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!