Blog Post: Virtual VISION Experience

Written by Kia Keyton, 2020-2021 PLSP Fellow

Though I have never attended the VISION conference before now, I have attended many other conferences in-person.  In the past, I have had difficulty finding the appropriate workshops and sessions where I can gain the most knowledge for my students while simultaneously being interesting to me.  Usually, I am uncomfortably cold with sore feet.  I am also uninterested while stuck in a session where I have wondered by happenstance.  However, those same sessions have little to do with me or what I do.  This conference allowed me to invest time into sessions that interested me.  I could stop or “leave” a session to which I could not relate.  The virtual format saved so much valuable time for me.  I could watch the sessions at my leisure, in the comfort of my own home.

This conference reiterated the importance of career and technical education (CTE) to me.  I realized how valuable it is for me to recruit for CTE and why I need to promote its importance to stakeholders; especially students. I am the director of Greenville Technical College’s (GTC) African American Male Scholars Initiative (AAMSI).  The students at GTC will benefit from my attendance at the Virtual VISION conference because I plan to continue to enact the ideas of VISION for AAMSI scholars.

I learned new and innovative uses for technology and ways to introduce these practices to my students.  I had the pleasure of virtually attending a session about podcasting for high school students studying computer technology.  This idea led to an invitation that I extended to a local pharmacist to speak to AAMSI for a Lunch and Learn.  One student was so intrigued that he asked the staff to support him in starting a podcast.  Because of the diversity and inclusion workshops that I attended, I worked to find ways for scholars in AAMSI to benefit from diversity and inclusion training.  I am thrilled that Enacting Equity is now preparing a Lunch and Learn for AAMSI scholars in 2021.

This year’s VISION conference was delightful.  I enjoyed the sessions, workshops, and networking.  Also, I was pleased and honored to have gained so much more knowledge about CTE. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend VISION 2021 in historic New Orleans, LA. There, I will gain even more CTE knowledge and finally get to network with like-minded CTE practitioners in person amidst the beautiful backdrop of an enjoyable city.  I cannot wait!