10 can’t-miss sessions at FETC that will inspire educators and leaders

These key discussions on emerging tech, leadership strategies and cyber safety can supercharge your districts.
Greg Bagby
Greg Bagby

The technology event that has something for every K-12 educator and administrator features a program that is wide-ranging and incredibly expansive.

Finding the perfect session to attend at the Jan. 25-28 Future of Education Technology Conference requires a bit of planning and precision, with hundreds of discussions and special workshops across five key categories. All feature experts in the field, those who have both shaped learning through technology or led the way on its implementation at small and large districts across the nation.

While featured speaker sessions and keynotes are always annual highlights, especially the engaging Tech Share LIVE!, there are scores of signature talks and dynamic leaders that cannot be missed. From those, District Administration, with the help of conference chair Jennifer Womble, selected 10 sessions that are sure to be standouts at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando:

    1. Leading and Teaming with District Technology Leaders: Three Superintendent Perspectives. Want to ensure your district’s digital transformation goes smoothly? Superintendents Mark Benigni (Meriden Public Schools, CT), Scott Muri (Ector County ISD, TX) and Matthew Miller (Lakota Local School District, OH) will share how they support and leverage the innovative work and input of chief technology officers and leaders.
    2. Let’s Bring Literacy To Life Through Making and Technology! On the Future of Ed Tech Library Media Specialist track, featured speaker Shannon McClintock Miller, the innovation director of instructional technology and library media at the Van Meter School District in Iowa, will show educators how to bring literacy to life through making and with digital tools and apps.
    3. Twenty-two for ’22: Tools and Trends to Inspire & Motivate. In thisfast-paced, lighthearted session guaranteed to tickle your geeky side”, Dr. Maureen Yoder will impart inexpensive new tips and tools—from AI, AR and VR to drones, robots and coding—that can make any teacher shine while truly activating classrooms.
    4. District Tech Leaders Power Panel: Reliance on other leaders during the pandemic has been essential for district technology leaders, and this panel led by Greg Bagby of the Hamilton County (TN) Department of Education will discuss the benefits of remote changes and teamwork across districts and the adaptation of face-to-face plans.
    5. Engaging EdTech Ideas for Digital Citizenship & Social/Emotional Learning. Christina Nunez, Educational Technology Specialist Trainer at Albuquerque Public Schools, addresses five key areas of digital citizenship (including media literacy, privacy, cyberbullying and hate speech) and SEL (including social awareness and responsible decision-making).
    6. How We Use Tech to Build Teachers Up Through Feedback. Michael Meechin, principal at NeoCity Academy (FL), will discuss how leaders can quantify the benefits of technology and give customizable and immediate feedback to instructional staff. The goal: offering technology that teachers want to improve their schools and student outcomes.
    7. Emerging Tech: Transforming Classrooms with Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Rachelle Dene Poth, Spanish and STEAM teacher at Riverview School District, and Jaime Donally of ARVRinEDU, will give attendees a primer on how new technologies can be implemented into classrooms to spark learning and excitement.

      Rachelle Dene Poth is a foreign language and STEAM teacher at Riverview Junior/Senior High in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She is a featured speaker for FETC.
      Rachelle Dene Poth
    8. STEM SAVES THE WORLD! Coming to a Screen Near You! In this mega session, TV creators and producers Kari Byron and Jenny Buccos of EXPLR Media talk about the importance of creative media in STEM subjects, especially science, while highlighting the impacts of storytelling for students.
    9. Education in the Crosshairs: K12 vs Cybercrime. A deep concern for any district, online crime has led to big payouts and data vulnerabilities. Get guidance from retired FBI Special Agent Scott Augenbaum and leaders from Forward Edge on mitigation strategies, the need for layered security, federal and state data privacy law implications and funding options.
    10. Coaching Through Uncertainty: Sustain Support With Empathy. On the Future of EdTech Coach, learn the four phrases you can use to reframe and reimagine support for educators and to better foster empathetic cultures. Featured speaker Brianna Hodges will provide guidance to help administrators and their teams lead schools through waves of anxiety, adversity and seemingly unending uncertainty.

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