“Keeping it real with real educators” – Takeaways from IETC 2021

The 28th annual Illinois Education and Technology Conference (IETC) wrapped up on November 19 after three days packed with exploring edtech’s latest integration strategies and best practices. This year’s conference featured a hybrid experience that offered attendees the opportunity to join us in Springfield or take part in online-exclusive sessions – all while enjoying the hands-on learning and community atmosphere for which this conference is known.

In-person and virtual attendees at IETC 2021 had the opportunity to learn from two of education’s Midwest voices – artist and educator Manuel Herrera and Illinois’ own Dwayne Reed. Both keynote presenters highlighted the untapped potential present in every classroom, and showed how today’s educators can unlock new pathways to learning by harnessing sketch-noting and personalizing SEL-informed experiences.

“[Dwayne] had a passion about his profession that was infectious,” one keynote attendee noted. Other attendees were quick to praise Manuel’s emphasis on interactivity, both during his keynote and his breakout sessions later in the day.

Learning Together Again

In keeping with IETC tradition, this year’s 500+ attendees and 60+ presenters found fresh ways to join together and share their outlook on emerging edtech trends. That included during this year’s social game, IETC-opoly, through which attendees walked away with a treasure trove of great prizes – including an iPad and Oculus 2 VR headset.

For many attendees, though, the real prize was the opportunity to reconnect with friends from across Illinois and share their earnest thoughts on today’s edtech challenges. Said one satisfied attendee, “keeping it real with real educators is so powerful to our craft.”

Post-Conference Resources Now Available

At no extra cost, all conference attendees can now access this year’s post-conference archive of virtual presentations and presenter resources. Instructions for accessing this limited-time Canvas course can be found in a December 1 email titled “#IETC21 Virtual Session Recordings are HERE!”

Thank You for Learning with Us

As always, the entire IETC committee would like to extend a warm “thank you” to all of this year’s attendees and presenters, who together made IETC 2021 one of the most engaging and enriching conferences to date. The committee is also grateful to this year’s sponsors, whose financial support continues to secure IETC’s place at the heart of Illinois’ edtech community.

Already, we are laying down plans to make IETC 2022 an even more dynamic and formative experience for every educator, administrator, tech coach, and IT leader in attendance. We look forward to learning from your feedback and to seeing you next year at the new home of IETC.

See you in 2022!