The world of distance learning changes so rapidly that e-learning professionals must keep their own education up-to-date. If you're involved in distance learning as an online professor, an instructional designer, an instructional technologist, an administrator, a content creator, or in any other way, conferences can be a smart way to make sure you stay current in the field.
This list includes the top e-learning conferences in the United States. Keep in mind that many of the conferences cater to a specific audience. Some are directed more towards an academic audience of professors and administrators. Others are focused more towards content development professionals that need fast, workable solutions and technical skills.
If you are interested in presenting at an e-learning conference, be sure to check their websites about a year to six months prior to the scheduled conference date. Some conferences only accept scholarly papers while others accept a brief, informal overview of the presentation you plan to give. The majority of conferences waive attendance fees for presenters that are accepted into the program.
ISTE Conferencembbirdy/E+/Getty Images
The International Society for Technology in Education broadly addresses the use, advocacy, and advancement of technology in teaching and learning. They have hundreds of breakout sessions and have had popular keynote speakers such as Bill Gates and Sir Ken Robinson.02of 08
At this massive gathering, thousands of educational professionals come together to talk about education, technology, development tools, online learning, and more. Educase also holds an online conference to meet the needs of professionals around the world.03of 08
Learning and the Brain
This organization works towards “Connecting educators to Neuroscientists and researchers” and holds several smaller conferences throughout the year. Conferences include themes such as Educating for Creative Minds, Motivation and Mindsets, and Organizing Student Minds to Improve Learning.04of 08
This unique conference is dedicated to eLearning developers with a focus on practical skill development and eLearning tools including Storyline, Captivate, Rapid Intake, Adobe Flash, etc. It focuses on technical skill development rather than broader pedagogical issues. Conference attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops and be prepared for active, hands-on training.06of 08
Learning Solutions Conference
Conference attendees choose this event due to its broad offerings on management, design, and development. Dozens of concurrent sessions are offered to help attendees learn how to use tools, develop media, design blended courses, and measure their success. Optional certificate programs are offered in topics such as “The Accidental Instructional Designer,” “Gameful Learning Design,” and “Know the Mind. Know the Learner. Applying Brain Science to Improve Training.”07of 08
This world conference on educational media and technology is put together by AACE and provides sessions on topics related to the creation of media and systems for online learning/teaching. Topics include infrastructure, new roles of the instructor and learner, universal web accessibility, indigenous peoples and technology, and more.08of 08
Several annual conferences are available through Sloan-C. Emerging Technologies for Online Learning focuses on innovative uses of technology in education and offers break-out sessions on a wide variety of topics. The Blended Learning Conference and Workshop is targeted to educators, instructional designers, administrators, and others that are working towards creating quality blends of online and in-person courses. Finally, the International Conference on Online Learning offers a broad spectrum of presenters and keynotes.