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Professional Conferences

By Courtney L. Teague EDD 8008 Principles of Instructional Technology

Nova Southeastern University October 4, 2012

Georgia Educational Technology Conference Attending professional conferences have several advantages. Advantages include a comprehensive perspective of your peers in the same field and as well as a chance to compare your collegiate program requirements to other universities. You will have a chance to interact and communicate with the subject matter experts (Jackson, 2010). History of GaETC The Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) is an annual professional development conference for educators that has been held for more than 20 years. The Conference first meeting was held at Macon Centreplex Trade and Convention Center in 1989. The Conference consisted of 20 vendors and over 650 Georgia educators. The Department of Special Education of Georgia State University and Metro West and East Georgia Learning Resources Systems co sponsored this once special education focused conference. The original goal of the conference was to provide exposure to peers who were effectively using technology in instructional settings, to nationally recognized leaders in the field, and to commercial exhibits, which provided information on state-of-the-art hardware, software, and uses of technology. (GAETC, 2012) The professional conference is organized by a steering committee appointed by the Consortiums Board of

Directors, which are all unpaid volunteers. The conference registration and exhibits are managed by McRae Co. Location and audience GaETC moved to the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park in 2005 and has been held in that location to this date. The next conference will be held November 7-9, 2012 . The Conference is designed to include technology specialists, special educators, vocational teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, staff development coordinators, Title I coordinators, vocational teachers, or anyone who is interested in educational technology. GaETC has no organizational structure or members, however previous Conference attendees receive mail and email updates. There will be approximately 3,000 people attending the 2012 Conference. The demographics of the Conference attendees are on the next page.

2010 and 2011 Demographics

The cost

Retrieved from http://www.gaetc.org/domain/63

5 Presentation The Conference consists of over 250 concurrent sessions, the keynote session, exhibit hall admission, coffee breaks, and exhibitor presentations. There are three types of concurrent session types. The concurrent sessions require participants to bring fully charged laptops. The sessions are interactive and Internet access is provided. The Smackdown is a fast moving session where you interact with others and you have two minutes of fame to share with others (GAETC, 2012). The Birds of a Feather are loose gatherings to where participants discuss topics of importance to them. Guest speakers may have conversation starters but there may be an open microphone with an opening statement. The presentation topics range from using web 2.0 tools, creating forms using Google Docs, to using Twitter to teach the class. The presentation styles vary according to the presenters. Presenters may opt to having the attendees to participate in hands on learning activities, Powerpoints, creating blogsites/websites, but not limited simple table talks. The process of submitting a presentation proposal included completing an online application, which detailed proposal topic, subject matter experience of presenter, and writing a description paragraph that described the proposed topic.

References GaETC exhibitor fact sheet (2012). Retrieved from http://www.mcraemeetings.com/event-01/gaetc-exhibitor-fact-sheet/ GaETC (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.gaetc.org/domain/63 Jackson, D. (2010) Make sure you attend professional conferences and convention Retrieved from http://www.gradschools.com/article-detail/conventionsconferences-1563