Most Frequently Asked Questions
Why can we not receive the Final Program in the mail before the conference begins?
Unlike most conferences, we extend our deadline for submissions very close to our conference event, into the fall each year, in an effort to secure the very best proposals for sessions and workshops. Not only does technology change at an amazing rate, but we also realize that some workshops do not even take place in school districts until summer and that the newest and perhaps most exciting projects do not even get funded or begin until school opens. Having this extended deadline puts us into October notifying presenters and verifying their participation, thus establishing a printing schedule that usually preceeds the conference only by a week or ten days. There is just not enough time at that point and certainly not enough manpower to devote to a massive mailing to 1500 or more registered attendees, not to mention the tremendous cost involved that would then have to be absorbed or passed on to attendees.
We do the next best thing ... post the Final Program on our website at the time it goes to print so that it is available to all who plan to attend. Our intent is to make NCETC the very best, most current and exciting conference experience possible while keeping the costs reasonable for the level and quality of services provided.
How do I get my CEU credit? Why does NCETC not issue CEU credit?
In most school districts you are required to obtain prior approval to receive credit for attending NCETC. This approval is usually obtained from the person in your district who oversees and tracks staff development activities and CEU renewal credit. There are forms within each district that should be completed before attending NCETC. Once you return to your school or district after attending the conference, you provide evidence of participation. NCETC has provided a form within our Final Program called the "Record of Activities" (usually the very last page in the book) that is a tool to help you document the sessions you attend and the time spent on conference activities. For those who attend pre-conference workshops, we issue a "Certificate of Participation" that includes the title of the workshop and the length of the workshop as well as the instructor's name and the name of the NCETC contact person.
We recommend that you copy from the Final Program the pages that describe the sessions attended and attach these pages to your Record of Activities form. Submit these documents along with your request for CEU credit to your designated staff person along with any Certificate(s) of Participation from workshop(s) you attended.
School districts may have varying procedures for staff development CEU credit so the above suggestions may or may not be applicable. However, NCETC is not a state agency, therefore we cannot generate the CEU credit for you or certify your participation to the state of North Carolina. This certification can only be facilitated by your school district.
Why do you not have coffee and refreshments available for participants all day long rather than just at certain break times on Wednesday and Thursday?
Most participants have no way of knowing about the cost of food provided at conferences or about the other costs (i.e.consulting fees and per diems, printing costs, equipment costs, facility rental fees, AV/production costs etc.) associated with putting on a an event such as NCETC. Our annual budget is a very tight one because we are a non-profit educational service group and, unlike some other organizations, we are not providing these services to educators to make big bucks. The registration and workshop costs have not increased significantly in the past five years and every effort has been made to forecast costs a year in advance so that we can make small adjustments as needed. Even when we maintain the same or similar costs for you from one year to the next, those who provide us with products and services do not necessarily keep our costs the same.
If we were to opt to make refreshments available all day then we would have to increase some of the other fees such as registration and workshop costs. We might even have to have a cover charge for the Opening Reception and perhaps charge an entry fee for the Game Night Gala. Each of these events costs in the tens of thousands of dollars each year. Great food is served and we contract good entertainers for your enjoyment, not to mention the wonderful and costly give-away prizes we provide. Food for thought... would you rather have more coffee during the day or continue to have free events like the Opening Reception and Game Night Gala and a conference that provides great speakers like Tammy Worcester and Patrick Crispen (whose services are not inexpensive)?
Why won't you bring back Casino Night?
Casino Night will not happen again at NCETC until the North Carolina state gaming statute is changed or repealed. In the eyes of our state and the agencies that regulate this type of activity, games of this nature are illegal if there is an exchange of money or goods for winning. I spent one evening in 2005, on your behalf, with my attorney in the chambers of a Superior Court Judge here in Guilford County, trying to find a precedent that would allow us to continue with our Casino Night. After searching for several hours we could find no precedent; therefore, the judge was not willing to issue an order so that ALE could not confiscate the gaming tables on the premises and take me, the promoter, and all of you, the participants, to jail.
The other option would be to have the casino games but no prizes. Based on the evaluation results this year, I believe that most conference participants enjoy our new Game Night Gala format and would prefer to continue to receive the technology prizes that we so generously provide. We are always interested in ways to improve Game Night so please share your ideas.
Why do you not offer hands-on sessions during the Wednesday and Thursday format?
There are two basic reasons that we do not, as a general rule, encourage hands-on sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
Only within the last few years have we begun to have any hands-on sessions at all during the general conference days. Companies like Tool Factory ship in their own equipment and as long as they abide by our guidelines we are happy and appreciative that they are willing to conduct hands-on activities. Other presenter teams have, on occasion, provided equipment from their respective schools to be used in their presentations and that too is acceptable as long as NCETC is not responsible for the security or replacement of this equipment. NCETC itself cannot provide equipment for hands-on sessions due to the overwhelming cost to do so. We are fortunate to have companies such as Apple Computer and Dell Computer who are willing to lend us the computers to use in the Monday and Tuesday pre-conference workshops in exchange for amenities and services that NCETC provides.
A most significant consideration is space. Many presentation rooms are too small to accommodate hands-on sessions. These sessions would obviously be a big draw (regardless of topic) and would require some of our larger presentation rooms just to accommodate the computers and interested people. The number of participants who could actually have the benefit of hands-on would be extremely limited, creating a problem of crowding and dissatisfaction. If we allocated our larger presentation rooms for hands-on, then where would we put speakers such as Patrick Crispen and Tammy Worcester as well as some of our own North Carolina educators who draw larger crowds for their presentations? It really is a matter of logistics and fairness.