I’ve had conferences on my mind the last couple of days.

The deadline for workshop proposals for our state technology conference were due yesterday and those for sessions at NECC opened this week. So I’ve been busily figuring out what I can sell to the program committees.

I’ve also been following the posts of several bloggers who are in Shanghai for the Learning 2.0 Conference, which features some of the usual edtech heavyweights.

Jeff Utecht, who helped organize Learning 2.0, wonders about something I think about when preparing for a session: how do you measure success when it comes to a meeting like this?

As one person said to me today “What happens Monday when we all go back to our rooms?” I guess that’s the question…what happens Monday? Is a conference considered successful if on Monday the teacher walks back into their classroom the same as they walked out on Friday? Better yet how do you measure that?

Good questions. However, on a more personal level, I’m not really concerned with the conference as a whole.

As a presenter, I’d like to believe that something I’ve offered has stuck with the audience (something Jeff also mentions). Ideally, they return to their classroom and actually use at least a few ideas from the session.

But this all comes back to a point from an earlier post about how about professional development provided to educators is often not effective because there’s no follow up.

While there aren’t many practical ways to know, I’d imagine that conference experiences stick better than “standard” training simply because the people attending are usually there voluntarily.

Still, beyond the very few participants who communicate in some way after the session, most conference speakers can only hope that the people sitting in the audience will benefit from their presentation.

conference, presentations