TCEA Days 3 and 4: Whirlwind!

Wednesday and Thursday of TCEA were packed full of information, networking, sharing, and learning. The highlights of Wednesday for me were the great resources that were being shared on Twitter using the official conference hashtag #tcea2011 (or #tcea or #tcea11, etc.). Many people were sharing the resources they were being given in their sessions, along with comments about what was being said.

One of the comments on Wednesday that still has me reeling is that Xtranormal is no longer as free as it once was. It now only offers one free video and that video can only have one character in it. According to Xtranormal, they surveyed users and believe that their users will pay for a premium account. Hopefully, the education world will have enough of an influence to either change the policy or encourage the option of and edu-account. I really have to think there are alternatives to charging such as sponsors who would love to have their logos on the Xtranormal website as businesses who care enough about educators that they are helping to keep the service free . . . just sayin’.

I also participated in a BrainPop focus group on Wednesday and learned about some of the very exciting things that are on the way for subscribers. I cannot disclose what those things are – you’ll just have to wait!

On Thursday, many of the sessions I planned on attending were full. However, some of the sessions posted links to their resources on the closed doors and I began to wonder – really – why do we spend several days in Austin when a list of links to such resources could just be shared online? I suppose it is the connections that are made in a face-to-face setting that are the true value in TCEA.

Because of full sessions, I ended up in the general session with smoke, lights, and juggling – oh boy! Austin has a lot to offer, with regards to entertainment and food, but I really wish TCEA would move around this state each year. Austin isn’t able to handle the growing number of educators descending on its restaurants and parking. Perhaps alternating between DFW, Houston, and Austin would also make it easier for some people farther away from Austin to attend from time to time.

Tomorrow will be a short day. I’ll be facilitating a round table discussion at 9:15 in Ballroom B entitled: Recruitment and Retention of Girls in STEM.

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