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Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Tech Conference Grand Rapids 2012: A Survival Guide

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ghostofgoldwater/
     As we get ready to attend the annual New Tech Conference in Grand Rapids (NTAC 2012).   Here are some tips to get ready for the conference and some of my favorite things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

     This is an update to my New Tech Conference Planning Guide (NTAC 2011)  including some thoughts from this year.  One thing to know is that although THAT Guide covers everything you can think of, the link in that post takes you to last year's sessions!  For this year's draft of the 2012 sessions click on this link.

     As I get ready I am wearing a new hat:  Instructional Coach for Decker Middle School in Manor Tx.  I'll be bringing 8 teachers who are new to New Tech and new to Grand Rapids.  And so I have created a Wall Wisher for them to let me (and the others) know what sessions they will attend and their one take away.  In addition to that I have a room set aside to meet each day to discuss what they saw and how we might include that in our school as we bring in on line.

     I have also selected some sessions that I think they shouldn't miss.  For example the math teachers need to attend anything with the idea of Problem Based Instruction (PrBL) and anything with Geoff Krall's name on it.  And, since our district is trying to improve literacy, anything with Alix Horton's name or the word literacy in the title is a must.  And finally, because he is always insightful,  anything with Kevin Gant's name on it is a must.  I made sure I included many more of my "must see" facilitators in my recommended sessions list but you can't go wrong with those three names.

     Please take time to read my post from last year (in the second paragraph and here) and, if nothing else, you must watch this video (with nearly 5 million views).  It was shot all around the conference center and it's just fun!

     I hope we get a chance to talk during the conference and make sure you do what we do as New Techies:  Work Hard, Learn Hard, Play Hard.