As I hang another conference name tag to accompany its buddies on a chair, here are a few reflections, learning, and takeaways from the education conferences I have either attended or presented so far.
1. They are all informational, although, some of them are expensive.
2. I do like to attend sessions that may inform my work.
3. I plan my between-session breaks—one simply cannot attend all the sessions that seem great.
4. I like to interact with as many people as I can including program officers, PIs, and evaluators.
5. If given an opportunity, I share my work—findings as well as challenges. I am often pleasantly surprised to hear that data-related issues in conducting research and program evaluation persist across the board. And I feel that I am not alone.
6. Conferences are good places to network and provide opportunities to collaborate on grants/projects and publish.
7. I often carry many business cards.
8. And I find some time to enjoy the city/local sights and food after the sessions are over and before I head back home.
To date, I have been to ISTE, NSF’s ITEST, S-STEM workshop, Noyce Scholarship summit; AAAS/NSF joint convening on teacher retention; USDE’s Teacher Quality Partnership summit, 21stCCLC Delaware’s state-level, regional, and the National convening, and the Eastern Evaluation Research Society conference.
A few more to go!