At times in my professional career I've felt that these large conferences were similar to an Ivy League education. For those can afford it, they are great, but the same learning outcomes can be achieved through commitment and a quality PLN using Twitter and reading blogs. Our school will likely spend $10,000 sending a dozen teachers to this conference, and without the grant it would be out of the question. This does not seem like a sustainable form of professional development (hence the birth of Education Shift!). Obviously there are smaller state-level conferences such as ICE in Indiana, but they still come with a hefty price tag. The ASCD conference costs $425 for non-members compared to ICE which is usually over $300. A great alternative is the Edcamp movement that sprang up a few years ago. I hav attended Edcamp Indy and Edcamp Chicago, and I plan on attending Edcamp Fort Wayne this May. My hopes are high for ASCD and I plan on blogging about my experience each day after the conference.
ASCD Conference Reflection One
Well I’m on my way to my first major national education conference--the ASCD Annual Conference. I hoped my first national conference would be ISTE, but my school was lucky enough to procure a grant to attend ASCD, so I’ll take what I can get. After reviewing and comparing ASCD to other major education-related organizations, it seems like ASCD has a more traditional focus. The conference boasts over 400 sessions, which was a bit overwhelming at first. Maya Angelou and Sandra Day O’Conner are two of the major speakers, which I think will be exciting. I’m probably most excited to hear Will Richardson’s session, From Old School to Bold School. I’m also excited to see a few members of my PLN. Mark Barnes and Jason Markey each have a session that I plan on attending.