On October 28th, 2023 I attended the 13th Annual TCCA Conference. This conference unfolded with an electrifying twist, taking inspiration from the thrill of Friday the 13th. It was a showcase of educational technology drawing educators, tech enthusiasts, and pioneers alike, transforming a typical conference into an immersive, costumed extravaganza. There were butterflies, Freddie Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Pennywise, unicorns, and other costumes that would literally stop people in their tracks.
What makes this conference extra special is that it is free, lunch is provided, it’s on a Saturday so no need for admin approvals or sub plans, and it really brings some top-notch presenters and speakers. Just because it is free does not mean participants are getting a watered down conference.
As the largest free edtech conference in the Lone Star State, it provided a bustling platform for educators to explore, share, and collaborate. My mission? To capture the pulse of innovation by interviewing diverse presenters and participants for my podcast, EdTech Bites. I set up shop in my own private podcasting area and got to it with the help of our TCCA episodes sponsor Wakelet.
Wakelet has been changing the game when it comes to student portfolios. The platform is helping students across the US showcase tangible evidence of their success in creative and personalized ways. Wakelet portfolios boost college readiness, and help students share their skills and achievements in ways that go beyond just test scores. For teachers, Wakelet is a powerful tool for sharing learning resources, creating lesson plans, and boosting collaboration in your classes. Help your learners redefine student success, and outshine their test scores with Wakelet Portfolios. Head to wakelet.com/portfolios to learn more, and sign up for a free account today.
Throughout the day, I engaged with nine remarkable individuals, each offering a distinct perspective and expertise. Our discussions covered the intricacies of instructional coaching to the nuanced strategies for ESL students. The topics were great, but not as much as the guests. I chatted with Tisha Poncio, Jeni Long, Sallee Clark, Tony Vincent, and others to cover these much-needed topics. Being that my show is all about chatting edtech while breaking bread together, I gave each guest their own bag of donut holes while we chatted. I did that at TCCA 2022 as well and will keep this tradition going for as long as I can continue to cover this conference.
As the curtains closed on this edtech extravaganza, I departed with a wealth of insights and a renewed enthusiasm for the future of education. TCCA 2023 wasn’t just a conference; it was a celebration of innovation. This experience reminded me of how important human connection is. Chatting with people in person while breaking bread is one of the most primitive and important things we can do and I had the opportunity to do this with innovators and experts at TCCA!