FETC stands for Future of Education Technology Conference
The name says it all! Where is Edtech headed? Of course, no one has a crystal ball except possibly FETC leaders like Jennifer Womble, or is this conference magical because it is so close to Disney World? I’m not sure what it is, but FETC has succeeded in their selection process of speakers, workshops and vendors. This conference never disappoints! The preparation and information is always amazing. As a presenter at this conference for concurrent sessions and workshops I have always been highly impressed with the emails of information and the accuracy of the website. The Orange County Convention Center is gigantic and literally full to the gills of supreme presenters on an array of interesting and helpful educational technology topics. I don’t normally have FOMO (fear of missing out) but at FETC it occasionally gets the best of me. So many excellent presenters and creative workshops with several of my favorites each day like Dr. Monica Burns, Leslie Fisher, Jennifer Williams, David Lockhart, Kathy Schrock, Adam Bellow-Oh My! So many to choose from and let’s not forget my family of Apple Distinguished Educator presenters over in the Learn with Apple wing located on the north side of the conference center. Apple had sessions all day, every day, on all new topics and implementation of ideas to make adding these to your classroom a simple process. And if that wasn’t enough Apple also offered an Apple Support Desk, assistance with any Apple question you might have, or just hang out with your favorite Apple fangirl or fanguy. It was the BEST! Over on the south side of the conference center which was full of my friends from Cherokee County School District, the Microsoft learning area. Microsoft offered a wide selection of sessions and certification testing and much more. Another favorite activity of mine from the week was an edtech chat with the EduTechGuys. They have a fabulous live show all about everything Edtech and then they have the shows saved as podcasts so you can listen to them later as well. They are super informative and fun to listen to and chat with about all things educational technology related. It was an honor to be on the show and a highlight of my FETC week. Here is a link if you would like to listen in on my interview about teaching with iPads and creating clever content with students.
The vendor hall is high energy and always full of all things innovating and it is easy to navigate and well organized. When you need to eat, and there are plenty of options in there as well. If you are new to FETC or just want to see what’s new, be sure to go to the session created just for you each year. I attended my first year and it was super informative, helpful and entertaining.
My 3 best conference tips:
1. Plan ahead! Use the app or catalog and make a plan complete with backup sessions so you get to see everything possible. (plan time for the vendor hall)
2. Wear comfortable shoes, that you can keep on from sun up to sun down.
3. Bring snacks in your backpack or bag. I get in the life-long learner zone and I don't want to stop for lunch.
Everyone attending the conference and working at the conference is happy to be there, and happy that you are there too. The weather is beautiful and so is the Orange County Convention Center. It is well maintained and extremely clean. Each session I attended was well organized and the speaker was well prepared and excited to share their area of knowledge. The workshops are interesting and thoroughly planned so that valuable time is never lost or mis-used. FETC is also full of games and activities to encourage teacher collaboration to win prizes, and meet other teachers, to grow your own Personal Learning Network or PLN.
In the vendor hall I enjoy visiting companies that I have developed a relationship with, by using their product to increase the students' interest in learning and creating.
Brenthaven (my favorite iPad case)
TabPilot Learning Systems
Coding with Root (a new coding robot)
From workshops, tech labs, startups to poster sessions there is always something for everyone in every area of learning at FETC. You can teach littles or seniors and be tech savvy or serious about adding innovation and technology into your lessons. Either way you should add FETC to your conference list for next year. It will leave you pleasantly fulfilled but yet wishing it wasn’t over at the same time. Thanks for the amazing memories FETC! Big Hugs until next year, when we all meet again January 27-30th, 2019!
K-5th Technology Teacher in our iPad Lab. I love what I am blessed to do each day!