Posted: 9/21/22

TCEA Area 1 Ed Tech Conference Held at TAMIU


Dr. Cynthia Piña photo
Dr. Cynthia Piña  

Some 200+ participants came to Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) on Friday, September 30, 2022 for the 12th Annual Texas Computer Educator Association’s (TCEA) Area 1 Educational Technology Conference.

The event was designed for TCEA members and those who have an interest in instructional or educational technology, said Conference organizer, Dr. Cynthia Piña, TAMIU instructional assistant professor and a TCEA director.

“This was a one-day event with professional learning sessions on educational technology topics for all professionals in the education field,” Dr. Piña explained, “We’ve been attending this popular conference virtually for the past two years, so we were excited to be back in person and on campus  at TAMIU.”

She noted that over 50 sessions were offered free to members and paid registrants.

 “Our check-in and primary meeting area was in the TAMIU Student Center Ballroom with 50+ breakout sessions distributed throughout the campus. Session topics included working with green screens, Nearpod, Google Suite for Education, SEL, ‘High Impact Tools,’ eSports, and ‘Building Language with Digital Tools,’ to name a few.

“Technology’s impact is growing, and more so now in the aftermath of the Pandemic,” Piña observed, “Technology allows teachers to improve their teaching pedagogy, creating a more engaging learning environment that fosters creativity and collaboration while enhancing students’ understanding of the content. It can be truly magical to see how technology can transform a classroom setting.”

Presenters included TCEA favorites Janet Corder and Joan Gore, TCEA’s professional development directors Dr. Bruce Ellis and Diana Benner, TCEA Area 20 director Wacey Tobler, and a special session from ICE Agent Brian Wimberly.

“I am grateful to also have wonderful working relationships with our local school districts’ Instructional Technology and Librarian Directors who will had their teams represented and shared their expertise with attendees,” Piña noted.

A conference highlight was featured speaker, TAMIU associate professor Dr. Bernice Sánchez, who presented the keynote address, “Future of Transformative Education: Collaborative Learning Communities, Educational Technology, & Mindfulness.”  Dr. Sánchez drew from over 25 years of educational experience to present her latest research and lessons learned. 

Another notable highlight this year was the United Independent School District’s Herrera Middle School Jazz Band under the direction of Jorge García. Band members shared their music stylings during the lunch and vendor experience.

Special attendees this year included TAMIU College of Education students in the Educator Preparation Program, Piña said.

“Student teachers are a continued emphasis this year, and they were able to explore in more depth the topics learned in class, and how they are implemented. This was a truly a valuable experience that will assist in their overall understanding. The College of Education's mission is to ensure that the student teachers are ready on day one and this experience helped with that goal.  They are our future ed-tech champions,” Piña noted.

Dr. Piña has been a TCEA Board of Directors member representing Area 1 for three years. At TAMIU, she mentors and teaches future teachers in the undergraduate educator preparation program and graduates in the Master’s program specializing in Education Technology.  She has been the primary creator of courses for the specialization in the reactivated Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Educational Technology Online program.

She said the TCEA Conference at TAMIU provided a great opportunity for education  professionals  to re-establish ties and network anew.

“I was truly excited to be back in person to catch up with previous colleagues, learn new strategies and trends, and network with new TCEA members,” Dr. Piña concluded.

TCEA is a global, nonprofit, member-based organization. It is the largest organization of its kind in Texas, now in its 42nd year of influential work through its advocacy and professional development opportunities with conferences, workshops, one-on-one consulting, and various area events. It focuses on teaching and learning with technology in PK - 16. Learn more at TCEA.

For additional Conference or TAMIU Educational Technology program information, contact Dr. Piña by email at cynthia.pina@tamiu.edu. 

University news and information are also available online at tamiu.edu and on its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.