This post is sponsored by NCCE.
There is no doubt that social media is changing the way we connect with information and with each other. From Twitter to YouTube, information, experts and colleagues are a mere click away and travel alongside you anywhere, anytime.
In this time of advanced technology and access, many wax poetically about the power of social media to connect. We couldn’t agree more that this toolset is powerful and connection-oriented, but even we know that social media cannot completely replace face-to-face experiences.
Our personal and professional learning networks are important to teachers and our professions, but the rich experiences that conferences and summits can provide are still unparalleled. Whether it is ISTE, CUE, META, or our favorite NCCE, connecting face to face with educators, administrators, IT directors, scholars and even students provides a much deeper learning experience than can happen in 140 characters. Don’t get us wrong. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are awesome for sharing resources, but I challenge you to have a rich debate on any of these platforms with much success. How often have you experienced in-depth learning with new technologies hand in hand with experts on a social media platform? The face-to-face conference has a powerful role to play in the professional development of educators and there is not a better conference to witness this than at NCCE 2016.
Hands on learning with experts
NCCE’s “Make Your Future Summit” events are a great example of interactive learning from experts around the country. This year NCCE will be hosting three summit events: Google, Makerspace, and Teacher-Librarian. These day-long events are designed to be thought-provoking, collaborative looks at leadership, innovation, and learning.
Join educators from all over the Pacific Northwest as we explore all aspects of Google Apps for Education. All school staff — teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, coaches, principals, district administrators, and technology staff — will find something of value as they attend various breakout sessions and network with each other. Interactive, hands-on sessions, led by Google-certified teachers, trainers and educators, will cover Google Classroom, Parent Communication, Google Forms, Google Drawing, Google Hangouts and Google Maps.
Collaborate with regional Maker colleagues as you experience the design process, complete challenges, and see examples of this dynamic approach to learning. Experience a variety of hands-on activity stations and demonstrations through a Makerspace Exploration opportunity that will include animation, cardboard construction, kid-friendly programming, simple and complex electronic circuits, mechanisms, Legos, 3D printers and more. Leave with ideas for getting started with Makerspace as you hear from a number of Northwest Maker educators who will share strategies, tips and resources for successful Maker learning spaces.
Discover what it means to create a next-generation library as you learn how create a Micro Maker Faire. Hear from other “maker-librarians as they share tips, tricks and the “how-to” of making! Network with fellow teacher librarians throughout the day as you focus on next-gen initiatives that will set your library apart. The day will include edcamp-like sharing time, so bring resources, ideas, tips and tricks, and other tools that you use to engage students and teachers. Leave this high energy, hands-on day with resources and ideas you can apply immediately in your library.
These summits comprise only a one day of this incredible three-day conference. With keynotes from Cheryl Strayed, author of New York Times Bestselling memoir “WILD,” and Kevin Honeycutt, master teacher and inspirational speaker, to spark your imagination and challenge you to think deeply about education. Add two days of vendors showing off their latest innovations, workshops and sectionals that will expand your horizons, and the space to connect with educators and you have an experience that cannot be duplicated on social media. We hope you can join us at NCCE 2016 in Seattle, Wash., February 24-26th!
Follow Mike Agostinelli and Jason Neiffer on Twitter at @mikegusto and @techsavvyteach.