From January 27-30, hundreds of creative professionals will flock to Orlando to attend the Future of Education Technology Conference. For the past 38 years, FETC has introduced new education technology and discussed important issues in the field, helping thousands of students, teachers, schools, and districts. Join our founder and CEO, Nader Hamda, along with other top names in the industry at this year’s 39th annual FETC event!
What to Expect at the Conference
FETC isn’t your typical conference. Attendees are an active part of the conference who help move the workshops forward. From roundtables where you can get to know other educators to small group sessions where you can ask questions, FETC allows for people to share ideas and insights into the modern classroom experience.
There are five key groups of people who attend FETC:
- Information technology professionals
- Inclusion and special education instructors
- Early learning leaders
Each target audience has its own conference track so you can participate in sessions and learn from speakers specific to your needs. You can also explore the EXPO hall and talk with representatives from hundreds of companies working to build technology for the next generation of learners. At Ozobot Edu Booth #2731, you can get hands-on with our bots and discover why so many teachers love our 2 Ways to Code.
Who to See When You’re at FETC
FETC organizers pride themselves on selecting unbiased presenters. They make it clear which panels are presented by sponsors so attendees can understand when they are hearing a paid presentation. Each presenter is picked based on the quality of the information they can offer to those who hear them speak. Below are just a few of the top names you can expect to see this year.
Familiar Ozo Faces
Along with astronauts and entrepreneurs, you can expect to see some familiar Ozobot faces at FETC this year. Ozo team members Theresa and Cassandra will be kicking off the conference at the Early Learning Digital Sandbox on Monday the 28th. Catch them there where they’ll be showcasing how Ozobots bring coding and STEAM into elementary school classrooms.
FETC also gives you a chance to hear directly from our fearless leader, CEO Nader Hamda. Nader was inspired to create Ozobot after watching his daughters scroll to nowhere on their smartphones. He wanted to develop a solution that would encourage them to create with technology rather than just consume it. Now, Ozobots Evo and Bit can be found in more than 10,000 schools inspiring students (and teachers!) to learn to code and to stop thinking of programming as a complex subject that only a few people can understand.
We highly recommend that you catch Nader’s session Gaming & the Classroom: How Can Edu Level Up? on Tuesday. Kids love games and gaming, but schools tend to ignore this method of learning and emphasize testing and test results. This session will review how educators can use gaming concepts to engage students and explore personalized learning.
If you miss Nader’s Learning Lab, don’t despair! He’s hosting a second session on Wednesday, where he’ll cover similar topics on Wednesday. That’s a whole lot of Ozobot at FETC, so here’s a quick summary of everything we’re up to:
- Ozobot Edu Booth #2731
- Early Learning Digital Sandbox: Monday, January 28 from 8:00–11:00 am
- Gaming & the Classroom: How Can Edu Level Up? Learning Lab hosted by CEO Nader Hamda: Tuesday, January 29 from 2:00–2:40 pm
- Why Aren’t We Teaching Tech Literacy session hosted by CEO Nader Hamda: Wednesday, January 30 from 1:00–1:40 pm
Video courtesy of @EnterpriseCUSD
Outstanding Keynote Speakers
If you need a reason to attend FETC this year, look at their keynote speaker list. Headlining the conference are Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, and Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut and educator.
Khan Academy has been helping students learn since 2008. After tutoring family members by phone while he worked in a hedge fund, Sal Khan decided to leave the security of his job to develop tutoring materials for kids. His 501c(3) nonprofit was founded through grants from Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To this day, the learning materials are free and have been translated into more than 36 languages.
Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to go into space. The multi-lingual physician, Peace Corps volunteer, and advocate for science education has also founded two technology companies. Along with presenting her keynote speech, Dr. Jemison will also be presenting the FETC STEM Excellence Awards, where nine schools are recognized for their efforts to promote science, tech, engineering, and math education to their students.
Rounding out the keynote presentations is a TechSHARE Live panel with: cofounder of Breakout EDU Adam Bellow; senior director of global learning initiatives at Global Learning Hall Davidson; K-12 EdTech conference presenter Leslie Fisher; and educational technologist Kathy Schrock.
Learn From Top Leaders in the Industry
There are dozens of impressive speakers who will be sharing their insight at FETC this year; however, a few stand out above the rest. These are just a couple sessions and names we are excited to hear from this year:
Tanaga Boozer Helps You Engage Students in App Design
Tanaga Boozer, J.D., program advisor for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, coordinates seminars for STEAM professionals who have creative ideas they want to develop and market. Do you have the next Ozobot idea? Then you can’t miss her session with Terry Guiffré: “STEAM It, Code It, Invent an App!”
Brian Collins Brings Disney Magic to FETC
Innovation consultant Brian Collins is founder of The Brainstorm Institute and a former Walt Disney Imagineer who has helped design elements in most of the theme parks. He teaches “Entertainment Technology and Innovation” at the University of Central Florida and is passionate about education and helping instructors engage kids. Look for his session with Timothy Wilhelmus: “How to Disney: Lessons From the Mouse.”
Tim Hudson Makes Education Personal
Tim Hudson, Ph.D., chief learning officer at DreamBox Learning, works with teachers to make the classroom more personalized through data and AI to better engage students. This is the central topic for his session: “The Good, the Bad, and the Future of Personalized Learning.”
The Squirrels Girls Share Insight Into Student Marketing
Becky Shiring, director of professional development at wireless presentation and device management software provider, Squirrels, is presenting “How to Use Marketing Concepts in the Classroom: Students As Customers” with her colleague Emily Carle Hafer. Learn how marketing concepts are used in the classroom and how you can take advantage of them to engage students.
Erin Klein Shares Her Latest Ideas and Projects
Erin Klein, founder of Kleinspiration, is an educator and speaker who advocates for the student voice and creative classroom design. Her most recent publication, “Amazing Grades,” was created through a collaboration with leaders from 13 countries around the world.
Klein is leading multiple sessions related to personalized instruction, but be sure to check out “Design Thinking Across the Curriculum” for educators.
Many of these speakers feature question and answer parts of their presentation, so be sure to have your queries ready to pick their brains for how you can improve your classroom.
Prepare for the Conference With Webinars and Resources
If you can’t wait to attend FETC this year and want to get a peek into the lessons and ideas that lay ahead, check out a few of the webinars and resources that they already have online. Come prepared to ask presenters questions based on their materials so you can get the most out of your experience.
Ozobot is honored to participate in this year’s Future of Education Technology Conference and we look forward to seeing you there!
Images by: Ozobot and kasto/©123RF.com