This week, I'm heading west to join more than 3,500 CTE professionals at ACTE's CareerTech VISION in Las Vegas. The VISION agenda includes a wide variety of concurrent sessions. Given there are more sessions than there is time to attend, I'm reviewing program descriptions to plan my schedule. This prompts me to reflect on the bigger picture of conference participation and reasons for attending.
Modern technology has made virtual teams and teleconferences commonplace. We don't have to travel across the country to meet with colleagues. With a computer, web camera and software, we can meet anywhere, anytime. But while technology can help us explore and resolve shared challenges, it can't replace face-to-face collaboration. Technology can't convey the positive energy people feel in a room filled with dedicated educators inspired to make a difference in the lives of students.
Hands-on professional development is reaffirming. Conference presentations, workshops and networking help increase knowledge, hone skills and forge meaningful CTE partnerships. Unfortunately, tight budgets have prompted some institutions to reduce professional development resources. Those of us attending VISION want to effectively share what we learn with colleagues back home. Toward that goal, the below suggestions can help us get the most out of VISION 2013 on the individual and organizational level:
- Create a short list of VISION sessions and events that directly relate to your institution's specific goals.
- Identify networking opportunities to discuss shared challenges and possibilities for creative problem solving.
- Visit the Expo Center to meet vendors who offer services and products that might save your institution time and money.
- Upon return, submit a formal summary of your VISION 2013 experience and include ways you can apply new knowledge to help meet your institution's objectives.
Make sure what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas: Share your VISION!
Use the hashtag #VISION13 and tell the world about your CareerTech VISION 2013 experience on social media!