I spent part of last week at the 2015 FETC Conference in Orlando, Florida. FETC attracts around 7,000 educators from all levels and is a valuable stop for educators looking to hear from their peers and create their own Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s). FETC does a really good job of allowing educators to get connected and share ideas both through formal sessions, informal gatherings and the Twittersphere.
A couple of highlights for me included:
-The Executive Summit put together by Eric Sheninger for administrators in both the technical and instructional sides . This 1.5 day event focused on technology integration from an administrators viewpoint including topics like BYOD vs. 1:1, Network Analysis, Professional Development, etc. This was the first year FETC organized this event and I think it proved quite valuable to those in attendance.
-The opening session included a tech shootout with Adam Bellow, Kathy Schrock, Hall Davidson, and Leslie Fisher. It is always good to get reviews on some of the latest resources, apps and toys… some incredible stuff is coming this year. I also enjoyed the opening Keynote from Jane McGonigal on Gaming. She is a TED Talk Superstar and always impresses. David Sengeh, spoke of the power of “Why not?” and why it is so important to encourage students to question and to create.
-Finally, I always enjoy hearing from teachers who are doing simple yet effective things in their classrooms to integrate technology. I noticed a few themes that are definitely worth investigating; gamification and gaming in the classroom, Maker Spaces and the use of Google tools for many different instructional needs. There were some very practical sessions with information that teachers can use tomorrow such as a session on Engaging Students with Social Media by Tracy Arner, Getting started with a Maker Space by Diana Rendina, Gamification in the Classroom by Kasey Bell and many others were valuable and enjoyable.
You can get an overview of many of the great things that were covered, key ideas, and even some resources by searching for the #fetc hashtag.
If you are interested in attending FETC or other Technology and Education conferences, here are a few to consider:
International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Asia Conference on Technology in the Classroom