As a native Texan, I have been raised to think, “Everything is bigger and better in Texas.” The annual TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) Convention and Exposition is proof that this saying is absolutely true. TCEA is the largest state organization in the country dedicated to the use of technology in classrooms. It’s annual convention, held in Austin, TX boasted over 900 educational sessions, over 400 vendors/exhibitors, and over 12,000 attendees. The five-day event attracted people from all over the world and is well-known for the quality and variety of sessions. There were sessions for librarians, school networking professionals, district instructional technology leaders, administrators, and teachers of every level of education.
This was my second year to attend this overwhelming event. Currently an elementary iPad Lab teacher in Louisiana, I attended this event for the first time last year and was so enthralled that I promised myself I would bring teachers from my school with me the following year. This year, I convinced my principal to send EIGHT teachers! While our school/district is technologically behind many others, our teachers and students do have access to iPad Carts and most recently Chromebook carts. However, these resources were severely underutilized. I wanted my peers to understand the possibilities that using this technology holds. After a long day of sessions, the nine of us converged each evening en mass swirling with excitement about our new educational technology knowledge. We discussed what we learned and how to use it in our classrooms. Every day our principal was bombarded with pictures, questions, and statements of our new-found technology knowledge.
Upon our return home, we were quick to share our new educational adventures with our colleagues and have all decided to share one thing we learned to the entire faculty at our next faculty meeting. TCEA has given my school a much-needed boost in educational technology awareness and confidence. I can’t wait until next year!