By Jacelyn Nesmith on July 23, 2020 at 10:39 AM
This summer is an ideal time for educators and CTE directors to explore the ways iCEV impacts online engagement in today’s classrooms. Whether your school district is planning for in person, online or a blended/hybrid model for the fall semester, iCEV is here to help. Join us at CTE Inspired to discover distance learning tools, experience professional growth and your chance to win prizes.
To support the needs of CTE teachers, iCEV is hosting its first-ever virtual conference, CTE Inspired. iCEV has organized a personal experience in an interactive, online setting for teachers to receive professional development this summer.
To help you navigate the unique features of CTE Inspired, we have compiled a list of our top 10 tips for a successful conference.
#1 Set Goals
Once you decide to attend CTE Inspired, it is essential to set obtainable goals. Knowing your intentions for the event will ensure the conference is meaningful, despite the inability to connect face-to-face.
Begin by asking yourself, “What are my goals for this conference?”. Answer this question by identifying 3-4 objectives to accomplish during CTE Inspired. Your goals and objectives will be the basis of the virtual conference. Your conference goals should help you choose which sessions you attend, who you engage with and your overall approach.
#2 Plan Your Agenda
Before August 4th, take some time to review the agenda and decide which sessions to attend. CTE Inspired has an abundance of sessions to choose from- many more than you’ll be able to attend! Plan your agenda to know which sessions you are going to join and when. Consider both the speaker and the topic. You might discover a well-known individual is presenting on something less relevant to your day-to-day. Attending less tactical sessions may give you a different perspective or innovative ideas for your classroom, so don’t hesitate to attend them.
#3 Save Conference Documents
You will create a login the first time you visit the conference platform. To ensure you can re-access the platform, designate a section in your notes or on your computer to record your username and password. To help your conference experience run smoothly, keep the conference website links, username, password and CTE challenge codes for CTE Inspired in one place.
#4 Invite Friends and Colleagues
Attending the conference with someone you know can relieve pressure. People often feel more comfortable going somewhere when they know someone. Having a friend join the conference with you can boost motivation, increase attention and provide accountability. If you have a friend attending the conference, you can plan to attend sessions together or divide and conquer. Once the conference is over, you can reflect on sessions and share “ah-ha” moments.
#5 Get to Know the Speakers
On the conference platform, check the agenda to see which presenters will be at the event and explore their bios. You can view a picture of them and even brush up on their work and interests or even prepare tailored questions in advance based on the speaker. Additionally, ask your existing networks if they are attending CTE Inspired or know someone who is. Your existing networks may have recommendations on which session you should attend based on their previous experiences.
#6 Engage in Every Element
Conference sessions are designed to allow CTE educators, from all career clusters, to engage with professionals. Sessions, virtual booths and downloadable resources are included with registration. Throughout CTE Inspired, you will have the opportunity to attend numerous sessions, whether you are an educator or administrator. Make sure to participate and learn as much as you can through each conference element. Sessions will connect you with industry and educational leaders and highlight iCEV's features to prepare you for your upcoming courses. Once the conference is over, registrants will be able to access sessions for one year.
#7 Prepare Your Workstation
During a virtual conference, you may be sitting on your couch or at your kitchen table; however, research suggests our environment can affect our behavior, attitude, mood and confidence. Casual dress can decrease motivation and attention, for the duration of the conference change out of your lounge clothes. In addition to your clothes, your workstation can distract you from the sessions. For the conference, make sure your desk and rooms are tidy. Also, ensure you don’t have a thousand browser windows open to grab your attention during a presentation.
#8 Minimize Distractions
Block your calendar while CTE Inspired is in progress to ensure you are engaged. When you are watching alone, it is easy to multi-task and get distracted. Instead, reduce notifications, grab a notepad and get ready to learn! Online events are successful when the attendees are active in all aspects of the conference, including attending presentations, asking questions or attending booths. Treat a virtual conference as you would an in-person conference by adding the sessions to your calendar and workload.
#9 Create an Ah-ha Section
Featuring 44 sessions from 90 presenters, CTE Inspired is an information avalanche. Between the keynote session, subject-specific sessions, discussions and virtual booths, you will walk away with a plethora of information. Keep yourself organized with notes and use subheadings to keep your sessions separate. Create an "ah-ha" moment section in your notes with ideas you want to implement in your classroom. "Ah-ha" moments might be lesson plan ideas, perspectives you gathered from others or a classroom strategy. After the conference, you can refer to this section to plan for your upcoming classes.
#10 Get Social
If you are an active social media user, post about your conference experience and don’t forget to use the conference hashtag (#CTEInspired). Using the hashtag can boost conference engagement and build connections with colleagues. Additionally, the hashtag could stimulate initial relationships with others also attending. Follow #CTEInspired to see who is posting about the event.
Social media is a great way to capture insights from other sessions, share key takeaways and collaborate with others during the conference. Social media is valuable when building connections with people without directly interacting.
Be prepared for the conference, engage in each element and share your experiences to maximize your CTE Inspired experience. If you follow these 10 tips, rest assured you will have a thrilling and interactive conference!
To learn more about the conference, sessions or to register, visit our website.