Greetings WEBIT members. The winter can be a busy time of the school year. Between semester changes, FBLA competitions starting, and standardized testing and revised schedules competing for students time, we need to think about promoting our courses and getting students to see the value of Career and Technical Education. This has always been the nature of the beast in Business & Information Technology Education and we have always accepted the challenge.
As we promote FBLA, our CTE Departments, and our courses, don’t forget about some of the partners we have out there and the resources that they offer. I think that all of us that are members of WEBIT see the value in these memberships and how they can help us grow and improve in our profession.
Don’t let the cold winter months get you down. Spring is right around the corner. Consider doing a day or two of promotion this month (something that doesn’t need to be graded) for your department and for CTE courses overall. Your students might like the change.
~Stacey Ryan, WEBIT President
To contact Stacey Ryan, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Convention Recap 2017!
On October 4, 5 and 6, 2017, WEBIT and WMEA had its first joint convention, Better Together...Pointing to the Future. The atmosphere was filled excitement as the kickoff to convention started off with a social Wednesday evening.
Thursday, the Convention Center at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point was filled with 144 attendees from both WEBIT and WMEA with 10 of those attendees students from UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater. Thirteen Vendors were on hand to give information on various textbooks, software applications, and donate door prizes! A huge thank you to Cengage Learning/National Geographic Learning for sponsoring the snack break held that afternoon. Sessions, this year, were themed around academic career planning such as Youth Apprenticeship, Partners in Education, Career Locker, CAPP program w/UW-O, and an ACP panel. Other sessions had presenters on the topics of business, marketing and IT from Skyward, Skyline Technologies, Accounting Workshop, SC, Pointe Precision, Marten Machining, and Omni Resources.
Something new this year was the Innovation Lounge which showcased information on how to incorporate a Makerspace within your community (i.e. CREATE Center), coding with Spheros (Kurt Wismer), using Echo by Amazon (Skyline Technologies), and ways to teach technology using real-life applications of emerging technologies in grades 9-12 (Moonshot Learning).
Teachers in Business, IT, and Marketing shared their ideas and resources over the two-day convention, in areas of Game Design, Google Classroom, MobileMakers, Tourism, Business Writing, Personal Finance, Connecting the Classroom to the outside world, Computer Science, Elementary Keyboarding, Presentation Skills, WorkKeys, FBLA and DECA. A huge thank you to the following educators: Kristina Blomquist, Olivia Dachel, Brandon Egnarski, Josh Firgens, Jennifer Gipp, Brent Gostomski, Jason Holter, Phil Huff, Bob Hutchinson, Jan Imhoff, Stephanie Jansen, Cynthia Jensen, Trina Knospe, Marla Konkol, Cheryl Kothe, Michelle McGlynn, Dr. Kristi Roth, Carrie Pierschalla, Sentry Toastmasters, Denise Schulz, and Julie Woletz.
Opening session on Thursday, included comments from WMEA President, Jason Holter; WEBIT President, Sheri Schmidt; Mayor of Stevens Point, Mike Wiza; and Dean of the School of Business and Information Technology at Mid-State Technical College, Missy Skurzewski-Servant. Thursday’s afternoon, keynote speaker, Kelly Brown, CEO and managing partner of American Deposit, capped off the day with her keynote on the Hard Side of Change Management focusing on ways small changes can make a big impact. Her examples of how her company is constantly changing to meet the needs of their customers, ways to minimize a negative impact and how to change the focus of “me” to “us”. Audience members were active participants! Along with her keynote, she also did a session titled, “What is Your Milkshake?” giving great examples of how to make the customer feel success and ways to understand if their needs are met.
Friday morning led off with Dave Thomas and a Jeopardy showdown against UWW/UW-Stout students vs. WEBIT vs. WMEA and their knowledge in What’s New in BM&IT, New Skills for Youth, ACP, and more! Kym Buchanan, Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies, was the morning’s keynote speaker focusing on the Minecraft Generation. What are the trends, new game neighborhoods, fandoms, and self-publishing all finding their ways into kids of today. What are these things that kids of today are involved with? How can these new trends change the way classrooms are set up and facilitated. Great resources (You’re Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day; Everything Bad is Good for You, by Steven Johnson; Utopian Entrepreneur, by Brenda Laurel; and Kym Buchanan).
The WEBIT Awards Luncheon included awards to Bob Wagner, Marion University for the Friend of WEBIT; Steven Doell, Hosler Award; along with Karolyn Erickson and Allison Rigotti as WEBIT’s scholarship recipients.
As we wrap up 2017 in Stevens Point, we look to 2018 in LaCrosse. Please join us starting October 3, 2018, at the Radisson Inn for a reception and social followed by two fast paced days of workshops, tours, sessions, and keynotes on the Western Technical Campus.
Michelle Gibson Herman, Convention Coordinator
© Wisconsin Educators of Business & Information Technology, formerly WBEA