NJEA Convention10. You can bring the kids.

Your children will have tons of fun and experience loads of learning at Camp NJEA.

ACCENT Childcare Services, a national leader in child care, will provide a comprehensive menu of activities for children ages 3-12. While you attend workshops or other convention events, ACCENT’s experienced and professional staff will create safe, nurturing and educational environments with creative craft projects, special guests, and special zones of activities to capture the attention of children. ACCENT staff members are CPR-certified.

Only children of NJEA members will be admitted. Children must be toilet trained.

The cost is $20 per child, per day. You have the option of providing lunch for your child or ordering lunch through ACCENT for an additional fee.

Space is limited, so register now at njeaconvention.org. You can learn more about ACCENT at www.accentoca.com.

9. You don’t have to bring the kids.

Many opportunities await you in Atlantic City, including “America’s favorite playground” itself, which has more than rebounded from Superstorm Sandy. After hours, be sure to “DO AC” so you can explore and enjoy this historic and exciting city.

If you are looking for top-notch entertainment that’s free of charge, check out the All-State Jazz Ensemble and Honors Jazz Choir, which will perform on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8:30 p.m. in Trump Theatre at Trump Plaza. The All-State Chorus and Orchestra concert will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, at 8:30 p.m. in the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall.

Whether you’re bringing the kids or not, it’s not too late to book a hotel room in Atlantic City. NJEA has blocked hotel rooms at a reduced rate during the NJEA Convention. Not only will you find great rates, but free shuttle service to and from the convention center is available only from these hotels. You can reserve your room online or print out a housing form. Just go to njeaconvention.org by Saturday, Oct. 12, to make your reservation.

If you do stay overnight—or you’re an early riser—why not participate in the annual NJEA Boardwalk Run and Fun Walk on Friday morning, Nov. 8? The 5,000-meter, sanctioned race follows the traffic-free scenic Atlantic City Boardwalk in front of Convention Hall and starts at 9 a.m. (rain or shine).

8. You get to download a really neat app.

Smartphone users will be able to “let their fingers do the walking” at this year’s NJEA Convention with an application designed to run on iPhones, Android-based phones, and Blackberrys. There’s also a web-based version of the application for all other web browser-enabled phones.

For iPhone, iPad and Android users – visit the iTunes App Store or Google Play Market on your device to search for "NJEA 2013."All web-enabled phones, including Blackberry and those listed above, point your mobile browser to http://m.core-apps.com/njea2013. From there you will be directed to download the proper version of the app for your particular device, or on some phones, bookmark this page for future reference.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can browse workshop offerings, exhibitors on the convention floor, entertainment, meetings, and individual presenters. And you’ll be able to design a schedule for your convention experience to keep you on track with a simple glance at your phone. Updates and alerts will be sent to users via the app. Additional features include a photo gallery, a local places directory, and a built-in GPS to guide you around the convention floor. Note: session and speaker data will be updated occasionally as changes to the program occur.

7. You can hang with all the cool kids in High Tech Hall.

Whether you have a quick question or need a complete tutorial, explore High Tech Hall (HTH) to see how the latest applications are being used in today’s classrooms by today’s professionals.

The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning is proud to sponsor the Technology Integration Showcase and the Teacher to Teacher Learning classroom where members will present one-on-one and small group demonstrations of technology activities they have tested in their own classrooms.

In the Verizon Classroom, NJEA members and Verizon/Thinkfinity presenters will offer hands-on practice as they demonstrate the best ways to use technology to enhance instruction.

In the TEQ Connected Classroom, experts from TEQ will guide you through applications you can put to immediate use in your classroom.

Want to be sure you get PD credit for the time you spend learning about technology ? Although no paper certificates will be available in High Tech Hall  NJEA has established the following procedures in HTH:

  • Members who attend a scheduled classroom session in the Verizon/Thinkfinity or TEQ Connected classrooms will scan their convention badge upon arrival and receive a link to their certificate via email after the convention.
  • Members who spend time in the Technology Integration Showcase and the Teacher to Teacher Learning classroom may document their learning using a log sheet available in HTH. The log sheet can be presented to your supervisor after the convention. You may want to discuss your professional development plan with your supervisor prior to the convention.

6. You can see what all the tweets are about.

NJEA will be live tweeting from the convention, but you can’t really get in on the discussion if you aren’t experiencing it live!

Among other big events, there are sure to be great digital discussions during the plenary sessions. Back by popular demand, Dr. Marcia L. Tate will speak on brain-based learning on Thursday. She has worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator and is the author of numerous books, including the best-seller Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain.

Friday’s keynoter, Chris Lehmann, is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia. The former English teacher and basketball coach was named as one of the “30 Most Influential People in EdTech” by Technology & Learning Magazine.

Follow NJEA (@NJEA) on Twitter and like us on Facebook (New Jersey Education Association). You can also stay up to date with NJEA Mobile. Just text  “UNITY” to 738674 to receive updates.

5. You can win prizes without gambling.

NJEA Member Benefits has coordinated lots of opportunities for you to win great prizes right on the convention floor! Complete the ACCESS entry form found on Page 17 of your Convention Program and submit it at the Member Benefits Booth (#2135) for your chance to win two tickets to SeaWorld and a week-long condo rental!

You can also scan your convention badge and win! Look for the Scan to Win kiosks at High Tech Hall, Main Street NJEA (formerly the NJEA Service Center) and the Sponsored Vendors Area. Prizes include a California Coast road trip for two, overnight midweek stays in Atlantic City and an overnight stay at the Golden Plough Inn at Peddler’s Village. You can also win Apple Store and iTunes gift cards, gift baskets, lift tickets to Shawnee Mountain and tickets to a performance at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

Check out the complete list of prizes in your Convention Program.

4. You can see the stars.

The educational stars, that is. The Hipp Celebration of Excellence, held on Friday, Nov. 8, at 1:30 p.m. in the Sheraton Crown Ballroom, is a feel-good commemoration of all that is right with New Jersey’s public schools. You’ll hear from new NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer as well as the 2013-14 New Jersey Teacher of the Year.

NJEA members who have won grants for the 2013-14 school year from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation will also be honored.

Finally, NJEA will bestow the Award for Excellence on five outstanding New Jersey public school graduates who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their fields of expertise. This year’s recipients include Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook and a 1992 graduate of Collingswood High School, and Dr. Anthony Laneve, a 1969 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson who is the chief of internal medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, also in Paterson.

3. You’ll have a chance to say all those things you’ve said in the faculty room.

Only now you’ll have the chance to say them to people who can effect change!

New Jersey Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf has had a busy year, as the state Department of Education (NJDOE) has introduced hundreds of pages of new education regulations affecting special education, teacher evaluation, certification, and much more. Cerf will address convention-goers at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, in Room 202. Following his remarks, Cerf will take questions  from the audience.

Of course, the State Board of Education must adopt the regulations put forth by the NJDOE, including, for example, those rules associated with the AchieveNJ educator evaluation system. Members of the State Board will conduct an open forum on Thursday, Nov. 7, 3-4:30 p.m., in Room 202.

Don’t miss these opportunities to ask questions or bring issues to the attention of those who set education policy in the Garden State.

2. Can you say “hundreds of workshops”?

Yes, there are hundreds of workshops, but the NJEA Convention is so much more!

Educational Support Professionals will want to check out the new ESP Pavilion, which will feature materials and programs designed especially for ESPs, including some of NJEA’s e-Learning courses.

There are Great Ideas Tables where NJEA members showcase their Hipp grant-winning projects and programs. These one-on-one consultations will help you bring your innovative classroom ideas to life.

Don’t miss the walk-up sessions presented by the Educational Information and Resource Center on the convention floor.

Looking to network with your friends and colleagues? Check out the hospitality sessions hosted by county education associations and meetings sponsored by various organizations. See Pages 30-31 of your Convention Program for details.

And don’t forget to set aside several hours to navigate the convention floor, where you’ll find more than 700 exhibitors and vendors.

1. It’s the only place you’ll find thousands of people who know what an SGO is.

As educators around the state struggle to effectively implement the new evaluation system, NJEA has brought providers of three of the most commonly used evaluation instruments to the convention. The following workshops will assist members as they work to enhance their professional skills:

Charlotte Danielson will present “Implementing the Danielson Model with Fidelity” on Thursday, Nov. 7, 9:30 - 11 a.m., in Room 303.

Presenter Stefani  Hite will discuss “Tips and Guidance Using the Danielson Model” on Thursday, Nov. 7, 3 – 4:30 p.m., and again on Friday, Nov. 8, 9:30-11 a.m. Both workshops will be held in Room 303.

“Implementing the McREL Teaching Evaluation Model with Fidelity” will be presented by Tom Shulte on Thursday, 1 - 2:30 p.m., and Friday, 1 – 2:30 p.m., in Room 303.

Kim Marshall will address “Using Teacher Evaluation as an Effective Tool for Improving Teaching and Learning” on Thursday, 1 -4 p.m., in Room 313.

See your Convention Program for complete descriptions of these workshops.