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A Virtual Conference You Don’t Want to Miss

by Lori Gracey

If you’ve been busy doing remote teaching for the past two months, then the last thing you want to think about right now is attending a virtual conference or, quite frankly, anything virtual ever again. Staring at your computer screen one more time may make you forget why you went into education.

But before you give up on the idea of learning anything more while working from home or in isolation, I ask that you consider the following: If we have discovered nothing else from this horrendous time, it is that most of us are not fully prepared to teach remotely or even in a blended learning situation. And that means that professional development is more critical than ever before. Even if you have mastered the art of teaching 22 busy elementary students from a distance, you must admit that you could use a new high-yield instructional strategy or two or a few new tech websites and tools to help differentiate learning.

With that in mind, I want to invite you to take part in TCEA’s Elementary Technology Conference, virtually. The Elementary Technology Conference (ETC) is an event unlike any other. Each summer, it brings together hundreds of elementary educators to discover the latest tools, resources, and strategies for engaging PreK-5 learners. Get to know the educators blazing trails in your field. Get advice and tools to fit the needs of your grade level, your specialty, and your classroom. Get energized, get excited, and get exploring. (All done virtually, of course!)

Designed Around Elementary Needs

This is a one-of-a-kind learning experience solely designed for elementary educators who face a unique set of challenges, have specific needs, and required different tools. You won’t see sessions that focus on concepts that are too hard for your students to handle or that don’t understand how important the basics are in the primary grades. You will see handcrafted learning opportunities presented by other elementary educators, people who have walked a mile in your shoes and fully understand that that means your students are following right behind you.

And we don’t forget the other critical folks who support elementary education in the classroom: elementary campus administrators, library media specialists, and instructional and technology coaches. There will be specific sessions for each of these groups as well, all designed to help you better lead and grow.

Highlighting Important Trends

Learning opportunities at the Elementary Technology Conference will feature all of the hottest topics and trends that you need to be aware of for your students’ achievement. Here are just a few of the more than 100 sessions that will be presented:

  • Digital Tools for the Mathematics Classroom
  • Tablets for Tiny Learners
  • Doodle Away: Supporting Visual Thinking and Sketchnoting
  • Creating Engaging Activities with Google Drawing
  • Meaningful Differentiation with Technology
  • Forms to the Rescue! Digital Documentation Made Easy
  • Science Journaling
  • Getting STEAMed Up About Writing
  • Rescue Me with Coaching CPR (Content Specific, Pedagogically Sound, Results Based)
  • Moving from Consumption to Creation
  • Adventures in Blended Learning
  • Writing with Podcasts

In addition to all of the amazing sessions that you will have access to, the conference will also provide your choice of three two-hour workshops included free with your registration. These sessions will take a deeper look at content and strategies for elementary students.

  • Blended Learning in the Elementary Classroom
  • The Power of STEAM-Themed Literature
  • Using the Jigsaw Method in Your Classroom or Professional Development

Having Fun and Sharing with Other Educators Like Yourself

Because ETC is a conference for one of the most fun-loving groups of educators in the world, I can guarantee that you’ll have a good time. We’ll have a game night, a coffee chat, several networking breaks, a social hour, and door prizes, all done virtually so you can stay safe (and in your pajamas). We’ll provide lots of opportunities for you to connect with other educators who are doing what you do and share ideas and resources with each other. And the TCEA board members and staff will be there to party along with you.

Elementary Technology Conference Details

I hope that I’ve convinced you that this event is the one more virtual experience that you must attend. Live sessions and activities will be held Sunday, June 14 through Tuesday, June 16. (You can see the schedule here.) Attend all of these live learning opportunities and you’ll have earned 14 CPE credits and a million new ideas. But there’s more. There will be another 106 recorded webinars that are included with your registration, which means you can watch these any time you want and continue the learning through July 13, 2020.

Registration is only $169 (down from $239 for the face-to-face event) and includes a year of membership in TCEA. That will enable you to take advantage of another 100 live and recorded hours of learning, along with amazing resources and idea sharing in our Community, for another 365 days.

We are limiting attendance at this virtual conference. So I encourage you to register today. If you’re still not convinced, just check out this blog I wrote after attending last year’s Elementary Technology Conference. And be sure to say “hi” when you arrive this year at the virtual conference; I promise to change out of my pajamas just for you!

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