Guest post by Carl Hooker, Director of Innovation & Digital Learning in the Eanes Independent School District: The conference season has officially kicked off! Following the FETC event from two weeks ago in Florida, Texas is hosting its annual TCEA event hosted in my hometown of Austin (until next year when it moves to San Antonio). I’ve attended this event since my first year in teaching in 1998 and while the technology has changed, the reasons for attending continue year after year. The ideas being shared this year seem center around STEAM, AR/VR, flexible learning spaces, and coding across the curriculum. One thing I learned years ago when attending these “mega-conferences” is to have a plan of action. Districts spend millions of dollars sending staff to these events, but if they don’t return with anything of use for learning, it's a waste. Some things we’ve done in the past is create a Slack channel to share resources, have teachers presents their findings at a faculty meeting, or even present at our summer learning event. But districts don’t even have to go that far. A simple checklist of 3’s can do wonders for helping teachers share what they learned like the following:
• 3 “mind-blowing moments
• 3 ways I want to grow professionally
• 3 ideas for campus and/or district improvement
Going to events like these with a plan and purpose can make all the difference in the world when it comes to sharing benefits with your district.