8 Big Ideas From #TCEA17

I made it back home from TCEA. As is often the case after a great conference full of amazing sessions and incredible educators, I’m just drowning in good ideas. Last year, I posted 10 Big Ideas From #TCEA16 after returning home, and I’m bringing back that style of post here.

I could probably go into a separate blog post on each of these ideas (and I very well may at some point), but for now, this is all about capturing and documenting my learning from the past three days (and sharing it out in case it’s beneficial for you). I hope the ideas challenge you and support you in your growth as you make your way through the spring semester.

While TCEA is a huge tech conference, these ideas aren’t dripping with EdTech implications. More than anything, they challenge me to make manageable changes and convict me where I haven’t done enough work to rethink “the way we’ve always done it” in our schools.

Without further ado, here are 8 sticky ideas from this year’s TCEA conference.


You cannot keep up with it all. But if you are connected, you have a much better chance of keeping up with much more. – Amber Teamann

Learning and fun are not antonyms. – Adam Bellow

When we do things, we do what’s best for kids. If you can tell me why it’s not best for kids, we won’t do it. Otherwise, we do it. – Todd Nesloney

‪If parents only know what’s going on in class because of our homework, we need to do better. – Alice Keeler

Being a workaholic is not a virtue. – Alice Keeler

If you want to teach students responsibility, give them a responsibility in class. Homework doesn’t teach that. – Alice Keeler

‪If you weren’t allowed to assign homework, how would you redesign your class? – Matt Miller

Giving people a chance to contribute is powerful. – Dean Shareski


It’s likely that you probably agree with some of these ideas and want to push back on some of the others. That’s great. The more we think critically about what it is we should be doing as educators, the better off we will be. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have come across so many educators who are doing so much to serve the students in their care as best they know how.

4 thoughts on “8 Big Ideas From #TCEA17

  1. Hey, Aaron. Thanks for sharing the 8 quotes. These were some of the spoken ideas I saw hit the #tcea17 Twitter feed and a few I heard in person. Like you, I see them as key ideas that I want to reflect on. Some were a part of discussions on the way home yesterday with those I went to the conference with. Those shared discussions on ideas we valued helped us bond together and provided focus and resolve as we move forward in our work with students. I liked this paragraph you wrote, in particular:

    “While TCEA is a huge tech conference, these ideas are dripping with EdTech implications. More than anything, they challenge me to make manageable changes and convict me where I haven’t done enough work to rethink “the way we’ve always done it” in our schools.”

    Some key words I pulled from that are….huge…implications….manageable changes…convict…rethink. I’m hoping that we will all follow a progression where our thinking will change and we will make manageable changes that will change the culture and atmosphere of our schools. We can’t waste what we’ve been given this week – the opportunity to be changed as educators.

    Thanks again, and let’s keep the dream alive – let’s do what’s best for students!

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