Technology in education on display

Technology in education was the main topic of the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) that took place virtually online during the week of January 26 to 20, 2021. The conference agenda addressed many of the challenges and concerns educators face as they continue to focus on the best ways to present lessons to their students during the pandemic. 

Educators were able to listen to the speakers to gain insight and ideas on how to incorporate the latest technology in the classroom and in their daily lesson plans. Remote and virtual learning have become the norm in education. Kids are learning at home and parents are struggling to balance forced home schooling with employment. Teachers are coping with the challenges of teaching in a technology focused environment to students they cannot see in person. 

The presentations were all very good and there was a variety of topics discussed. Many dealt with issues educators are encountering and information was available on the latest in technology in education. The conference lasted four days and the agenda covered presentations from 11:am to after 4:00 pm each day. Each day began with a keynote speaker and other keynote speakers were featured throughout the day. 

Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, VAFETC focused on technology in education for educators and students in school districts across the United States

Technology in education agenda

Here is an example list of some of the agenda topics for Tuesday...

  • Resilience: How to Build it in Yourself and in Those you Lead
  • Engaging Students In and Out of the Classroom! - presented by Clear Touch
  • What's New from Apple Education - presented by Apple
  • From Surviving to Thriving...Embracing Disruption: Hear how district leaders are addressing the ever-changing challenges to teaching and learning - presented by Connection Public Sector Solutions
  • 5 technologies needed to set up an engaging blended classroom environment - presented by TROX
  • Distance Learning: A New Era of Student Connectivity Needs - presented by Kajeet
  • The Innovation Accelerator: Revealing the Future of Educational Ecosystems - presented by Lenovo
  • Best Practices in School Security with New Milford Public Schools - presented by Verkada      

There were product demonstrations as well. A library media specialist explained how the Sora app from Overdrive encourages students to read more through e-books and graphic books accessed through a computer or mobile device. Unruly Studios demonstrated how kids are learning coding and being introduced to computer science through fun games and activities in class. Microsoft Teams showed how teachers can use chatbots to save teaching time.

Augmented and virtual reality technology was on display. A former teacher showed how to put together a VEX robot. STEM and STEAM are popular teaching paths today to interest students in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math with some exposure to the arts, so they will have a well-rounded educational experience.

Some other exhibitors demonstrating technology in education include…

  • District Administration
  • Promethean, Inc.
  • Zoom Video Communications
  • Intel Unite Solution
  • Lenovo
  • NWEA
  • OverDrive Education
  • VEX Robotics
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Smart Technologies
  • Epson
  • Nearpod
  • PowerSchool
  • HoverCam
  • ClassLink
  • TouchMath
  • Scholastic

How is the FETC information presented each day of the conference?

Each day of the conference is organized into ten sections as follows…

  • Morning Keynote speaker
  • Thought Leadership Sessions (45 minutes each)
  • Solution Provider Sessions (30 minutes each)
  • Learning Labs (20 minutes each)
  • In-Depth Product Demos (45 minutes each)
  • Apple Sessions (30-45 minutes each)
  • Microsoft Sessions (45 minutes each)
  • FETC Virtual Expo -11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. ET
  • Networking Lounge 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. ET
  • Afternoon Keynote 4:45 p.m. ET

The Virtual Expo gave attendees the opportunity to speak with product experts, watch product demos, download useful resources. There were raffles to enter, swag to grab and other things from the extensive list of exhibitors. Text-based conversations between attendees about the conference happened in the networking lounge. There is also a relaxation lounge that was open 24/7 during the conference to give attendees a break from the other conference events. 

Here is a link to more information about the conference.     

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