TCEA – What I Have Learned So Far…

After missing the first shuttle bus and arriving a little late at the Austin Convention Center, I got to stand in line for about 20 minutes to get my badge and packet information because it seemed to have gotten lost in the mail.  Needless to say, I missed the first session I wanted to attend.

Once I began I saw some decent presentations.  I got a few ideas from the On-line Credit Recovery session I attended and a few ideas from the session on Successful Solutions for Professional Development… nothing ground-breaking, but ideas I may be able to do something with. 

I then attended Will Richardson’s session on Connective Writing, and I enjoyed it.  I have read Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools, and I read Will Richardson’s site pretty often so I had heard some of what he had to say.  I had not, however, ever heard him speak, so I enjoyed the session and picked up some new information.

Attending TCEA this year has not made me agree with Left Lane 100%, but I see his point.  So much of the information presented at these large conferences is available on-line through the presenter’s webpage, blog, wiki, book, etc., and I would personally rather learn on my own via an on-line conference but I am not sure everybody would. In order to learn on-line, you have to be an active learner.  You have to seek out the material and then set aside the time to learn it which seems to be a problem for many people.  The material is on-line and always accessible so many people put it on the back-burner and think they will make time to learn the information at a later date… and then they never get to it. 

Face-to-face conferences at least allow a block of time for teachers to leave the classroom, their homes and all the distractions that come with them to learn in an educational setting.  Face-to-face conferences make teachers make time to learn.  I am not sure this is a compelling argument to continue face-to-face conferences because in my opinion educators need to make continual learning a priority for their continued growth.  I agree with Will Richardson and Left Lane that building a learning network is imperative, and it is the most powerful way I think I have ever learned.  I interact with others around the world via their blogs and wikis and the information I gather is priceless.

I will probably attend TCEA again next year because although it is crowded and not all of the sessions are applicable to me, I always come away with a new idea and am reinvigorated by seeing what others are doing in their classrooms… but I would LOVE to see TCEA develop into an on-line conference.

Explore posts in the same categories: Professional Development, Staff Development Session, TCEA, TCEA07, TCEA2007, Will Richardson

2 Comments on “TCEA – What I Have Learned So Far…”

  1. jerram Says:

    I am not saying I have to do this every day, or even every week – we all need a mental break, but if I am not willing to do this, should I be in education?

    You addressed this, and I think we both know where we both stand. I just don’t think that being forced to make the time is going to produce a justifiable benefit to the money/time spent.

    Why don’t we start retreats for small groups? Give teachers a week at a retreat center to dialog with each other (in person) and to work on their personal learning networks – reading blogs, creating posts and shaping their beliefs about education. We need that time away, but let’s make it more productive…

    Ahh… I dream…

  2. jerram Says:

    Sorry – I was trying to blockquote the following from your post… didn’t enter my code properly:

    “In order to learn on-line, you have to be an active learner. You have to seek out the material and then set aside the time to learn it which seems to be a problem for many people.”

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