ORLANDO, Fla. — The 35th annual FETC conference began in Orlando on Jan. 20, offering a space for educators, school administrators and tech experts from across the country and globe to explore current and emerging technologies. FETC is the largest educational technology conference on the East Coast with an anticipated attendance of more than 8,500, and will run through Jan. 23.
FETC 2015 will feature speakers, exhibitors and events designed to provide PK-12 educators and administrators access to emergent technologies and cutting-edge programs. Attendees will have access to more than 400 sessions, 475 interactive vendor exhibits, and STEM-, maker- and game-based learning events. Exhibitors represent a number of areas from furnishings to communication and include Classroom Technology Solutions, Dell, Califone and Samsung Electronics America, to name a few.
Opening keynote speaker Jane McGonigal, director of games research and development at the Institute for the Future and a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games, kicked off the event on Jan. 20. McGonigal is the author of “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.” Her keynote focused on how games are transforming the way we lead our real lives and how they can challenge players to tackle real-world problems.
Other notable keynotes include Jennifer Lawton, CEO of MakerBot, who will speak on the expected proliferation of 3D printing in schools; former West Virginia Governor and current President of Alliance for Excellent Education Bob Wise; and MIT Biomechanics Engineer David Moinina Sengeh.
Also on the agenda are 150 ticketed workshops targeting 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 various curriculum areas.
Several new additions to the FETC lineup for 2015 include a game-based learning arcade; 20-minute aspire sessions to help teachers quickly learn new skills; fast-paced, interactive round table discussions; a maker’s hub to encourage attendees to build, play and explore; and a STEM Excellence Awards ceremony recognizing achievements and innovation across the field.