Lisa Ling, a National Geographic Channel contributor and correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Robert Ballard, founder of The JASON Project and the discoverer of historic shipwrecks including the R.M.S. Titanic, are two main attractions at the 2009 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference, which kicks off Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas. This year’s theme is "Accelerate Technology."
More than 8,500 educators, technology coordinators, and technology specialists attended last year’s conference. The 2009 conference will feature more than 100 hands-on workshops, hundreds of free sessions, and an 800-booth exhibit hall.
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Attendees will have a chance to view a free two-day "Best Practices Summit" hosted by eSchool News. Leading companies will be on hand, with key executives and education customers, who will answer questions, share experiences, and give practical insights into solutions that might be exactly what your school is looking for. The summits will take place Feb. 4-5.
TCEA also is offering an array of sessions addressing the growing environmental concern and its impact on educational technology. A selection of sessions on best practices, getting students involved and interested, and reducing a school’s carbon foot print will be presented from knowledgeable industry professionals and teachers. Featured sessions include Carbon Footprints in the Classroom on Feb. 4 at 8:00 a.m. and Green IT Options on Feb. 4 at 10:15 a.m.
Conference-goers can also register, for a fee, to attend the Build Your Own Computer (BYOC) program. The BYOC program is designed to give educators the knowledge to build computers and troubleshoot the systems when something goes wrong. Participants are given step-by-step instructions as well as trouble shooting techniques to take back with them.
BYOC provides quality parts from which to build a computer system. This training enables participants to return to their district/campus and work with students or teachers to help them also build computer systems for their own use.
The goal is to give students skills that will enhance their employment opportunities and/or success in college and to ease the apprehension some educators have about using computers.
TCEA is providing the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office for participants to install on the computers they are building.
Those who are interested can attend a fee-based leadership seminar on Feb. 3. The seminar, which runs all day, is designed for superintendents, central office administrators, principals, and assistant principals.
Seminar attendees will study trends and issues related to the effective use of technology to support teaching and learning, explore new technologies, and establish new contacts. Some of the highlighted sessions will include innovative approaches to funding, visionary leadership, emerging technologies, project-based learning, and best practices.