5 Ways to Network at iNACOL 2016

The 2016 iNACOL Online and Blended Learning Symposium, October 25–28, at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, is a great opportunity to make connections with teachers and other educators, experts, and policymakers, during three days jam-packed with more than 200 sessions. Here are five tips for finding your tribe at the convention:

Before you go:

1. Get Social!

Get a jumpstart on making in-person introductions, tweet and retweet on Twitter at #inacol16. For an added networking boost, here are the Twitter handles for the keynote speakers:

  • Todd Rose, Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of The End of Average. @ltoddrose
  • Virgel Hammonds, Chief Learning Officer of competency-based education work at KnowledgeWorks. @VirgelHammonds
  • Darryl Adams, recently selected by the White House and the United States Department of Education as one of the Top 100 Innovative Superintendents in America. @DrAdamsCVUSD
  • Jim Shelton, President of the Chan Zuckerberg Education Initiative, and previously the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and the Program Director for Education at the Gates Foundation. @JIMSEDU
  • Manny Scott, one of the original “Freedom Writers,” whose story has energized over a million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide. @InkByMannyScott

2. Get the iNACOL App

Stay connected during and after the conference with this free mobile app provided by iNACOL. This app makes it easy to social-network with your peers and educational experts who share similar interests.

3. Register for a Pre-Conference Workshop

Consider arriving a day early to take part in one of the full-day or half-day small-group sessions on how to implement personalized learning in your school, administration and management of online learning programs, policy advocacy skills, and more.

These highly individualized, interactive sessions are designed for administrators, educators, and policymakers to exchange ideas and immerse themselves in a specific area of blended/online learning. Capacity is only 35–150 attendees, so check out the full list of pre-conference workshops and register for one here.

At the Convention

4. Networking Opportunities at the iNACOL Convention

Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned conference veteran, don’t miss these opportunities to mingle:

  • Tuesday, October 25, 6:00–8:00 p.m.: iNACOL President’s Welcome Reception
  • Wednesday, October 26, 7:00–7:45 a.m. — Newcomer’s Session/Breakfast
  • Daily morning and afternoon breakout sessions: Don’t miss these small-group discussions about keynote speeches, workshops, and more!

5. Be Social!

Some of the best networking takes place outside of the convention hall. Take a nap in the late afternoon if you have to, and make sure to at least go out for dinner with associates and new friends.

A Few of Our Favorite Things:

Here are a few sessions that we’re really looking forward to:

Thursday, 11: 15 a.m. (Room 217C)
DreamBox Learning CEO Jessie-Woolley Wilson and Dr. Tim Hudson, Vice President of Learning discuss Supporting Great Teaching and Learning: How Personalized and High-Quality Education Technology Empowers Teachers with Actionable Information. Intelligent adaptive learning technology empowers teachers as activators of learning by equipping them with statistical insights to better connect with each student based on where they are in the learning process. This dynamic approach can transform the learning experience from student-centered to student-directed as learners are motivated to engage with curriculum and drive their own learning progression. New research underscores the efficacy of this approach regardless of student demographics.

Friday, 10 -11 a.m. (Room 212)
Dr. Tim Hudson, Vice President of Learning talks about Deepening Teachers’ Content Knowledge in Mathematics: A Prototype for Competency-Based, Data-Informed Professional Learning. To ensure high achievement for all students in mathematics, elementary teachers in online and blended environments need to deeply understand math content. Join a conversation about ways to engage and support teachers with relevant, timely and content-specific professional learning opportunities. Discuss a prototype for a professional learning tool that deepens teachers’ content knowledge by engaging them in self-paced, competency-based professional development informed by their students’ real-time performance data.

Friday, 11:15-12:15 p.m. (Room 212)
Nigel Green, Vice President of User Experience at DreamBox Learning covers
Adjusting to Adaptation: Understanding How Adaptive Learning Technologies Work, Improve Student Learning, and Enhance Classroom Practice. Ten years ago, there were no educational products available for K-12 that were truly adaptive. Now, just about every one claims to be adaptive in some way. But what does it mean to be adaptive? How do these products work? How do you evaluate which best fits your needs? Take a collaborative deep dive into adaptive software with one of the industry pioneers who will explain techniques used, lead discussions of the challenges and rewards and reveal some of the possible futures of adaptive learning.

Check out the full schedule of workshops and sessions, and start building your personalized schedule to find your tribe at iNACOL 2016.  Be sure to visit us at the DreamBox Learning Booth #334.