Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Before you attend an Ed Conference...

Tis the season for teacher learning! There is something about teachers that even when summer comes we relax, but we make time to learn, grow, and make plans for the coming years. I have attended and presented at quite a few education conferences (Witcon, ISTE, and RCA). I would be willing to say that they all are unique in their own ways, but have quite a bit in common. There are some basic things that you need to keep in mind if you plan to attend any conferences this summer. So here is my list of MUSTS for attending Ed conferences!

  1. Bring your Technology! - This goes really without saying, since many of these conferences have gone digital, but bring your favorite piece of technology. For me, that's my laptop and my phone which allows me to take notes, use websites, and download new apps if I need to. Also, don't forget to stay charged. I always charge the day or night before and bring a phone charger or battery pack with me if I plan on being out all day. Tweeting about all the amazing things you learn can really drain your battery! 
  2. Have an open mind! - Walking in with a positive attitude and open mind is important. You want to be open to anything new because you never know what you might uncover. You want to try things and go to sessions that pique your interest. Be willing to interact with others and share your experiences you never know what you will be able to use. 
  3. Use your time wisely - Plan out your day ahead of time. With conferences like ISTE there is so much going on that you really want to plan ahead. Pick the main sessions you want to attend but give yourself time to stumble across a new adventure in the play, poster, and exhibit areas. For a conference like Witcon use your time in those sessions to find out what you want to learn more about and take advantage of the conference website and lunch to make connections. 
  4. Do things you enjoy! - Choose sessions that speak to you. It's ok to go to things that focus on your strengths, weaknesses, or even things you're curious about. I would say from personal experiences push yourself to find those sessions you know you are going to learn a lot in. You can try a new app on your own and you can meet with your teacher bestie later to talk about their session, go to the ones that you only got one chance at. 

  5. Be Brave! - This one sometimes can be the hardest, Be Brave! This means to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Be willing to go up and talk to the speaker if you really connected with what they said. Volunteer, answer questions, be the audience we crave from our students. The more you give the more you will get. Don't be afraid to make conversations with those around you. Last year at ISTE I even went to a book launch party. I was nervous as all get out, but it was great to meet some amazing people. Now looking back I should have been even braver, spoke to more people, shared more things, made more connections. Learn with no regrets!

Are you attending any ed conferences this summer? Where to? What is your advice?
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