Exploration Theme for 2019 TCEA Ed Tech Conference

This annual education tech event draws attendees to tracks on 1-to-1, leadership, library media, online and blended learning, PD, special populations and more.

Two explorers headline this year's TCEA convention and exposition. Mae Jemison, who served as a NASA astronaut for six years, will be the opening keynote speaker and Alison Levine, mountaineer, will serve as the closing keynoter for the event, which takes place Feb. 4-8 in San Antonio, TX.

The Texas Computer Education Association is a global, non-profit, member-based organization that supports the use of technology in education. The annual event draws international attendance of education people primarily from K-12 but also higher education, including an audience of technology directors and staff members, school and district leaders, curriculum and special education professionals, teachers and librarians and media specialists from 400 districts to Texas every year to learn about innovative instructional practices, new and proven technologies and useful resources for K-12 education.

Jemison became the first woman of color to go into space when she traveled aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992. A Trekkie, Jemison would begin each of her shifts in space with the Lt. Uhura line: "Hailing frequencies open." After her NASA posting, she formed the Jemison Group, a technology consulting firm, and launched a K-12 science-oriented foundation named after her mother, Dorothy Jemison, who served as an educator in Chicago Public Schools for 25 years. Her latest interest is 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit that promotes human travel beyond our solar system within the next 100 years. A big part of the mission is to promote STEM literacy in K-12 and higher education, to build capacity among new and future generations of space innovators. Jemison is also the author of a series of books about space with publisher Scholastic.

Levine is a polar explorer and mountaineer who has survived extreme temperatures, hurricane-caliber winds, avalanches -- and a stint on Wall Street. In 2010 she completed the Adventure Grand Slam, which requires climbing the "Seven Summits" (including Mount Everest, Aconcagua and Denali) and skiing to both the North and South Poles. Levine also wrote best-seller On the Edge, a business book that shared leadership lessons from her many life-and-death expeditions. Most recently, Levine serves as executive producer on The Glass Ceiling, a film about Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Everest; and Levine's image appears on the label of Conquer the Route, a chocolate stout craft brew available on tap at Bold Missy Brewery in Charlotte.

According to organizers, the event will feature a thousand-plus presentations, workshops and poster sessions, including coverage of every tech-enabled learning topic one could think up, including activities on:

  • Personalized, blended, flipped, competency-based and project-based learning
  • Data privacy and data usage
  • Digital security and digital citizenship
  • Accessibility and ELL
  • Growth mindset and learning science
  • Computer science and coding
  • Classroom tools from Google and Microsoft
  • Learning management system usage
  • Makerspaces, 3D printing, video and podcasting
  • STEAM and STEM
  • Using gaming in all aspects of instruction
  • Digital badging, digital portfolios and digital storytelling
  • 1-to-1, gadgets and digital learning
  • Professional development
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Funding, assessment and leadership

As an example of the variety of topics included in the conference, here's the roster for a 50-minute segment, from 2:30 to 3:20, Tuesday, Feb. 5:

"The TCEA Convention & Exposition allows educators in all roles to come together to learn and share ideas and solutions," said Lori Gracey, executive director of the organization. "What makes our convention the premier ed tech event is that--despite being a large conference attended by thousands of educators--it is easy for attendees to tailor their experience to their specific needs. With thousands of sessions on highly-relevant topics, hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest resources, interactive learning spaces, networking opportunities, and more, there is truly something for every educator."

Currently, registration is $289 for access to the full conference. After Nov. 14, 2018, the cost goes up to $339. And after Jan. 10, the price is $389. Undergraduate students receive a discounted registration of $100, with proof of current enrollment. Learn more on the event website.