Set for Success because of UCET

We are just two weeks away from this year's UCET Conference. This year's theme is #UCET4Success and I thought I'd take a moment to share how UCET has set me up for success – starting with my first in year in the classroom!

As a fourth grade teacher at Redwood Elementary I was encouraged to attend the UCET Conference my first year teaching as I was in the eMINTS program. I had attended UEA as a pre-service teacher, but this would be my first conference as a "real" teacher. My first conference experience was totally overwhelming! There were so many great teachers, incredible ideas, and fun presentations. My first year, I just soaked it all in. There were ideas I could use in my classroom the following Monday and many tools I could use as I was planning for the next school year. 

The next year, I knew I wanted to attent UCET again and I knew exactly what to expect. I was ready to take notes in every session and take home as much knowledge as I could. I was able to choose sessions to attend based on exactly what tools I was using in my classroom. At the time I was an eMINTS teacher and an iSchool teacher (meaning I was 2:1 with desktop computers and 1:1 with iPod touches) – I could find sessions that would enhance my teaching and excite my students.

Year 3 one of the instructors in the IDET program (and now my boss), Laura Hunter, encouraged me to take a project on social media I had prepared for her class and turn it into a UCET presentation. It was scary and made me nervous, but a total rush. Teachers were asking ME(?!) how to use social media in the classroom to engage with students and parents. Taking the step to present at UCET was the first step in me realizing how much I enjoy interacting with and teaching other teachers.

Now, many years later, I still look forward to the UCET Conference to recharge me, engage me, and prepare me for success as an instructional technology trainer. I can't wait to see everyone at the UCET Conference this year – it is so great to network with new friends and see old faces. Please come say hello at UCET this year and be sure to tweet how you are #UCET4Success.

Dani Sloan

Dani Sloan is a technology specialist with an expertise in using social media in the classroom. She is also an Instructor at the University of Utah teaching technology integration in classrooms to pre-service teachers. Dani was also a member of the organizing committee for Utah’s first EdCamp. Before working for the Utah Education Network, she was a fourth grade teacher at a Title I school and then a school technology specialist for Granite School District. I have a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Dani is enthusiastic about sharing new online tools, using iPads and Chromebooks in classrooms, and learning to unplug at home. While I am and always will be an "apple person," Chromebooks are starting to steal a piece of my heart.

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