Every year The Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) holds a Connecting For Success Conference that targets professional development for career and technical education. These educators and administrators are focused on providing high quality vocational curriculum to high school students across the state of Massachusetts. The teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff attending the annual Connecting for Success Conference are committed to providing a high quality, rigorous and relevant education to the workforce of the future. Due to Covid-19 this event could no longer take place in person as previously done. A creative and innovative solution had to be found to bring together everyone to continue using education as a force to propel students into their careers.
The solution was Microsoft Teams. In partnership with Netlogic Computer Consulting, the conference was hosted using Microsoft 365 for Non-Profits. More than 150 individual Teams meetings were created to accommodate the outpouring of professionals that wanted to present to their fellow peers during the conference. The conference ran over a total of 4 days with up to 10 sessions held at one time.
Example courses included:
- Empowering STEM Teachers Through Flexibility: Remixing Digital Content in the Classroom
- Strategies for Embracing Anti-Racist Work in Our Classrooms
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive Schools
- The Future of CTE – Thinking Outside the Box
- And 150 more!
Microsoft Teams made transforming the in-person event into a modern virtual platform possible. Educators needed to adapt during the times of Covid-19 as students learned remotely and technology was an essential tool to continue their lessons. Given the wide variety of technology software used by the different school districts in the state of Massachusetts having an easy-to-use conference meeting system was paramount. By using Teams, attendees did not need to have a Microsoft account to join the keynote speeches and courses and they did not even need to download the Teams desktop resulting in them attending from any device, anywhere they were. On top of that we were able to create all these meetings Using Power Automate in a matter of minutes!
Success was measured by attendance at each session as well as a feedback survey provided at the end of the conference. Teams meeting attendance varied from 20-100 attendees per event and Microsoft Teams kept up with this demand even when we were running 10 events at a single time slot. Survey feedback also showed the positive feedback of the Teams platform as we received an average 2.8 out of the highest possible score of 3 which represents exceeded expectations. This extremely high score represents that our attendees enjoyed the platform and were overwhelmingly able to obtain the content they needed.
Finally, I want to provide a big thank you to all that attended this event and helped make it such a huge success. Hosting over 150 sessions was a challenge and could have been approached in many different ways. I am very pleased that using Microsoft Teams worked so well and brought together so many educators across the state.