Professional Development

If You Can’t Be at Convention

convention
Written by Lori Gracey

Sad that you can’t be at TCEA Convention 2018? We understand. But you can still learn along with us using these tips and tricks.

Ask anyone who’s ever attended a TCEA Convention & Exposition and they will tell you that there’s nothing like it. The crowds of dedicated educators, the amazing presenters, the exhibitors with the latest learning technologies — all of that creates an excitement and an energy that you won’t find anywhere else.

But what if, for whatever reason, you simply can’t attend the convention this year? Is there any way to gain at least a little of that knowledge and recharging without being there? The good news is yes.

Ways to Learn with Us Without Being at Convention

First, follow us on Twitter. The presenters and attendees are fabulous about sharing the amazing things they’ll be learning at convention. The official hashtag is #TCEA. So grab your favorite Twitter tool (mine is TweetDeck) and input the hashtag to join in. You can start following along now as we always have great tools and resources.

During the week of convention, we will be blogging out some of the things we see that really impact us. So check out the blog each conventionday to virtually experience those. (By the way, did you know that you can sign up to get the TCEA blog emailed to you each day? Just go to the blog site and scroll down until you see the red box. Enter your email address and you’ll start getting powerful resources emailed to you daily. And this works for members and non-members.)

After convention is over, we will be blogging out some of the content shared in our Solution Circles this year, peer-to-peer collaborations about some of the big issues in education right now. So be sure to be on the lookout for those resources. (Again, if you sign up to receive the daily blog email, you’ll get them automatically delivered to your inbox.)

Next, register for the webinar “Lunch and Learn: Convention Gems.” It’s free to members and on February 14 from 11:45 to 12:15 p.m. Central. This fast-paced session will highlight some of the best of the best that our PD staff discovered at convention. And there will be time for everyone else to share their favorites as well. If you can’t attend the live session, register anyway and receive a link to the recorded webinar to listen to at any time. If you’re not currently a member, join for just $49 for a year and get access to this webinar, as well as more than 80 others. That’s a lot less than what it would cost to attend the convention!

Finally, keep an eye on our website for when we post all of the handouts from our unbelievable presenters. It usually takes two to three weeks after convention is over before they are all uploaded. But once they are, you will have full access to them. It’s not quite the same as being in the room with them, but it’s a close second.

Next Year in San Antonio

Take advantage of all the learning that you can participate in without being at convention this year. But start making plans for how you can join in for the live excitement in San Antonio February 4-8, 2019. Tell your supervisor about the tremendous learning you’ll experience and ask him to budget for you attending next year. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her nine years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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