Every year I look forward to the Texas Computer Association Conference. It has been my favorite thing to do, since becoming a Texas educator, four years ago. The first time I went, the sheer magnitude of the speakers and the convention hall was overwhelming. I attended the same conference for Alaskan educators the year before. The two are in such completely different leagues, it was shocking to me. TCEA is on the same scale as the ISTE conference held in late June. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE ISTE. I don’t even have close to the money to go this year, but I will try to find a way. TCEA provides me the opportunity to get out and try some new ideas, before the school year is over. When I go to ISTE, I still have to wait 2 months to try out my ideas with students in my class.
I will blog on a few of the great things I found this year in the coming days. I think my first takeaway this year, is more of a philosophy. While listening to Steve Hargadon speak in a small room, I really connected with what he was saying. That technology should start to break down the walls of schools, and facilitate more sharing of ideas. Steve has done some great work with Classroom 2.o and I have attended some of his free online webinars on Elluminate. You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevehargadon. I suggest that you do, because he has some great ideas that he puts into action. He really believes that the best teacher inservice and training is going to come from teachers themselves, and NOT from the district office. There is something that resonates for me about this type of grassroots approach to staff development.
I am going to try to figure out a way for our small school district of six elementary schools to start being able to share ideas. For a district so small, it amazes me how disconnected we are as professionals. Teachers need to be able to decide what direction they would like to go as educators, and collaboration is the key. Technology allows us the ability to collaborate, but school districts are resistant to change, or put trust in their educators. I hope we can start to find ways to better collaborate. I am going to see if I can find a way that works, and give it a try. Thanks TCEA, for helping to inspire me.