Friday, April 15, 2016

TIE Conference '16: A reflection

I attended the TIE conference this past week in Sioux Falls, SD. Educator's from all over the state and region descended upon Sioux Falls to gain knowledge in the world of Technology in Education. People's opinions of conferences are all over the place. Some love them, some don't. For me, I enjoy going to education conferences, especially ones geared toward technology. I like to see what's out there and what (if any) is new in the world of tech in education. The TIE conference is well done, especially the free nacho bar! Yum.  I had a chance to present on Gamification: how to turn your classroom into a Video game! With so many of the presenters taking the approach of "here's a tech tool and here's how you use it," I decided to share an idea/concept, rather than just functionality of tech tools. I had a lot of fun sharing this with the people in attendance. The traditional tech tool sessions did have value though, as I mined a few new tech tools here and there to check out and explore. I'm really excited about one in particular, but I will share that later, along with other nuggets I picked up along the way. Build suspense! 
The best thing about the TIE conference is not all the tech tools being shared or the new cutting technology being introduced or the nachos. It is without a doubt the ability to join together with so many educators to build connections, share ideas and get inspired about teaching. Here's the deal: it's easy to connect with people at conference but how often do you go to conferences? Not often. Maybe once a year. Maybe zero times a year.  Twitter is like one giant non-stop educational conference. The connecting that can be done through Twitter is amazing. It's a treasure chest for any educator. So yeah, conferences are great to make connections with people, but keep that going through Twitter! 

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