This year, like all previous years, I was looking forward to the AECT conference. I look forward to meeting with my Emporia State University IDT family and the Old Dominion University IDT group. I also get to interact with friends and colleagues that I have made over the years at AECT. It is always the anticipation of knowing that you will get to see each other face-to-face rather than having a conference call or a virtual conversation via videochat. This year as usual it was great to see everyone! The plane ride to Anaheim, California was long but worth it.
I attended meetings for the Research & Theory Division. We have new leadership that will be taking over and we all want the transition to be a smooth one. Also, there are new ideas and members that are interested in joining the conversation. Elections will start in February so we are hoping to recruit members for several positions. I just finished my term as secretary of the division but will continue to work as Professional Development Facilitator focused on the webinar series. I was able to catch up with my co-facilitator during the conference and we are in the initial planning stages of our second webinar (which we hope to have in December).
My participation at AECT 2013 also consisted of two presentations. The first one was the Design & Development Showcase, which was a very busy time! It was a lot of fun and I was able to meet people that were very interested on the topic of the simulation that I helped design for my dissertation research. It was a great way to showcase the work that had happened for the last two years of my life. The second presentation was a concurrent session focused on the validation study that I conducted while pilot testing the animations that were used for the final simulation.
This year I also attended several keynote sessions and I have to say I really enjoyed the keynote presentations. They were current, lively and very informative! AECT was broadcasting the sessions live and will also have a link of the recordings in the few weeks (for those that missed it!). Overall, my experience was just fantastic. I love connecting with new colleagues and re-connecting with old ones. I also took sometime to provide advise to current doctoral students and just let them know that “it will be okay at the end… just keep at it and never, never give up.”
I am already looking forward to AECT 2014 because it will be in Jacksonville! Welcome to Florida AECT! But for now it is time to email new connections and to look/read at all the resources/information that I gained at the conference.