We’re off to the races here in Orlando Florida at the start of the 35th annual Florida Educational Technology Conference. The FETC is it’s affectionately known, is the second largest ed tech conference in the country, tied with the TCEA. The annual ISTE show is the largest of it’s kind and will happen this summer in Philadelphia.
Nearly 10,000 educators from PreK-12th grade from across the country have converged on Orlando Florida’s Orange County Convention Center where they are being treated to the latest and greatest in technology for teachers, administrators, classrooms, students and teachers.
3D Printing (the maker movement), robotics, collaborative learning, 1:1 devices, Chromebooks, iPad apps and more are being shown off to this huge group of educators through Friday.
While there’s a huge exhibition area where vendors are hoping to court customers in the form of teachers, schools and school districts, it’s hands on with a lot of instruction at robotics booths, device assisted learning booths and more.
“We want everyone to increase their familiarity with the latest devices, hardware, software and successful strategies on student-technology integration, Patrick Gallagher, Event Director of Education Events at 1105 Media said . “From our interactive Exhibit Hall to our incredible speaker line-up, our attendees get up-close and hands-on with innovative products and technologies that will help transform learning in their classrooms.”
Opening keynote speaker Jane McGonigal kicks off the conference. McGonigal is the director of games research and development at the Institute for the Future and a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games. Author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, McGonigal will speak about how games are transforming the way we lead our real lives and how they can challenge players to tackle real-world problems.
FETCs other notable keynotes include Jennifer Lawton, CEO of MakerBot; Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education; and David Moinina Sengeh, MIT Biomechanics Engineer.
Also on the agenda this year are 150 ticketed workshops targeting the hottest topics including communication and collaboration; educational policy and leadership; emerging technologies; instructional design; mobile learning; online and blended learning; technology infrastructure; Web 2.0 and digital teaching tools; and curriculum areas.