And, my last post is below.
Networking at TCEA: Connected Educators Connecting Face-to-Face
As a new digital learning specialist coming straight out of the classroom, I have had to adjust my perspective to a more global view from my previous teacher tunnel vision. Focusing on my students and their success was my job, but my new job necessitates me thinking about all classrooms and all students. To change my thinking to serve all students, I had to learn a lot and I had to learn it fast. The only way to do this was to get "connected." Thankfully, there are countless amazing edtech leaders in our state who generously share with newcomers like myself.
This year's TCEA convention has a "Connected" theme, and I have made an effort to make face-to-face connections with the tech leaders who have been supporting and encouraging me through Twitter and blogs as I have been learning how to best serve my district as a digital learning specialist.
A summary of my TCEA convention "connections" so far:
- I met and chatted with Tracy Clark before her session in the ESL Academy. She discussed universal design and asked me how I use it in my district. (She also agreed to take a selfie with me so that I could "prove" the encounter to my team later.)
- I spotted Kasey Bell giving directions to an attendee. I also got a picture of her giving a presentation on the bottom floor that I tweeted out to my group since my group loves her bottomless Google resources.
- I even got brave enough to submit blog posts to TCEA to share my experiences with others and connect with my new peers. (I created my first blog this summer in response to a Kasey Bell teacher-blog challenge when she graciously re-tweeted my post and encouraged me, on Twitter, to keep posting.)
- Yesterday, I attended a Diane Benner session to re-connect with an experienced TCEA presenter that I met for the first time at the TCEA Campus Technology Specialist Academy in November.
- In an attempt to foster "connected" educators, I helped facilitate a "connected" educator Twitter chat that my team and other attendees participated in face-to-face in the Hyatt lobby with a guest host from another district. My teachers back home, on Twitter, were able to connect with us and other edtech lovers and truly exemplify "connected educators."
- And, this morning, I enjoyed the CAMP Sig breakfast where campus technology specialists from around the state got together, chatted, shared, and connected. I was able to meet other technology specialists from other districts and talk about mutual concerns over coffee.
For me as a newcomer to the wonderful world of edtech, the theme of this convention resonates on many levels. I am now even more dedicated to going back to my district (campuses and teachers) and promoting these connections to the larger educational community to ultimately serve our students better as we leverage the experience and knowledge of others around the state. Only then can we start making the changes to education and how schools are instructing future-ready students.