On November 24, 2008, Scott Floyd and Michael Gras met with TCEA VP Lee Sleeper concerning White Oak ISD hosting the 2009 TCEA Area 7 Tech Conference. During this time, Scott and Michael showed Lee the facilities that would house the one day event. One of the goals discussed were: multiple tracks of presentations covering administrators, curriculum folks (directors, teachers, aides, etc), and network (technology directors, etc). The number of sessions in each will be dependent on the number of applications received for presentations.

Another goal of this conference is to introduce social tools currently in broad use to educators who might not be familiar with them. They will be in use throughout the conference. This includes tools like UStream and Twitter.  This site will be used to link to all of the presentation files supplied by the presenters as well as any media created during the presentations. There will be an opportunity for each presenter to have his or her session either audio or video recorded so that it can be posted for future reference along with the related session materials.

There is a hope that sessions will be offered in different formats. A Blogger’s Cafe will be set-up so participants can have mini un-conference sessions throughout the day. It is possible that there will be sessions with presenters facilitating virtually instead of in person. This will give interested attendees the opportunity to see a different mode of presentation and actually be on the receiving end of it much like their students will be. If there is enough interest, there will be poster sessions offered as well. Similar to those at NECC, presenters can man a booth sharing their wisdom with participants in a smaller setting. This will also allow those not interested in presenting to larger groups the chance to still share some of their expertise with others without the intimidation of a formal setting.

We are always open to other ideas, so feel free to leave us comments. We want this to be a conference you look forward to attending each and every summer. Help us make it that way.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Lee agreed that White Oak has the facilities to host the conference. A date was set for June, 12, 2009. A work in progress schedule can be found on the Conference Information page. A registration link will be added as soon as it is created within the TCEA site. On-site registration will be available as well.

We hope to see everyone in June!