WOW! Impressions from TCEA by Carol Purvis

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One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind

TCEA, the Texas Computer Education Association, recently had their annual conference in Austin, TX. Several BISD teachers had the incredible opportunity to attend. (Hint, if ever offered, leap at the chance! It is classroom changing!)

Three of the five days of conference offer keynote speakers with various backgrounds and world views. Wednesday’s keynote was Peter Sheahan, a world renowned author and businessman. While Sheahan had many great points, the most inspiring and perhaps comforting was that starting with small steps towards technology was just fine. One doesn’t need to throw out every traditional aspect of teaching and “flip” a classroom in a year to be a successful 21st century teacher. Listeners were encouraged to choose one subject, one lesson or even just part of a lesson and add a technology spin. Incorporating Little Alchemy into a mixtures and solutions lesson or using Google draw to have students create their own “wordle” from scratch, or in some cases, just having students memorize and use their google email and password correctly is a HUGE step in the right direction. Sheahan also stressed that teachers should not feel a need to reinvent the wheel when trying to utilize technology. There is not a concept in existence that someone, somewhere has not taught, filmed and posted to YouTube. The quality, language, etc. might not be the best, but it’s a starting place. And in reality, isn’t that what all teachers truly offer their students?? A starting place?  Just start, change one small thing and watch how far your students will go from there.

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