One of IDEA's goals is Professional Development - to support and provide professional development opportunities in educational technology through collaborative communities. IDEA strives to provide a broad spectrum of needs and interests through conferences, events, organizational collaborations, professional resources, and strategic initiatives that serve to enhance our member’s professional practice. Check out some of the professional development offerings that your IDEA membership brings.
IDEA sponsors an annual ed tech conference, now known as IDEAcon (formerly the ICE Conference). Every year, well over 5,000 educators convene at Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center to learn and share ideas with each other regarding the effective use of technology in education. During the 4 day conference, 200+ vendors exhibit their wares and services, keynote speakers inspire attendees, and hundreds of educators present sessions on how they use technology to engage students and foster academic achievement.
TECH Student Showcase
This annual event is held at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Hundreds of students come from schools throughout the state to present the most comprehensive and diverse student demonstration of classroom technology in the Midwest. TECH 20XX demonstrations allow lawmakers, business leaders, teachers, and administrators from Illinois schools to see firsthand how technology is used in classrooms throughout the state.
Currently there are 21 local chapters of Illinois Digital Educators Alliance covering all counties in the state. The members of each chapter hold meetings and events that provide an opportunity for networking and professional development.
This program is open to all IDEA members in good standing and their children attending college. Scholarships are available from $100 on up for members to pursue an advanced degree or to take additional for-credit college courses. This scholarship program can also be used to attend professional development workshops and conferences. Children of IDEA members may apply for a scholarship to pursue a degree in Education. Scholarship applications open in mid-March and are announced each year in mid-May.
The purpose of the Mini-Grant Program is to provide IDEA members throughout the state with funding for educational technology projects that showcase innovation and creativity and directly benefit students in PreK-12 classrooms. Apply for an IDEA mini-grant!
Educator of the Year Award
Each year, two awards are given to outstanding educators throughout the state. The IDEA Technology-Using Educator Award is designated for individuals such as media specialists, university and college staff, technology coordinators, computer coordinators, etc., while the IDEA Technology-Using Classroom Teacher Award is targeted for pre-K-12 classroom teachers.
Our monthly newsletter is emailed to all registered IDEA members. In the newsletter you will find information on upcoming chapter and statewide events and articles on topics such as technology leadership issues, classroom ideas, new technologies, and more.
Monthly #IDEAchat Twitter Chat
IDEA hosts a monthly Twitter chat on the last Thursday of each month from 8 - 9PM CST. Find us on Twitter at #IDEAchat to join the discussion. Don’t know how to Twitter Chat but always wanted to try? Simply observe the next chat or jump right in. Here is a great resource for you to check out "How to Participate in a Twitter Chat".