Making Over Third Grade!: Tech Conference Addiction
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tech Conference Addiction

makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.comAnother month and another tech conference. I LOVE going to tech conferences; I think I may just be a tech conference junkie. Sadly, I do not have deep enough pockets tosupport this habit fund this professional development. In the last 12 months I have been to two Fall Cue conferences, and four GAFE Summits. I love learning from other "techies" and knowing that my geeking out about technology in the classroom is not going to be laughed at or derided in any way. Then there is the added bonus of getting to learn from other great teachers - some of whom I have been stalking following on Twitter as part of my PLN.

makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.comSince I can't go to every conference I know about (though trust me there are many I wish I could attend...National Cue conference and ISTE (to name a few) but there just had to be a way to attend more than just one a year. I mean, technology changes so rapidly and there are so many teachers with so many great ideas I HAVE to go learn new things. I mean, if I don't go to the conferences and learn from others how will I continue to push myself and grow as an educator? There are just so many things that I still have to learn; so many new innovations; so many new ideas. I need to keep learning if I want to continue to be a good example for my students and if I want to continue to grow as an educator.

So that brings me back to how to afford all of these conferences. I discovered last fall that one way to manage to attend these conferences is to
register to present a session (or two, or three).

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk; I love to talk about my job; I love to learn new things I can use in my classroom; and I love to learn new things from others, particularly if I can take them back and apply them to my own class. Another universal truth known about me though is that I do not like to speak to rooms full of adults. It makes me nervous, and when I am nervous I talk too fast which leads to me becoming more nervous and then to talk even faster. It is not a pretty sight.

Over the past 16 months however, I have been working hard to overcome this fear. I have shared information during a few PDs about our district ELA units of instruction, and then I took a giant step, I mean HUGE, a crazy HUGE step. I submitted an idea for a session at the GAFE Summit Solano 2014. Then to my surprise I was accepted. Overcoming my fear I was able to make it through the presentations (I presented 2 sessions) and then applied, was accepted, and presented at GAFE Lafayette, GAFE Chico, and GAFE Summit Solano. The upside is that you get to attend the conference for free as a compensation for presenting. In my opinion that makes presenting well worth the nerves! (Yes, the nerve thing never goes away for me. Fun times!)

So, to feed my tech conference addiction I have become a presenter - a step I NEVER thought I would take. I am actually looking forward to new opportunities to share what I know about using technology in the classroom and learning from others while at these conferences.

So, what is your biggest professional fear that you have overcome?
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