Making Ripples in Education #WIREDConference


Bright banner. Wausau, DC Everest, and Mosinee School Districts Present: #WIREDConference 2023
In central Wisconsin, a group of dedicated educators gathered for an event that promised to impact the future of education with new and innovative ideas. It was August 16 & 17, 2023, and North-central Technical College was the setting for the fifth annual Wisconsin River Educator Conference, known affectionately as the #WIREDConference.

Behind this event is a group of individuals who are passionate about making a difference - the #WIREDConference Board. Their commitment to enriching education in Wisconsin with the generous support of sponsors, Connexus Credit Union and Diamond Assets, together they have made the impossible happen: a conference entirely free for educators, by educators.

This year's conference featured a keynote speaker who inspired everyone in the room. Myron Dueck, a respected figure in education, delivered a keynote titled "Ch-C-Ch-Changes, Turn and Face the Strange." His words resonated deeply, shedding light on the ever-evolving landscape of education. Myron touched upon accessibility, innovation, AI, ownership of learning, reflection, and personalized/blended learning strategies.

The conference was not just about passive learning; it was a platform for educators to exchange ideas and gain practical knowledge. From "30 Tips and Tricks for Teachers” to “Augmented Reality” to “Immersive Learning with AI,” the sessions were diverse, enriching, and filled with valuable insights.

What truly distinguished the #WIREDConference was its commitment to creating an environment where educators felt valued and appreciated. Participants were greeted at the welcome station with swag bags, a small but thoughtful gesture that set the tone for a warm and inclusive event. The first day concluded with a sunset social, providing an opportunity for educators to collaborate, enjoy food and beverages, and share their learning experiences. This extra effort fostered a sense of community, making this conference a unique and welcoming space for professional development.

The support of sponsors Connexus Credit Union and Diamond Assets played a vital role in the conference's success. Their belief in the power of education and their dedication to the growth of Wisconsin's educators made this event possible.

The #WIREDConference Board's dedication and the generous support of sponsors have created an unparalleled opportunity for educators to grow, learn, and connect. The impact of this conference will undoubtedly extend to countless students and impact teaching and learning in central Wisconsin.

Looking ahead, the #WIREDConference Board eagerly anticipates future collaborations and the continued growth of this event. The board remains committed to its mission of making a meaningful impact on education, one conference at a time. With gratitude for the past and excitement for the future, we eagerly await the next #WIREDConference, where educators will once again come together to shape the educational landscape in Wisconsin.

Arranged in line six #WIREDConference Board members surrounding Keynote speaker.
This picture is approved by the 2023 #WIREDConference Board. Pictured from left to right: Melissa Piette @AppyTeacher, Kirsten Rock, Reginald Smith, Myron Dueck, Jeremy Jaeger, Felecity Treptow @felecity, and Tammy Trzebiatowski @ttrzebiatowski

All Replies

Posted on September 20, 2023

Thanks so much for this inspiring conference story Tammy! What struck me was the focus on creating a conference environment where your teachers felt appreciated. Your small touches and conference choices guaranteed that. Congrats to all of you for the innovative work you are doing to support teachers, their students and innovative educational initiatives!

Posted on January 21, 2024

Yes! I noticed that as well, Cheryl! Tammy, this model has great potential to help others educators in other states do something similar. How did you all get started? What are some tips and tricks?

Posted on March 28, 2024


Thank you for acknowledging the potential of our conference model to inspire educators beyond our state borders.

Our conference began with a shared vision among school district tech directors and integration specialists like myself. We sought to provide local teachers with an enriching experience at no cost, focusing on effectively integrating technology to enhance teaching and learning. Leveraging our collective expertise and resources, we were confident we could deliver impactful professional development.

Regarding your inquiry about getting started and tips for success, here are some insights:

  1. Form a Dedicated Team: Assemble a passionate and committed team comprising educators, tech specialists, and administrators who share a common vision for advancing education through technology.
  2. Identify a Clear Purpose: Define the purpose and goals of your conference early on. Determine the focus areas, target audience, and desired outcomes to guide your planning efforts effectively.
  3. Leverage Local Resources: Tap into local resources, including educational institutions, businesses, and community organizations, to support your conference financially and logistically.
  4. Curate Engaging Content: Select keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and session topics that address the needs and interests of your target audience. Offer a diverse range of sessions covering various aspects of technology integration, pedagogy, and professional development.
  5. Foster Collaboration and Networking: Create opportunities for educators to connect, collaborate, and share ideas with their peers. Incorporate interactive activities, networking sessions, and collaborative workshops to facilitate meaningful engagement and learning.

By following these tips and leveraging your passion and dedication, you can lay the groundwork for a successful conference that empowers educators. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Posted on September 23, 2023

The story of this conference is very inspiring. A couple of Irish ADE's are thinking about putting something together. We are still at the very early stages and would be very grateful if we could find some way to connect and learn from your experiece. I see that Felicity is on your board - I will reach out to her and hopefully we can set something up!

Posted on March 28, 2024


Thank you for your enthusiasm about creating an educational conference akin to the #WIREDConference is truly inspiring! As an Integration Specialist who values collaboration and innovation, I'm thrilled to hear about your initiative. I'd be more than happy to share some insights and tips based on the success of the #WIREDConference to help guide you in the early stages of planning.

Firstly, assembling a passionate and dedicated organizing team is crucial. Seek out individuals who share your vision for enriching education and are willing to invest their time and energy into making the conference a reality.

Second, securing sponsorships from organizations aligned with your goals can provide essential financial support. Look for sponsors who are committed to the growth and development of educators in Ireland.

Thirdly, focus on curating a lineup of presenters who can inspire and enlighten attendees. Consider inviting respected figures in education who can share valuable insights and perspectives.

Choosing the right venue is also key. Opt for a location that is accessible and conducive to learning and collaboration, ensuring that attendees feel comfortable and engaged throughout the conference.

Diversify your session offerings to cater to a wide range of interests and needs among educators. Incorporate topics such as technology integration, innovative teaching strategies, and student engagement techniques to provide valuable learning opportunities.

Creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere is essential for fostering collaboration and networking among attendees. Consider implementing networking sessions to facilitate connections and collaboration.

Providing attendees with small tokens of appreciation, such as swag bags or personalized notes, can go a long way in making participants feel valued and appreciated.

Seek feedback from attendees throughout the planning process and after the conference to gather valuable insights and continuously improve future events.

Above all, stay true to your mission of making a meaningful impact on education in Ireland. With dedication, collaboration, and a passion for innovation, I do not doubt that you and your fellow ADEs can create an inspiring and successful educational conference.

Best wishes on your journey, and please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need assistance along the way. I would love to connect and collaborate.

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