Play Favorites - Why You Should Attend #WCET18
Published by: WCET | 8/29/2018
You’ve seen the tweets, maybe (hopefully) received the invitation emails, and heard the rumors of cake, but today we’re sharing all the outstanding details of the 30th WCET Annual Meeting! Welcome to Megan Raymond, WCET’s Assistant Director, Programs and Sponsorship, with your invitation and all the information about #WCET18. Yes, we know we’re biased, but join us in Portland this year and see why it’s our favorite conference!
-Lindsey Downs, WCET
“This has become my favorite conference of the year.”
Although I would undoubtedly say that about the WCET Annual Meeting since I have been involved with it for eleven years, those are not my words, that is a quote from a 2017 attendee.
Is the WCET Annual Meeting your favorite conference of the year?
Let me provide a few reasons supporting this contention, despite several other exceptional events during the fall EdTech conference season.
We have come a long way since discussing best practices around T1 lines and correspondence courses. Join us in Portland where will celebrate the people, community, and members who have helped WCET become the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Libations, bite-sized celebratory confections, commemorative swag, and WCET tattoos (any takers?) will kick-off the future of WCET. Bring your favorite WCET memory and plan to make new memories, and ‘gram it, tweet it, and tag it: #WCET18.
When attendees reflect on what makes WCET stand out, it is the people. Not necessarily the amazing staff of fourteen (wow, we’ve grown!), it is the community of members, the conference attendees, the leadership committees, and volunteers. WCET connects people who are collaborative, open, friendly, and willing to share. The Annual Meeting surveys frequently list the networking and friendliness of attendees as highlights. Our event planners cannot take the credit for the great people at our conferences, it is an organic effect of the amazing people, like you, who attend and participate.
450 to be exact, that is how many amazing people attend the WCET Annual Meeting. We limit our attendance (purposefully) to cultivate a collegial environment where you see the same faces between and during sessions, and foster those connections. Smaller sessions translate to greater interactivity and discussions. WCET connects attendees with corporate participants during the EdTech Meet-up which takes place during two 45-minute breaks. This is a fun and informal way to see what products and services are in the space. Oh, and you can grab all the swag without snaking through an exhibit hall in search of refreshments.
The conference program features reflections on what works (and sometimes what does not), and lessons learned with technology-enhance learning. Peers share their expertise as well as exposing some vulnerabilities by sharing their failed attempts. The program is a mix of panel sessions, facilitated discussions, and interactive loosely organized sessions where you get to ask experts your burning questions about topics like accreditation, quality, and accessibility.
Chris Gilliard, Professor at Macomb Community College, is our opening keynote speaker on Tuesday whose session “Digital Redlining: Ensuring Equal Access in the Digital Age” will be thought provoking and inspiring.
The closing session on Thursday: Stump the Higher Ed Expert (we’re bringing it back!) personifies WCET- unique, fun, policy-oriented, and chock-full of experts and knowledge. Last year’s reigning expert, Tanya Joosten, Director, eLearning Research and Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will return to defend her crown. Judges and speakers for the coveted roles on this panel will be announced soon. Make sure you attend this session, it promises to the chaotically fun, bribery-filled educational experience of the year.
It’s easy to navigate our conference and plan ahead to make the most out of your time. Build your personalized program by filtering by speaker, session type, date and time. This year’s forthcoming mobile app will include more features including a robust search.
If you have not seen Portlandia (the comic send-up of life in this eccentric place), you get to experience it first-hand. Enjoy the offerings at brewpubs in what may be the Craft Beer Capital of the World. Bike, run, or walk along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just outside the hotel. Take a left at the Burnside Bridge to try a voodoo doll doughnut or a bacon maple bar at the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts. And if you remember what reading stuff on actual paper, Powell’s City of Books is the world’s largest independent bookseller…it’s big, get a map. That’s a quick start, learn about all the ways to have fun…after the sessions are done, that is.
I could go on as many of you know, at length, however, I invite you to register and attend the WCET Annual Meeting, preferably before rates increase on September 21, to experience why it just may be your favorite conference of the year. We hope to see you in Portland!
Assistant Director, Programs and Sponsorship
WCET – WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies