The Florida Educational Technology Conference was last week (January 25th through the 27th in Orlando. A group of like-minded cohorts and I packed our things and headed off to spend a technology-filled three days amongst ET’s brightest and newest. There are three parts to FETC. The Expo-Hall, the sessions, and the workshops. The Expo-Hall is similar to walking through the middle of the mall with the cosmetic-products-made-from-grape-people where if you make eye-contact, you are in for at least a ten-minute lecture on why you are doing everything wrong with your skin and only their product can fix it. In other words, know what you want to see beforehand and don’t look up… or else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s AMAZING to see all the companies you are familiar with, and learn about new ones you are not… but MAN those people can sell, sell sell! You can tell right off if the person is a business major or an education major!

The Expo-Hall is similar to walking through the middle of the mall with the “cosmetic-products-made-from-grapes-people” where if you make eye-contact, you are in for at least a ten-minute lecture on why you are doing everything wrong with your skin and only their product can fix it. In other words, know what you want to see beforehand and don’t look up… or else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s AMAZING to see all the companies you are familiar with, and learn about new ones you are not… but MAN those people can sell, sell sell! You can tell right off if the person is a business major or an education major!

The second part of FETC is the sessions. These come with a basic full pass. There are tons to choose from, at least ten every alternating hour. The titles are really well thought out and creative. We found this year, however, that the content was very basic and for rookie techies. Much of what was presented to us was introductory level and things we already applied. Our goal next year will be to present ourselves! (so exciting!)

Finally, the third part is the workshops. At around $200 a workshop, this blogger will not be able to tell you how they were. I can only imagine they were well worth the money.

The other great thing about FETC is…. the FREE STUFF! Each booth has anything from a pencil to a t-shirt. Better be quick or the free stuff will run out… fast! You can always clearly see which booth has the best free stuff by the line behind it. The new term for free stuff is “swag” so collecting swag is first and foremost for us teachers on a budget!

Lasting impressions:

  1. BrainPop is coming out with some new features which are sure to excite the kiddos.
  2. Safari Montage doesn’t stink anymore (#hashtag)
  3. Promethean knows what they are doing in terms of interactive panels.
  4. Bloxels are a new and interesting addition to anyone’s Makerspace.
  5. If you are not collaborating with Google Hangouts across various schools… you should be… so get on that!

fetc-blog

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