Whether you are a veteran attendee of the annual TCEA Convention & Exposition or this will be your very first one to attend, the TCEA 2021 event and the learning contained in it will be new to everyone because it is virtual this year. So how can you maximize your time and energy to gain the most from this jam-packed event? Well, keep reading, and I’ll share some of the secrets previously known only to the TCEA staff about the convention.
Number of Sessions
TCEA has partnered this year with another outstanding ed tech organization, IDEA (Illinois Digital Educations Alliance). That means that there are a ridiculous number of sessions (more than 550 and counting so far!) available to every attendee. And the normal five-day event will now last for an entire month, so there are even more opportunities to learn and network and grow. But it all goes away on March 5, 2021, so you need to access it quickly.
Types of Content
Not only is there plenty of content and more time to enjoy it, but the types of content are also different this year.
- On-demand sessions will be released each day for you to enjoy. These learning experiences are pre-recorded, so you can learn from them at any time of the day for the entire month. You can even watch them over again to catch great ideas and resources you may have missed the first time.
- Live sessions occur only at specific times and will feature the ability for you to ask questions and interact with the speakers. But these are also being recorded, so you have full access to them for the month as well. You don’t have to worry about not being able to get into the room or having to choose between two topics offered at the same time that you really want to attend. It’s all there for you whenever you want it.
Crafted Schedules for TCEA 2021
But all of that content means that, more than ever, you’ll need to have a game plan to access everything you want to before the content expires in a month. Don’t worry, though, because TCEA has you covered. We asked our content experts to craft mock schedules for specific job responsibilities and topics. These schedules include must-attend live sessions, recorded presentations, visits to the virtual exhibit hall, and more, taking all of the work out of planning your own schedule.
You can find all of the mock schedules here. Feel free to follow them completely or take them as a starting point for creating your own schedule. There are mock schedules available for the following. (If you don’t see one for a topic you are interested in, please let me know so that we can create one.)
- Blended/Hybrid/Remote Learning
- Campus Leaders
- CTOs and Technology Directors
- Curriculum and Instruction
- ELAR Teachers
- ELA/SS Teachers
- Elementary Teachers
- General Ed Tech
- Innovative/Research-Based Instruction
- Librarians and Media Specialists
- Math Teachers
- Professional Development
- Robotics Teachers
- Social Studies Teachers
- Special Populations Teachers
- STEAM Teachers
- Technical Support and IT Staff
It wouldn’t be a TCEA/IDEA event if there weren’t some amazing thought leaders that you simply shouldn’t miss. And because of our partnership this year, there are even more of these than ever before. Just take a look at all of these unbelievable headliners who will inspire you, challenge you, and rock your world with their ideas and resources. A few of my favorites include Principal Hamish Brewer, Jennifer Gonzalez, Dr. Desiree Alexander, Eric Curts, gadget queen Leslie Fisher, and Claudio Zavala. But you can’t go wrong with any of the ones speaking; they are all true leaders and worthy of your time.
By the way, did I mention that educational research guru John Hattie will also be speaking at the convention? As you may know, Hattie’s research into what really works in education is changing how learning happens in the classroom. Hear him speak and see how you can use high-effect research strategies that will truly impact student learning.
TCEA PD team members will also be presenting sessions before and after his presentation on his research, helping you to dive more deeply into what it means and how it can be used on a daily basis. Check out their sessions on Wednesday through Saturday.
Must-Attend Extras for TCEA 2021
Of course, no TCEA/IDEA convention exists without lots to do besides attend sessions. There will be networking activities, an incredible virtual exhibit hall, an opening celebration, morning kick-offs, solution circles, poster sessions, games, and so much more. With two sets of meeting and events planners working on this extravaganza, you know that the fun and excitement will be AMAZING!
In addition, there will be really fun Bitmoji activities happening in the TCEA Membership Booth each day that you won’t want to miss. Whether you are a Bitmoji veteran or have yet to create your own avatar, stop by, and learn how to up your game and showcase all that you’ve learned during TCEA 2021. There will be daily lessons, tons of resources, and so much fun!
If you haven’t registered yet, you might want to hurry. The registration price will increase on January 9. So save a little money and ensure that you are registered for this powerful collection of learning and collaborating. I look forward to seeing you very soon!