This was my first time attending TCEA and also my first time attending an educator’s conference and viewing it from the eyes of the administrator. My first thoughts of this conference are very positive. I enjoyed many of the sessions I attended and of course loved seeing the latest in educational technology first hand. My favorite presenters were Tammy Worcestor’s “Time Saving Tips for Teachers” and “Web 2.0 Tools“. Jim Holland’s and Susan Anderson’s presentation “Google Earth Meets Web 2.0” was also a big delight. I walked away from this conference with many different ideas and plan to share with my teachers back home…which is a little strange to me…more on this in a second.
I also attended a few leadership and administrative breakout sessions which I didn’t enjoy nearly as much. As I sat through these sessions, I began to wonder about administrators in general. Do principals and other district leaders not understand the value to educational technology? Are there too many administrative tasks for us to get out of the office and into the classrooms where our students are learning? The sessions geared toward classroom teachers or technology specialists were interesting and exciting. There was a buzz of continued conversations long after the sessions about how they were going to implement their new knowledge or cool Web 2.0 tools with their students. This was seriously lacking from the “leadership” sessions I attended so I was seriously disappointed. I wondered if my inexperience as an administrator didn’t give me an insight the others had. Did the other administrators see this as another initiative that they would have to implement on their campuses? Or is this something they saw they should delegate to another person within the district? Perhaps I have more learn in this area!
I was so excited and learned so much at TCEA that I thought it was the worth the price of admission from the first session I attended. I thought about my teachers back at my campus and how I wanted to share this information with them…which was a little strange for me. For the first time, I was planning lesson ideas and topics for students that I would never directly teach myself. Normally I would see or hear about a new techie idea and immediately think about next week’s lesson plans and how I was going to integrate technology into my classroom. However, I’m no longer in the classroom, nor do I have a set of students to teach. I have teachers…teachers who are hard working…teachers that are busy…teachers who could perceive my enthusiasm as a mandate or another initiative from the administration. So the question becomes, how do I encourage teachers to change their teaching styles to incorporate technology in the classroom? How can I model technology integration in front of them? If technology is supposed to be seamlessly integrated into the classroom, how can I integrate technology into what I do daily so teachers can see it? Perhaps I’ll have an answer to these questions later.