As an eLearning provider, we are hearing a lot of chatter from prospects looking to transition to online education. No doubt the anticipated 20% – 40% decline in face-to-face workshop education is causing alarm in the conference marketplace. However, I believe that eLearning managers should attend at least one industry conference a year. The choices of eLearning and distance learning conferences are plentiful— see the list below of the ones I keep on my own radar screen.
This week I will be attending my fifth conference of the year in my hometown of Madison, WI: The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. As you can tell from its 25-year history, these people at the UW started way back when discussion centered on using televisions to teach (or maybe even snail mail). Conferences provide a great venue to network with old colleagues and friends and meet new eLearning advocates. I almost always come away with a new idea, technology, or general vision to apply to my practice. My stance is that for those of us involved in education, it’s all about sharing!
I am particularly looking forward to attending the following sessions this week to get me thinking:
- Creating engaging and motivating e-Learning: I’m sure the eLearning group at the medical records phenomenon Epic Systems will share some useful tips.
- The economics of online learning: Benchmarks for success: The Compass Group creates eLearning initiatives, which according to this headline should be a revenue generator.
- Leveraging open source to create a Web 2.0 learning landscape: As a Moodle advocate, I am most interested in how Bowling Green University is creating a new learning environment. Think it includes social networking?
The conference atmosphere is sure to stimulate otherwise sluggish brain cells!