Thanks for your suggestion, Susan. I am like you and so far away and would love to attend this conference, but I have joined the wiki now. I just hope that the time zones allow me to. Does anyone have any suggestions for international conferences? I am looking at Learn 2.008 in Shanghai, (if my budget allows). Any comments on this one.
Favorite conference? It's tough to say. Small conferences tend to offer a more intimate experience, plus if it's a local one, you connect with local people so it's easier to find people who you might see fairly often. Bigger conferences have great buzz and excitement, more to see and do, although they can also be exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes big conferences feel like lots of overlapping small conferences, and like the edublogger experience at NECC, you end up feeling like you saw a tiny piece of what was going on. It just highlights eveything you missed!
It will be interesting to see how online conferences add to the experience as time goes on. They are relatively new, and I'm not sure anyone knows yet if they are a replacement for face-to-face conference experiences, or something completely different. I know the few I've participated in haven't made me think that they are going to replace real conferences anytime soon - there's still a feeling of disconnectedness, of there being "no there there". It's not like you can have a real conversation with anyone through Elluminate or Moodle, or even in a string of blog comments.
PS Lucy - NAIS consistently has the BEST lineup of keynote speakers I've ever seen...
Generally, i'd say the best conferences are those you can attend. Professional development, whether it happens online, via web 2.0, or a live event brings people together. yes, i'd prefer to attend NECC every year, but i can also satisfy my needs through other means. In California, that means attending and presenting at the California Computer Using Educator's conference, our mecca for the past 30 years. however, most teachers lack the resources to attend even this statewide conference.
so, many CTAP (California Technology Assistance Project) and CUE affiliates create one-day, local conferences, usually on Saturdays to meet our customers' needs. For a fraction of a state or national conference cost, minus the cost of travel and hotels, teachers and administrators have access to a full day of professional development.
We may all be thinking globally about great conferences like FETC and NECC, but acting locally spreads the news just as effectively. in California, the CUE conference will next be held March 6-8, 2008 in Palm Springs. Locally, the CTAP 6 Education Technology Conference will be held March 1, 2008 in lovely Modesto, CA.
I don't know if the calendar I'm keeping (available at the bottom of the main page here) is going to help, but I am adding in each conference. I put the CTAP 6 conference in--I'm assuming there a list of all the CTAP regional conferences somewhere. Helpful to put them all in?
Just wondering how to add to your calendar. We have a conference here in Vermont on November 1-2 called Vermont Fest 2007. This year's theme is "Teaching the Way They Learn: Using 21st Century Tools." It is sponsored by VITA-Learn the state educators' technology association. This will be our 23rd year. For additional information go to http://homepage.vita-learn.org
MACUL conference every March in Michigan. As the district no longer pays for professional development or conferences for us (don't ask me what they do with the NCLB funds). Michigan conferences are all I can afford. The good news is that I get to learn froma ll of you