“That’s a wrap!” – Highlights from IETC 2020

The 27th annual Illinois Education and Technology Conference (IETC) wrapped up on Saturday, November 21. This year marked the conference’s first venture into the virtual realm, with all sessions, workshops, and networking held online through HopIn, a virtual conference platform designed for online events. Despite this new format, many of the conference’s attendees agreed that this IETC was one to remember.

“This conference was very well organized, thought out, and executed,” one conference attendee praised, “I love how much thought was put into offering opportunities and experiences that maintained that ‘in-person’ feel.’”

In true IETC fashion, this year’s 500 attendees found innovative ways to learn collaboratively and explore new possibilities for edtech integration. Much of this learning took place across the conference’s 93 workshop sessions as well as in the virtual Exhibit Hall, where 32 exhibitors (including our own tech purchasing program, ILTPP) talked with conference guests about what the latest edtech solutions had to offer.

Of course, it wouldn’t be IETC without some fun and games. That’s why this year’s leap to online delivery came with plenty of room for peer-to-peer socialization, including daily networking opportunities. Fan-favorite activities, including IETC Bingo, were also offered, both on Friday and during Sunday’s kick-off event.

Already, several IETC attendees have taken advantage of the virtual format’s greatest advantage – the ability to record every workshop session. Those looking to review the sessions they attended or take a peek at a few sessions they couldn’t make it to can do so now for no additional cost. Simply check the email you registered for the conference with, and you should find a communication dated “November 23” with instructions and links.

As always, the entire IETC committee is thankful for its attendees, who have again fostered one of the most enriching, engaging, and meaningful learning communities in the Midwest.  The IETC committee is also grateful to its sponsors, who have helped support this conference as it adapted to the changing needs of this state’s edtech community.

“IETC has always been about cultivating a community of innovators,” LTC Executive Director Tim McIlvain explained in reflection, “In the absence of an in-person conference, we were still able to create a dynamic space where educators could connect and learn from their colleagues across the state.”

In all, IETC 2020 was an outstanding experience, filled with laughter and learning all the way through. Everyone on the IETC committee is looking forward to 2021 and the opportunities it brings for a revitalized in-person experience.

We hope to see you there!

Learn, Connect, and Explore at IETC 2020

Classrooms across Illinois and the world look different this year. As educators and students alike work to accept and embrace this change, the 27th annual Illinois Education and Technology Conference (IETC) has also transformed into an immersive, digital experience.

Now, more than ever, educators are looking for opportunities to learn, connect, and explore as a community of peers. The IETC community continues to provide those opportunities, as well as the chance to foster the creativity and perseverance needed for today’s digital classrooms.

“The IETC Conference is my favorite conference every year because of the community,” says Julie Powell, IETC Committee member, “ Everyone is so friendly and each year, more and more people are brought into the family of attendees like they’ve always been there.”

This year, the IETC has renewed its commitment to providing educators, administrators, and IT staff with an engaging, insightful experience via its new, digital format. To do that, the conference has been extended over the course of a week (November 15-21), with session times tailored to fit your schedule. To that end, IETC 2020 will offer new sessions each weekday from 3:30 PM to 5:25 PM and on Saturday, from 8 AM to 11 AM. All sessions will be recorded and made available for a limited time, as well, so you won’t need to worry about attending conflicting sessions.

IETC 2020 will also utilize the conference platform HopIn. Through it, attendees will be able to network with their peers, visit the virtual exhibit hall, and interact with presenters during their breakout sessions. The conference’s much-beloved social events will also be returning this year, including a kick-off event Sunday evening and IETC Bingo Friday afternoon.

Butch Wilson, IETC Committee Technology Lead, summarizes this year’s IETC best: 

“In the most flexible, most accessible school years of the last two decades, IETC has consistently been a highlight. It is that treasure chest of new ideas and boundless outpouring of inspiration that motivates us and lifts us up so we can see what possibilities are on the horizon.  This year? Any opportunity to share thoughts and concerns, any insights that will help us find our centers and help us reach our teachers and districts, any ‘here, let me help you get over this hill’ that we can get is priceless. IETC is beyond priceless.” 

To reserve your spot at this “priceless” conference, head over to www.il-edtech.org for more information and to register. Questions? Interested in sending a group? Reach out to us at events@ltcillinois.org for registration information and group pricing.

The LTC joins Code.org as the newest Regional Partner

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois —  January 13, 2020 — The Learning Technology Center (LTC) is proud to announce a partnership with the non-profit organization Code.org to bring computer science to Illinois educators through professional development events, support, and advocacy. 

Code.org is dedicated to expanding computer science access and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. One of the major components to achieving their mission is through their rich computer science curriculums and programs that will be available to Illinois teachers, including their year-long Code.org Discoveries (6-8) and Principles (9-12) programs and CS Fundamentals (K-12) workshops. 

Applications for this year’s Code.org Discoveries and Principles professional learning programs are open. Participation in the full year-long programs includes teaching materials, workshop supplies, nine days of professional development, and meals during workshops. Professional learning will occur during a week in the summer and four follow-up days throughout the school year. 

“Our partnership with Code.org allows us to substantially grow the effort to bring quality computer science learning experiences to students in the state. In the last year, the LTC provided professional learning to over 4,000 educators, including in the area of computer science, and becoming a Code.org regional partner allows the LTC to more directly address a growing need for K-12 computer science resources and training. By capitalizing on the high quality, free Code.org curriculum and training provided by our organizations, schools have an easy entry point into the realm of computer science,” said Tim McIlvain, LTC Director.

For more information on Code, please visit ltcillinois.org/code and be sure to follow the LTC (@ltcillinois) and Code.org (@teachcode) to stay up to date on all our events and resources.

About Learning Technology Center
The Learning Technology Center is an Illinois State Board of Education program that supports all public K-12 districts, schools, and educators through technology initiatives, services, and professional learning opportunities. To learn more, visit http://ltcillinois.org or follow us on twitter @ltcillinois.