This year’s FETC Conference was packed full of great technology, new and improved. Lots of great ideas were shared from various companies, school districts and educational staff. This year's motivating keynote speakers included Jamie Casap with Google, Matt Kaplan with ScholarScribe.com, Katie Salen, Executive Director of Institute of Play and Dr. David Sousa, educational consultant and author.
The exhibit hall was filled with over five hundred exhibitors such as Mitsubishi Electric, Epson, Google and Wowzers. The exhibitors were available during the conference demonstrating their products and giving on the spot training's.
In addition to the great information in the exhibit hall, there were multiple workshops that presented great ways to use technology in the classroom. One inspiring workshop was given by Dr. David Thornburg of the Thornburg Center. His workshop entitled “Gadgets and Geegaws: The Cornerstones of STEM Education” discussed Knights of Knowledge, a fictional secret society for students to join. The Knights of Knowledge strives to inspire students to investigate various subjects including science, history, technology, mathematics and more. Short videos are available for students to watch. All videos pose a question that encourages students to create a project to share that answers the given question and then motivates the student to come up with more questions pertaining to the topic. The videos are aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Standards. Another brilliant workshop was “The Best Web Tools and Tech Toys for Your Classroom!” with Adam Bellow, Founder and President of eduTeacher. His website is designed to support educators across the world with integrating technology in the classroom. His website finds and researches useful websites and creates short videos to demonstrate how these web tools can be used. One example given during the workshop was “Print What You Like.com” a free website designed to help students print only what they need from any website they have used for research. This saves paper, time and frustration when students are trying to complete their projects. It also provides the ability to print information with no advertisements to distract students.
Overall, the FETC Conference is highly recommended for any educator regardless of subjects taught. FETC helps inspire teachers to become better educators.
The 2014 FETC National Conference is taking early bird registrations for the January 28th - 31st conference being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.