What are our values? We value transparency, putting educational values above business values, and being open to dialogue about vendor sponsorship and relationships. We value accessibility and inclusivity, so that voices that are often silenced and erased at these events are present and amplified. Understanding that cost and privilege can be obstacles to participation, opportunities for collaboration and conversation around overcoming these obstacles are essential. Conferences should also take into consideration the various other obstacles that stem from ableism, sexism, and racism. Conferences should have a clear Code of Conduct and reporting mechanisms for harassement and other obstacles that present themselves during the event, both virtually and in-person. Conferences should also be concerned with the privacy of the participants, with clear guidelines about what is being done with their data and opt-out procedures.
Suggestions for what we can do:
- Propose panels that match our values to the conferences
- "Zooming" in speakers on said panels
- Making people aware of the people not in the room
- Suggest Pronouns on badges
- Advocate for Childcare options
Often you may just find yourself at a conference as an attendee. One great way to advocate for ethical EdTech is to ask questions of keynote speakers, conference organizers, session presenters, or even other attendees. Questions to Ask at Ed-Tech Conferences:
- Data Privacy
- Who owns the data that is being collected by any of these proposed EdTech tools?
- Do those whose data is being collected (often students) have access to that data?
- What measures are being taken to assure that those whose data is being taken (often students) understand the implications of those data and how they can potentially be used?
- Question who isn't in the room/who is excluded
- What kind of message are we sending about society at large when we bring surveillance into the institution or classroom?
- Who is not able to be at this conference because of accessibility issues?
- Codes of Conduct and Reporting
- Is there a code of conduct? Is it accessible?
- Cost/Tiered Registration pricing
- Are there virtual options for attending/presenting that are more affordable?
- Are there tiers for students and adjuncts?
- Influence of Vendors/Sponsored Content
- Are vendors getting access to special data about attendees? For instance geolocation data that shows how much time they are spending at vendor areas of the conference.
- Question who is in the room or who gets the opportunity to hold certain roles