Future of Education Technology Conference 2016

On January 12-15, the Future of Education Technology Conference occurred in Orlando, Florida. The DePorres pages was there, and we will be posting some highlights of our time there in the days ahead. This year’s conference focused on the following areas, each explained below as described on the FETC website.

Communication and Collaboration Presentations address how educators can manage and utilize technology to communicate with colleagues, parents, students and the broader community, as well as to create mutually beneficial school-community partnerships using a variety of communication tools including Web portals, wikis, websites, email and electronic notifications. These presentations also showcase how educators are utilizing technology to incorporate global activities that connect students internationally through project-based learning, e-pals, online projects, virtual communication, multi-cultural application development and on-site visits.

Digital Teaching Tools and Game-Based Learning Presentations address electronic content and digitized materials for students, as well as instructional technologies and digital toolkit enabling instructors to customize learning materials, introduce content and engage students with Web 2.0 creativity tools. Presenters will demonstrate how to leverage growing online resources, Web tools and burgeoning digital knowledge base.

Educational Policy and Leadership Presentations focus on educational policy and the use of technology as a strategic tool for school improvement and transformation, including: state/federal technology grants, data-driven decision making, teacher evaluation tools, how to make purchasing and budgeting decisions, facilities management, and implications of the national standards. Presentation topics will also feature data and communications for instructional information processing and reporting, including Web development, dashboards, databases and student information systems.

Emerging Technologies and Maker Tools Presentations explore how to incorporate emergent technologies, nascent digital tools and technological resources to enhance education and the learning environment as well as to solve educational issues. These initiatives represent the most innovative thinking in the application of technology and technology strategy in education and are highly regarded models of adoption in the education technology community.

Instructional Design Presentations address how educators and students are using available technologies to expand their learning environment beyond the classroom and engage all learners. Presenters will share practical strategies used by effective faculty to plan, integrate curriculum and manage technology in their classrooms. You’ll also learn how educators and students are using the online and hybrid learning environments to promote high academic performance.

Mobile Learning Presentations spotlight how educators and learners utilize tablets, eReaders, Netbooks, laptops, smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices to enhance the learning environment, deliver curriculum and content using an untethered method to foster student engagement, and build learning communities. Best practices shared will highlight effective teacher technology integration training and just-in-time technology solutions to common problems.

Online and Blended Learning Presentations describe methods of teaching and learning in which the online delivery of content is facilitated by various technologies including video, voice, audio, online collaboration tools and correspondence over the Internet. Highlighting technologies that offer a great deal of flexibility in when, where and how education is distributed, presentations feature ways to improve interactive communication, assessment, feedback, support and content delivery whether it is synchronous or asynchronous.

Professional Development Presentations include a variety of specialized training, formal education or advanced professional learning to help administrators, teachers and other educators improve their professional knowledge, competence, skill and effectiveness. Presenters will demonstrate effective professional development programs including furthering education and knowledge in a teacher’s subject area, funding models, delivery methods, action research, mentoring structures, specialized techniques, certification approaches, technological utilization and training procedures.

Technology Infrastructure Presentations focus on the use of technology infrastructure to support the management of information systems and learning environments such as desktop virtualization, implementation of 1:1 computing, solutions to bandwidth issues, implementation of wireless environments and the roll out of mobile devices. Presentations can also focus on campus safety and security (i.e. cyberbullying and security within social networking, as well as campus-wide security issues).

For 36 years, FETC has brought together more than 8,500 education leaders and technology experts to exchange techniques and strategies for teaching and learning success. Known worldwide for its outstanding program, FETC provides educators and administrators the opportunity to explore the integration of technology across the curriculum — from kindergarten to college — through hands-on exposure to the latest hardware, software and successful strategies.

FETC offers a wealth of information for all education professionals:

  • Superintendents
  • Principals and Vice Principals
  • Technology-using Educators
  • District-level Leaders
  • Curriculum Designers
  • Media Specialists
  • Technology Directors/Technologists
  • Instructional Support Staff
  • Non-instructional Support Staff


For more information check out the FETC website at http://www.fetc.org.

Education Website of the Week: Te@ch Thought

What is it?

TeachThought, LLC is a progressive learning brand dedicated to supporting educators in evolving learning for a 21st century audience.

Most visibly, this starts with thought leadership and practical solutions for K-20 teachers via the TeachThought blog. It then extends to our design of learning models, curricula, technology, apps, and other learning tools to experiment with a combination of utopic opining and data-driven and research-supported thinking.

TeachThought is primarily interested in exploring new learning models, including blended learning, project-based learning, self-directed learning, and the role of play in learning while also supporting existing K-20 educators as they seek to improve their own craft in practice today. So, a balance of reality and possibility.

TeachThought’s mantra is simple: learn better.

Our mission is illuminate and actuate optimal learning for everyone, everywhere. This starts with helping smart teachers teach smart, and it extends to work with like-minded organizations to bring visibility and traction to their ideas.

The pie-in-the-sky goal is a modern enlightenment that results in healthy communities and interdependent citizens–and we believe that this can happen much more simply than it’d seem.

The secret is to change the way people think about learning. It’s possible more than ever to create learning spaces that are personalized, self-directed, social, and creative. This requires new tools and models, but more importantly a paradigm shift in how everyone–educators and otherwise–thinks about “education.”

What Makes TeachThought Different?

There are a lot of great blogs and organizations out there. What makes TeachThought unique is our macro view of the learning process, from culture and community to specific classroom practice. We are a brand that participates in every level of teaching and learning, from the dreaming to the practice.


It is our position that all learning should result in substantive personal and social change.

Our ideas are heavily influenced from a wide variety of thinkers, from Wendell Berry to David Foster Wallace, David Hume to Henry David Thoreau, Jean Paul Sarte to Jeremy Bentham, Ken Robinson to Daniel Pink, Maria Popova to Grant Wiggins–and countless souls in between.

This concept includes the relationship between culture, communities, and the institutions and curriculum purported to serve them, as well as emerging technologies and media.