Why isn’t a conference like school?

The IBAP Conference has been excellent this year. In my previous post I asked why school isn’t more like a conference. Now for the corollary…

Here are some ways I’d like to see this conference being more like school:

  • Why did every session have rows of chairs facing the front, rather than seats grouped for collaboration and discussion?
  • Why was every session presented by an expert out the front while ‘recipients’ were largely passive?
  • How about some time to digest what we’ve taken in and actively engage with the ideas in small groups between presentations?
  • How about some opportunities to apply our learning creatively in some active hands-on sessions?
  • Why not have learners collaborating to develop products that are shared with the real world? (Thanks, Rod)
  • What about some time to ‘play’ with fellow learners, get to know them, share and learn from each other?


Here’s my post from last year’s conference and it’s interesting to see what’s changed and what hasn’t. (Note, I can use the same cartoon again!) This year there was wireless access and Apple provided iPads on loan for use during the conference. The program was online, with announcements and session details readily accessible. What a brilliant marketing move… there’ll be 900 educators considering iPad purchase for their schools now!


4 thoughts on “Why isn’t a conference like school?

  1. One of the organisations I am involved with outside of teaching does run one of its conferences like a school, in fact the organisation has summer and winter schools where we pretty much do what you described!


  2. Thanks Edna for the post and suggestions. We aim to improve the experience each year for all of the conference participants, and will look seriously at all of the feedback from this year in an effort to help us make it even better next year!



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