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TCEA Chronicles: Education Technology Highlights from the 2017 Conference

By February 28, 2017 No Comments

Education technology highlights from TCEA by the leading education pr agency.With The Illustrated Texas Dictionary of the English Language in tow, members of the CB&A’s education PR team recently headed south to Austin for the 37th TCEA Annual Convention and Exposition. It was a welcome reprieve from the chilly Wisconsin weather.

At the conference, CB&A hosted Speed Meetings, where we facilitated media connections for clients and gathered valuable intel from journalists about which education technology trends they find most promising to fuel future education PR campaigns.

We also learned that TCEA will be in Austin again in 2018, but move to San Antonio and Dallas for future dates. You can view the 2018-2023 conference schedule here.

In between hearing ghost stories at The Driskill Hotel and saturating our clothes in that distinctive smoky aroma at Iron Works BBQ, we compiled highlights from the show:

Social and emotional learning

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines social and emotional learning as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

During TCEA, a variety of vendors, organizations and journalists identified this topic as an area of interest. As companies develop new products and offerings, organization leaders are thinking of ways to help promote the development of social and emotional skills in our classrooms. Schools are embedding social and emotional learning plans into instruction. This bodes well for students, as these skills are essential in shaping well-rounded individuals.

Political climate

Unsurprisingly, the topic of politics did come up, but largely at the surface level. Despite the volatile climate, educators remain committed to providing the best education they can for students.

Strategic partnerships

The TCEA show floor was abuzz with collaboration – from teachers providing ideas to vendors, to vendors finding creative ways to partner with each other. Working together is the fastest road to innovation. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we should build off of each other’s ideas to maximize success for students and create even better solutions than we could individually. We encourage you to think about who you can partner with to move your mission forward. Don’t be afraid to dive in – you can start small and nurture your ideas.

Evolving classroom design

If asked to draw a classroom, what would most people include? Maybe some individual desks, a whiteboard, bookshelves – perhaps a globe if the classroom was for geography? Today’s classroom design is rapidly evolving. With the increased volume of mobile implementations, district leaders need to think critically about design. For example, it’s not enough to just have mobile devices – tablets, laptops, etc. need a place to be stored, charged and protected. If the classroom isn’t 1:1, students need work spaces that allow for collaboration.

Do our observations match yours? Ready to take your education PR activities to the next level at the next conference? Let us know!