The Value of Conference Attendance
What’s the value of attending and getting involved with conferences? How do you justify the investment? What’s the return? Here are 5 reasons why we believe you should attend the SALTISE conference, and the many others listed:
5 Key Benefits:
1) Networking potential: While difficult to quantify, networking has to be at the top of the list! Imagine being able to share with others facing similar challenges or triumphs, learn from each other, and move forward with a sense of being part of a community and something larger than yourself. Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, creating a quality network is a great asset, and conferences provide the space to make and keep these connections going.
2) Gained Insight: By attending conferences where you connect with and listen to peers from diverse backgrounds – other institutions, geographical settings, etc. – the exchange of ideas helps to challenge the status quo, further your own goals, and can even set your imagination free to develop new insights.
3) Learn Smarter: Conferences provide opportunities to learn from top researchers, practitioners and thinkers, all within a short time period. In many cases, they bring the world to your door and with it the innovations and resources that increase your knowledge capital in the most efficient ways.
4) Opportunity to Shine: Conferences provide you with your own opportunity to be a star in your own backyard. By presenting what you have learned through experience or research, you can contribute back to your local communities.
5) Collegiality: And, even if you’re not presenting, conferences allow you to be proactive, to take back what is learned and share with colleagues back home. Your insights could be a catalyst for meaningful improvement and growth- institutionally, departmentally, and personally.
Here are some of the specific benefits of attending some of the conferences in your own backyard this summer….
SALTISE 2013 Annual Conference – June 10-11
The conference will feature leading researchers in education, learning, and educational technology. To list a few, we have confirmed speakers from Singapore (Manu Kapur) and Spain (Yannis Dimitriadis, GSIC, School of Telecommunications Engineering), from Ontario (Jim Slotta from UofT, OISE), as well from our local Québec network (Thérèse Laferrière, Laval University; Roger Azevedo, McGill; Bob Bernard & Vivek Venkatesh, Concordia University; Laurent Poliquin, UQAM).
This month we shine the spotlight on our first keynote speaker, Manu Kapur, Head of the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore. Kapur conceptualized the notion of “Productive Failure” ─ a new way of thinking about improving learning and teaching. His current research extends this line of work to the investigation of pedagogical change, which he will highlight in his keynote. Furthermore, he will focus on the steps we need to take to support new approaches to learning and teaching in the 21st Century ─ i.e., the Knowledge Age.
CAP Congress – May 30
In just one compact day (Thursday, May 30, from 08:45-15:30), SALTISE members can hear from some of the superstars in Physics Teaching! This day-long event, designed especially for SALTISE members, will be held jointly with the CAP Congress. Sessions will be given not only by leaders in Physics Education Research, like Edward (Joe) Redish from the University of Maryland, but also from physics-teaching award winners (such as 3M National Teaching Fellow, Bob Hawkes from Mount Allison University, and from this year’s still-to-be-named CAP’s 2013 Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching). There will also be talks by some physics faculty members from around Canada, and from SALTISE members themselves, sharing their experiences (and sometimes their own research) from the classroom. An educational event not to be missed!
Western Conference on Science Education 2013 – July 9–11
Although the WCSE organizing committee is seriously committed to improving the experience of post-secondary science education for instructors and students, they try not to take themselves too seriously. So their conference theme of “Doing More With Less” was offered somewhat tongue-in-cheek as a spark for creativity. A featured keynote will be given by Tony Bates, and an array of contributing talks with speakers from across disciplines and across Canada, with titles and themes of: “more transforming”. Something we could all use more of. And, what better way to be transformed than networking with like-minded people on a summer patio?