Three Great Conferences and Change in the Air

This week is shaping up to be very adult-learner centered. I’ll jump to the end of the week when next Saturday begins NYSCATE’s Annual Conference in Rochester, NY. NYSCATE always puts together a great program that combines visionary leaders, enriching presentations and hands-on training. This year the program looks to do that again.

What has my attention, though, are two virtual conferences happening earlier this week, though. On Wednesday November 17th, Tech & Learning is orgainizng Virtual Tech Forum. This is an online version of the popular Tech Forums that have appeared around the country for almost a decade. The lineup for the virtual event includes Chris Lehman, Howie DiBlasi, David Jakes, David Warlick and many more. The event is free (sponsored by Tech & Learning, of course), and all you have to do is register on their site.

Hmmm…top experts presenting online…no need to travel…much less expensive (as in free)…makes you start to wonder about f2f conferences…which brings me to the other virtual conference this week…

Running all week (Nov. 15-19) is the Global Education Conference, organized by Steve Hargadon and Lucy Gray. This conference casts a wide and impressive net about making learning global. Keynote speakers (63 of them!) are from well respected global groups such as iEARN and ePals, among many others. As of today, there are 397 sessions over the 5 days. All of the Global Education Conference is taking place free, online, using Elluminate (Elluminate being the sponsor).

Hmmm…free…online…conferences. What does this mean for the expensive (but still worthwhile) face-to-face conferences? It makes it harder to justify the time and money involved when there is starting to be a wide array of such events just a few keystrokes away. If we are in fact trying to promote global connection with technology, then it seems to make good sense that we gather that way also. Virtual events are by no means free – there are still speakers to be paid (maybe), bandwith to support (definitely), but their value to a wider audience is certainly excellent.

Change is in the air for how conferences will happen in the future…