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How to get the most out of education conferences

2nd Edition!

Professional development is crucial for enhancing teachers' practice. One of the quickest ways of obtaining a lot of useful information quickly is to attend a conference. Indeed, conferences can be one of the most effective forms of teacher CPD. A relevant conference can help you improve your practice in the classroom not only by attending the formal sessions, but also by meeting other teachers.

There's a lot more to attending a conference than just turning up. For a start, you have to obtain permission to be out of school for a day. Once you've overcome that hurdle, you have to try to ensure that your attendance at the conference is useful for yourself, your immediate colleagues and the school itself.

I've based this guide on my experiences of attending many education conferences over the years. Although it contains many hints and tips that you could probably work out for yourself, or that you know already, there are bound to be quite a few that you don't know. After all, this guide contains 355 tips, and even allowing for some repetition that is quite a few!

The content of the book is evergreen, in the sense that it is not tied to one particular type of conference or particular times of year. Some of the examples given relate to education technology, which is my own field of expertise, but the points themselves are generic.

This guide grew out of an annual guide to a particular education technology conference that I've published over several years, and which thousands of people have found useful.

This book looks at all aspects of attending a conference:

  • What are the 21 reasons you should attend a conference?
  • What are the 9 reasons you should suggest to your Headteacher or Principal?
  • How can you make it easier for your senior leader to say 'Yes'? We look at 5 ways.
  • Who should you take with you to the conference, if possible? We consider 11 types of teaching staff who should attend education conferences, and 4 categories of people you should take with you if possible.
  • If you succeed in obtaining permission to attend the conference, how can you make sure that you get as much out of the conference as possible?
  • What are the 35 key things you should do before the conference?
  • What are the 37 things you should do at the conference?
  • What are the 10 questions you need to ask product suppliers?
  • What are the further 27 questions you should consider before purchasing products?

All this plus useful tips on:

  • Networking.
  • Asking questions in the question and answer session at the end of a talk or seminar.
  • Giving a talk or taking part in a seminar yourself.
  • Getting the most out the conference exhibition area.
  • Keeping up with conference news.
  • What to do after the conference in order to get the most out of attending.

If you're hoping to attend a teacher conference or other type of education conference, you should find this book very useful.