I Can, We Will Make a Difference

FFA is out in full force and showing their best qualities and mission of “making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for Premier Leadership, Personal Growth, and Career Success through Agriculture Education.” Students and educators are showing how they not only care about great practices and programs, but also how important it is to have each student gain valuable experience and education.

I Can. We Will.

The FFA convention motto states “I Can. We Will.” and it is easy to see how this is being lived out. Each student has honed their craft, focused on their skill development and prepared tirelessly to show their abilities from parliamentary procedure to judging, flower design to persuasion speeches. It has been great to see so much hard work and their capacity to encourage one another. Win or lose, it is making the Ag community better, sharper and a more well-oiled machine.

Hands-On Collaboration

From the exhibit floor, it has been an honor to discuss best practices and learning styles of their classrooms and students with so many Agriculture educators. We enjoyed watching as the exhibit booth became a place for educational ideas. As one teacher was talking about how much they would use the Plant Science Kit, another started sharing ideas of a classroom activity using ‘smores to create the cell walls of a plant. The discussion got both educators more and more engaged and excited as they collaborated about how the best ideas come when they are looking for more engaging ways to bring learning to their students. As they moved over to look at the Animal Science products, they engaged more teachers talking about how the Ruminant Model could be used multiple times as their students learned about digestive systems and how getting a real ruminant from a butcher could enhance the real-life understanding.

Reality at Work

The engagement of teachers as they discussed how they best teach different topics brought the motto full circle. Not only are they looking to find more ways that they can, but they are also learning from each other, working together even when they are from states as far away as Ohio and Texas or Florida and Oregon. They are seeing and benefiting from the WE CAN. They are understanding that new hands-on learning models bring more in-depth learning to their students. Collaboration with their colleagues and other students brings about engagement, broadens their horizons and strengthens the bonds that make us all stronger. The FFA goals of Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success easily become a reality in this environment, reinforcing what we as a company know firsthand, that reality works!

FFA Blue and Bold

By Jamey McIntosh, Realityworks RealCareer Product Manager

Realityworks is at the 2017 National FFA Convention & Expo this week, and it is easy to feel the buzz and excitement in the air. Indianapolis is swarming with students and advisors from all over the country convening for this annual event. The FFA blue is in full force as over 60,000 students, advisors, and educators compete, discuss and collaborate in all forms concerning Agriculture. Whether or not you are familiar with FFA, it is quite an amazing sight to see and it brings me back to the Paul Harvey monologue of “God Made a Farmer.”

In a day and age where we have so many tense and conflicting views, this conference has been a breath of fresh air. Students come confidently with their professional FFA attire, look you straight in the eye when you talk with them and greet you and everyone around them with “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir.” They understand the idea of what leadership is because FFA educators and advisors teach it to them; it is part of the curriculum; it is part of the FFA DNA. These students are focused on gaining skills for their careers. They have a deep understanding that whether they end up in an Ag pathway or choose another career path, everything they are learning will suit them well.

As an exhibitor and partner with the National Association of Agriculture Educators and FFA, we are fortunate to see this all firsthand. As students and advisors experience educational products like our Cow Model and our guideWELD® VR welding simulator, we are seeing them dig deep into questions of best practices. We are seeing groups of students taking the welding coupons from our Weld Defects Kit out of the case and diagnosing the issues of the weld, inspecting each one, discussing the issue and how to fix it. We are seeing advisors using our Cow Uterus Model and discussing artificial insemination with students and how tough it can be to move the artificial insemination straw gun through that region for insemination. Advisors are seeing firsthand how using these hands-on learning aids will enhance their classrooms and deepen student learning and comprehension.

We have only experienced Day One of the FFA Convention, but it is easy to see who the future belongs to. FFA students are showing up and showing up boldly! These students have focus. They don’t just have interest, they have passion, and they see the way forward to better themselves, others and the world we all live in. They see that dedication to hard work, grasping understanding of solid agriculture concepts and using quality learning aids will help them achieve part of the FFA motto and mission of “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” This is not only something they just say; they are living FFA blue boldly every day!

Why I judged at the HOSA International Leadership Conference, and you should too!

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Have you ever considered volunteering to be a judge at the HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) for the student competitions? I signed up to judge this year and am so glad I did!

This year 14,000 people attended the conference, of which 10,000 were students. 7,400 of these students participated in one of the student competitions. Hundreds of volunteer judges are needed each year at the HOSA ILC. I received an email invitation to consider being a judge since Realityworks was signed up to be a vendor at the Expo. I thought it would be an interesting new way to engage with the students and learn more about what they do, so I decided to sign-up.

During the sign-up process, I was able to choose a preferred category for judging. A month before the conference I received an email with information to read about the judging process along with a video to watch to help prepare me for the experience.

On the day of the competition the judges in our category attended an orientation dinner and more information was shared on exactly what to expect. Each room had two judges, a timer and a facilitator. We were prepared to judge for a 4-hour stint with no scheduled breaks. Each student in our category chose their own topics and did a 6-minute presentation on a lesson they prepared on a health-related topic. The score was based on the presentation and on the written portfolio that students prepared.

Over the course of the night we learned about safe sex, personal hygiene, dental health, how to safely dispose of medication for older adults, the importance of safety goggles, skin cancer and much more. The target audience for these educational initiatives ranged from 3 to 90.  It was obvious from the presentations that many hours and months of planning and preparation went into the student projects. In short, the experience was very positive.

I’d like to encourage anyone who has considered volunteering for judging at the HOSA ILC to give it a try. These students represent the best and brightest future health care workers. It’s rewarding to see the efforts of their hard work and creativity.

Tradeshow Season is Here!

By Andrea Phan, Tradeshow Coordinator

What is tradeshow season? At Realityworks, our Account Managers and other team members attend nearly 100 tradeshows over the course of a year. Of those, nearly HALF occur during the summer tradeshow season, between June, July and the first week of August. In addition to our flagship Career and Technical Education Conferences, we’re excited to be talking with you at Agriculture Teachers Education Conferences featuring our new interactive animal models and Health Science Education Conferences introducing our new hands-on nursing skills training.

Our Account Managers are passionate about our products and enjoy seeing you interact with all of the great hands-on learning aids in the booths. Based out of Eau Claire, WI, many of our products that you see at tradeshows are shipped cross-country and put on many miles before they return home. We’ll be visiting 30 states in 8 weeks for almost 50 state-level tradeshows as well as several national conferences such as HOSA, AITC, INACSL and AAFCS.

We are also delighted to have presentations at select conferences highlighting our experiential products and providing you with useful tips and tricks to help you in the classroom. Watch your email for more information regarding conferences near you or for a complete list visit our website at https://www.realityworks.com/news-events/tradeshows.

We look forward to seeing you there!

6 Reasons to Meet Realityworks at the Association for Career & Technical Education’s CareerTech VISION Conference

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: The Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. We typically plan for this conference a good year in advance, and this year is no exception. Held in the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 30 – December 2, this year’s conference will be attended by thousands of technology education professionals, educators and industry representatives. From product exhibits and presentations to interactive demonstrations and more, there are countless reasons to meet Realityworks at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference at Booth #529. Here are our top 6!

  1. Preview interactive products and simulators for nursing skills training, including injection training, elderly nursing care and catheterization
  2. Explore the new RealCareer™ Geriatric Sensory Impairment Kit, a set of wearable simulators that mimic hearing impairment, arthritis and hand tremors
  3. See the new Birth Process Kit, which includes six large, lifelike models that depict each stage of the birthing process
  4. Get a SNEAK PEEK at our one-of-a-kind animal science and plant science models, including detailed animal and stomach models and a plant science kit (available in 2017)
  5. Try virtual reality welding with the guideWELD® VR welding simulator
  6. Conduct live welding with the guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system

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Additional ways you can interact with Realityworks at VISION 2016 include:

  • Attend the “Baby Basics and Best Practices” pre-conference workshop we are co-hosting with the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences on November 30
  • Join us at the NATFACS Awards Reception, ACTEBabywhere
    we’ll be raffling off a new
    RealCare Baby 3 infant simulator
  • Attend the “Create Student Engagement Through Experiential Learning Tools” pre-conference workshop we are is co-hosting with the National Association of Agriculture Educators on November 30, where we’ll be raffling off one of our NEW animal science models
  • Attend the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) Luncheon we are co-hosting with HOSA on December 1, where we’ll be raffling off a RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator and sharing more details on our new experiential learning tools for health sciences
  • Share your selfie for a chance to win! tweet a selfie with your favorite Realityworks product in our booth and tag us @Realityworksinc and the show #VISION16 for your chance to win a Realityworks mug!

You can still register for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference online by clicking here. We hope to see you there!

3 Reasons to Meet Us in Vegas for RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. In fact, we start planning for this conference a good year in advance! For the first time, we are planning a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, November 30 all about RealCare Baby. Designed for current and prospective users, this pre-conference session is an opportunity for you to learn from a subject matter expert in person! Why join us in Vegas on November 30?

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1. Get RealCare Baby program best practices. What are the best ways to engage students with RealCare Baby? How can you use this powerful tool to make an even bigger impact on your students? What are seasoned users doing to succeed? We’ll answer these questions and more!

2. Discover career exploration activities. Did you know that RealCare Baby can help your students prepare for careers in education and human services? Join us to get ideas and activities that will help you prepare your students for careers.

3. Get our NEW RealCare™ Preemie Baby. Have you heard? The RealCare™ Preemie Baby is our newest experiential learning tool. It’s modeled after a preterm infant born at 30 weeks and is designed to help students, caregivers and parents-to-be understand the unique challenges and often complicated medical problems that can be associated with preterm birth. By attending our pre-conference workshop, you’ll receive a complimentary Preemie Baby from Realityworks!

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What: RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices
When: Wednesday, November 30, from 1-5:00 p.m.
Cost: $150

Ready to register? Visit the conference website here.

3 Ways to Make the Most of your Next Education Conference

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Automation Specialist

Right now, Realityworks’ account managers are busy preparing for the 50 Career & Technical Education, Family and Consumer Sciences and Agriculture Education trade shows and conferences at which we are currently scheduled to exhibit our experiential learning tools throughout the summer. As exhibitors, our team looks forward to these conferences for a number of reasons. Not only do we value the opportunity to speak in person to educators and administrators, but we look forward to demonstrating our educational products, educating attendees, answering questions and more. Of course, preparation is key to a successful conference, whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee. Our account managers have their own routines and tips to ensure a successful exhibitor experience, and here are some tips for you! Gathered over the years from educators and trainers, these three tips can help you make the most out of your next education conference (we’ll probably see you there!).

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  1. Organize yourself before you arrive.

Be sure you not only arrive with specific goals in mind but have an understanding of the conference schedule and program. These resources are often posted online, so start by Googling and go from there. If a particular presentation topic or vendor sparks an interest, research and brainstorm the topic and write down any questions you have. Additionally, consider the issues you and your colleagues are currently facing, and the new programs, strategies and products you hope to explore. What are your professional development needs? Write down any questions or topics you hope to address in a notebook or folder that will be accessible at the conference.

  1. Organize yourself while you are there.

At a conference you will receive paper, paper and more paper from presenters and vendors alike. Notebooks with pockets can be used to not keep hand written notes but business cards, presentation summaries and other handouts. Use paper clips and binder clips to keep papers tidy and organized, and don’t be afraid to utilize any available coat-checking services so you can drop off handouts and items and come back for more. Are you faster on a tablet or laptop? Call ahead to confirm the availability of Wi-Fi and outlets, and remember to charge your device beforehand. Make brief notes as you go, and take time at night to review and reorganize.

  1. Socialize!

Trade shows and conferences are great opportunities to meet other educators and professionals in your field; networking is one of the biggest benefits of attendance. Get to know educators who teach similar subjects, and share teaching strategies, book recommendations, resources and contact names over a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine). Also, socialize with the vendors! While vendors are there to sell a product or service, most are also there to learn from you, learn from your program and share personal experiences.

Bottom line: Have a good time, ask a lot of questions and don’t forget to USE your new knowledge!

Want to know where our account managers will be next? Click here to see our trade show and conference schedule, and if you’re planning to attend, be sure to stop by our booth.  Trade shows and conferences are a great place to see our products in person, view live demonstrations, and learn about current promotions and more.

Check out Realityworks’ RealCareer® Welding Solutions at the 2014 FABTECH Expo in Atlanta!

by Samantha Forehand, Realityworks Marketing Communications Manager

Realityworks is pleased to be displaying its RealCareer® Welding Solutions at the 2014 FABTECH Expo in Atlanta on November 11-13. FABTECH brings together over 25,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors to view the latest industry products and developments, find the tools to improve productivity and discover new solutions in the areas of metal forming, fabricating and welding.

Our RealCareer Welding Solutions line will do just that: show the welding industry something NEW, improve the proficiency of learning welders and increase learned welding techniques. 

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Visit our FABTECH booth #C2541 to experience our full line of RealCareer Welding Solutions products.

NEW solutions on display.
Stop by booth #C2541 to get a hands-on look at our welding solutions:

guideWELD™ VR welding simulator
A virtual reality welding simulator that enables users to master basic welding skills and learn proper technique in a safe, virtual environment.

NEW guideWELD™ LIVE real welding guidance system
An in-helmet solution for live welding that provides immediate feedback on work angle, travel angle and speed while users are performing live, arc-on welds.
By visiting us during FABTECH, you can experience this guidance system in our live welding booth.

Educational Sessions (just updated).
Don’t miss Realityworks RealCareer Product Manager Jamey McIntosh at the following AWS Education Sessions on Thursday, November 13:

9:00 a.m. Using Games to Drive Engagement

11:00 a.m. Mind the Gap: Using Technology to Bridge the Skills Gap

2:00 p.m. A demonstration of RealCareer Welding Solutions

Visit the exhibits.
If you are in the Atlanta area and looking to just visit the 1,400 exhibitors, sign up for FREE here.

To learn more about FABTECH 2014, visit the expo’s website. We hope to see you there!

Newly Updated: Realtyworks’ Spring 2014 Trade Show Schedule

Spring is in the air, and so is excitement for our upcoming trade shows! Trade shows and conferences are a great place to see our products in person, view live demonstrations, ask questions and more. If you’re planning to attend any of the following trade shows and conferences, please feel free to stop by our booth. We love speaking with educators and professionals in person!

Alaska Career and Technical Student Organization Conference
Anchorage, AK
March 20-21

ATEA 51st National Conference on Technical Education
Crowne Plaza, St. Paul, MN
March 26-27

TECHSPO at the Minnesota SkillsUSA State Championship Conference
Bloomington, MN
March 30

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance 129th National Convention and Exposition
April 1-5
America’s Center, St. Louis, MO

Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
April 4 & 5
Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, PA

Oklahoma Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Convention
April 4
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Indiana Family & Consumer Sciences Statewide Professional Development Conference
April 9-10
Marriot East Hotel, Indianapolis, IN

Region IV ACTE Annual Conference
April 10-11
Hampton Inn and Suites, Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

To view a complete list of our Spring 2014 trade shows, click here.

Updated: Look for Realityworks at these upcoming trade shows and conferences!

2014 TradeShow Schedule

Trade shows and conferences are a great way to see live demonstrations of Realityworks‘ programs and products, ask questions and discuss program benefits in person. If you’re going to be at any of the following events, stop by the our booth! (Of course, if you’re not attending but still want information, contact us at information@realityworks.com to set up an appointment.)

View an updated schedule of trade shows and conferences by clicking here.