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Monday, March 20, 2017

History of TIA: Leslie Taylor and TIA 2011!

Leslie Taylor, our District Instructional Technology Specialist (I'm a DITS! - she says), kindly consented to an interview with this reporter, dredging up old memories of our success with TIA 2011.

By 2011, Carolyn Thomson (see our previous log entry) and Leslie knew our Technology Integration Academy would take on a life of its own. They were confident now, and ready to cast a wider net, to expand the event to include more events, more people, and recruit attendees and instructors from more school districts over a broader geographical area.

So, how to get more vendors? Carolyn jumped into the breach, contacting corporations near and far to sponsor TIA, and get the companies to have booths there, and pay for food, and special scholarships for high school seniors. And Leslie worked the registration beat, making videos and other advertisements, to get more than 1000 people registered.

The format for the event was the same – three full days, on August 2, 3, 4,  and we still had a day set aside for administrators, principals, and other professional staff on the third day. We still fed all of our TIA attendees with box lunches. And we were still using the ATC for our home base. Door prizes were given out each day.

The volunteer staff was better organized (and better fed!). Volunteers over the summer, including Tammy Austin, helped with scheduling our many breakout sessions.

Ken Helvey, Steve Dembo, and Kathleen Norris were keynotes. 

For our second year we had over 140 breakout sessions! Denton ISD was able to draw on its cadre of tech-savvy teachers to share their skills with teachers looking for new ways of bringing technology into their classrooms. Sessions about iPads were numerous and well-attended.

Our genial Gary Miller was on hand to do man-on-the-street interviews, and Roy Verges (yours truly) videotaped the keynotes.

Our afternoon breaks featured a food spread from our ATC cuisiniary students. Carla Ruge and the kitchen volunteers worked hard to keep our attendees’ glucose levels high for more after-lunch learning.

Also, this year, we encouraged people to use the Denton A-train to attend, with our Transportation Department picking up people from the train stop. We also picked up people from the remote parking lot by the Stadium, so people wouldn’t wilt in the August heat.

Everyone was happy and well-fed, and well-air-conditioned, at our TIA 2012. Next – TIA 2013!

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