conference hashtag and use tools such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to keep track of what’s happening.
- Take a break – With so many great ideas buzzing through your head, things can get overwhelming! Take a moment to pause and reflect and don’t forget to drink lots of water.
- Try at least one thing – Try at least one thing you picked up at the conference when you return to the classroom the following week. If you leave it too long, you risk losing the initial enthusiasm and momentum!
- #SharingIsCaring – Share what you’ve learned with colleagues back at work, on your blog or via social media.
- Check out the CAS Community – After the conference, visit the official website to download the presentations from all the workshops and keynotes.
- Have fun - Above anything else, have fun and be inspired!
Top education conferences
- XSWEdu – Boasting over 16,000 attendees and 1,200 guest speakers, SXSWEdu is one of the largest education conferences in the US. Hosted over four days, SXSWEdu is recognised for its in-depth workshops, learning experiences, film screenings and network events. To find out more, visit: https://www.sxswedu.com/
- BETT – With almost 35,000 attendees and representation from 131 countries, BETT is possibly the largest EdTech conference in the world. Hosted in London over 4 consecutive days, BETTs overall aim is to bring together people, ideas, practices and technologies so that educators and learners can fulfil their potential. To find out more, visit: http://www.bettshow.com/
- ISTE – With more than 16,000 educators, 1,000 sessions and over 500 exhibitors, ISTE is recognised around the globe for being a leading education technology conference. Held in the US, ISTE invites educators, administrators, technology coordinators, library media specialists and policy makers to engage in hands-on workshops, participate in hundreds of sessions/keynotes and to connect with like minded professionals. To find out more, visit: https://conference.iste.org/
- Primary Rocks Live – What started as a few teachers sharing ideas on Twitter has now become an annual conference in the UK. Whislt not on the same scale as some other educational conferences, Primary Rocks Live still attracts hundreds of teachers and hosts a plethora of hands-on workshops and keynotes from inspirational educators.. To find out more, visit: https://www.primaryrocks.com/primary-rocks-live.html
- GESS – With conferences held in Dubai, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey, GESS is a truly global education conference. Usually held over 3 days, GESS boats a wealth of content including workshops/keynotes from inspirational speakers, hundreds of sessions and exhibiting companies from around the globe. To find out more, visit: http://www.gesseducation.com/
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