I had the complete pleasure of attending smaccGOLD last year. I wrote about what made it such a rich experience here and I have been anticipating SMACC Chicago since my flight left Brisbane last March. I am helping coordinate the SMACC Junior (student) contingent this year. Let’s just say it is a VERY student friendly conference. So friendly, in fact, that there are bursaries available to support travel and competitions are running for free registration! Find out more info here. There are two upcoming competitions for free registration- smaccUS: 24 (January 24) and #smaccthemusical (Feb 15).
Here are the top 5 reasons I can’t wait for #smaccUS and why you should register too!
- The people: If you think those you know online are cool, just wait until you meet them face-to-face. I was worried that meeting offline might end up being the equivalent of a very disappointing failed online dating experiment but it was entirely the opposite. Each and every person that I met at smaccGOLD was even more remarkable than they were online yet absurdly down to earth. For three days you will be surrounded by an intelligent, generous, enthusiastic and inclusive group. You will have no choice but to maintain that spirit long after you leave.
- The evidence-based debates: The people are nice, but it certainly doesn’t mean they always agree. It’s awesome. There are many formal debates planned- be prepared for experts to duke it out on stage- but my favourite were the off the record heated conversations on everything from about the best way to care for patients, to the best method to teach students, to the best beer on tap.
- The focus on education: As a learner it was completely inspiring to see how much the attendees of this conference care about their students. Experiences and individuals at smaccGOLD have fuelled my own passion for education and I am super keen to find out more about how to learn and teach.
- The resources: Going into smaccGOLD I thought I was up to snuff on my FOAM but at the conference I found a few more key resources that I now use on a regular basis. I can’t wait to find out what I’ll discover this year.
- FOAMaoke: Goes without saying. Seeing these people sing is simply the best. Picture Oli belting Les Mis. Enough said. It might be wise to start practicing now. On second thought, it is more fun without practice.
There are many Canucks headed south to make up the #SMACCanada contingent. Join this beautiful group (some of the many Canadian attendees are listed below) and register here.
- Brent Thoma
- Paul Jones
- Matthew Hogan
- David Juurlink
- Ken Milne
- Anton Helman
- Taryn Lloyd
- Stephanie Dunn
- Taylor Zhou
- Teresa Chan
- Dave Wakely
- Cheryl Cameron
- James Huffman
- Zafrina Poonja
- Tim Pyra
- Eve Purdy
If you would like to keep in touch with the Canadian contingent, enter your information in the form at the bottom of the post (we will never share or sell your contact information and it will be used only to keep in touch at SMACC!) Hope to see you in Chicago!