Free is Always Good

Posted on February 9, 2009. Filed under: EdTech, Elementary School, General, High School, Media Specialists, Middle School, Teachers |

by Tim Van Heule
Coordinator of Distance Learning

It is February, and the economy is still looking really rough. Budget cuts, job losses, etc. are common place across the nation. I am not an economist, but I know how the economic downturn has taken its toll on education.

Every summer for the past three years, the Greenville County Schools Instructional Technology Staff in South Carolina has hosted the Upstate Technology Conference. I have attended every conference, one as a participant, and two as a member of the staff. It is great to see how this conference continues to grow each year. I am hoping that this year is no exception.

“You get what you pay for” is a common cliche, often leading you to believe that if it is free, the quality probably reflects the price. Our conference is free, there are no registration fees at all, participants are only responsible for any meals and lodging; lunch is available on site at a competitive price.

This year’s conference will be Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25. We will also have a pre-conference on Tuesday, June 23. Currently, we are accepting proposals for presentations; this year’s presentations will no doubt be as superb as those in the past. General participant registration is open as well.

In the past we have had some of the best keynote speakers available worldwide, Annette Lamb, Ewan McIntosh, and David Jakes. This year is no exception, we are proud to have Chris Craft as our sole keynote speaker for UTC09. I have known Chris Craft since 2007 when Tim Cushman and I attended his sessions at the SC ETV Technology Workshop for Educators. Both of us were so impressed that we have asked, begged, and pleaded for him to present at UTC each year – we have been fortunate that he has always agreed when available. To have Chris as our Keynote Speaker this year really means a lot to all of us in Greenville County.

We look forward to seeing you at UTC09! Please continue to read our blog or check the UTC website for updates. Questions can be directed to our office,


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