Gearing up for the opening of convention registration is one of my favorite times of the year. And with so many new features for the 2018 TCEA Convention & Exposition, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been. Here are just a few insider tips for you.
Tuesday Will Be a HUGE Day!
The opening convention keynote has moved from Wednesday morning to Tuesday afternoon. There is so much more content to present and so many great features on Monday and Tuesday that it just didn’t make sense to kick off the convention in the middle of the week any more.
We are so excited to announce that the 2018 opening keynote this year is Marlee Matlin. The award-winning actress is an inspiring advocate for diversity and inclusion. And in 2015, she developed “Marlee Signs,” the first celebrity-driven app that teaches the basics of American Sign Language on mobile devices.
After Marlee kicks off the convention, we’re headed into the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception. With more than 450 companies setting up intricate displays and even hosting presentations and breakouts in their booths, there’s so much to take in for everyone. There’s a reason the TCEA exhibit hall is referred to as the ed tech marketplace – everything you need to stay connected, innovative, and relevant is here. So stop by Tuesday afternoon and enjoy a quick snack while you see the latest in technology to help your students.
Make Plans for Thursday
This will be the first year, in as long as I can remember, that we have an open night on Thursday. As much as we love to feel the floor shake under the Spazmatics during the social, we are opening this evening to allow more of our great vendors to host bigger and better events for you. When you register for convention this year, there will be a check box to “Receive Correspondence from Exhibitors.” Be sure to check that so you can be on the invite lists to their fun parties.
Stay Through Friday
We haven’t announced our Friday keynote yet because we are still working on the contract and logistics. If all goes as we plan, however, you are not going to want to miss this! Stay tuned for the announcement. You can follow @tcea on Twitter or tcea.org on Facebook.
Upgrade to Premium
We’ve revamped the Premium Academies this year to continue to improve them. And, based on your feedback, what’s really exciting is that you’ll be able to go in between different academies. That’s right! With your Premium Registration, you can attend any Premium Academy session. Want to attend a great Google Academy session at 9:00 and an amazing Transformational Learning Academy at 10:00? No problem. We’ve removed the opening and closing keynotes which restricted us to a maximum capacity for the academies. Some of the more popular sessions will still fill up, but now you’ll have even more to choose from.
Premium registrations are limited based on the number of premium sessions, workshops, and academies offered and the seating capacity. Premium Registration sells out every year. Be sure to register early.
Some New Ways to Learn at the 2018 TCEA Convention & Exposition
In response to your feedback, we have updated some of the Academy offerings, as well as added some new ways to continue learning. This year, we will offer Solution Circles on Wednesday and Thursday to all Basic and Premium registrants. Similar to a Birds of a Feather session, the 50-minute Solution Circles are focused on a particular topic each hour. Those interested in the topic can join their peers at round tables to discuss common problems and find solutions, share resources, and grow their network for future help. A trained facilitator will guide the conversations to ensure that everyone’s questions are heard and answered. A wide variety of topics are offered. Just a few of them are Campus Leadership, Young Professionals, Digital Coaching, Google Admin, PreK-2, Digital Badges for Staff and Students, Building Stronger Teams, and Redesigning Learning Spaces.
We’ve also refreshed the Academies for this year and are excited about these in-depth explorations:
- Innovative Teaching Academy – a new academy that that focuses on the latest and best teaching methodologies, including flipped and blended classrooms, distance learning, gamification, PBL, makerspaces, global connections, design thinking, and more (Monday)
- Transformational Learning Academy – a new academy designed for those leaders responsible for changing education. It includes the topics of integration models, digital coaching, creating a culture of change, adult learning theory, visioning, microcredentials and staff badging, and more. (Monday and Tuesday)
- ESL/ELL Academy (Monday)
- ELA/SS Academy (Monday)
- Math and Science Academy (Monday)
- Google Academy (Tuesday)
- CTO/Technology Leadership Academy (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Librarian/Media Specialist Academy (Thursday)
Registration and housing open September 14 at 9 a.m. Once you’ve registered for the convention, you will be able to make your hotel reservation. You can register for the convention with a credit card or purchase order, but you will need a credit card to make your hotel reservation. We’ve added several hotels to our regular block of housing this year, including the new Fairmont next to the convention center.
There is simply no better way to keep your learning current and ensure that you can help those you serve than by being an active participant at the annual TCEA Convention & Exposition. Mark your calendar for the opening of registration on September 14 at 9 a.m. CDT.