Check into Techshare LIVE! for laughs about the latest teaching tools
The panel of stars that wowed audiences at the Future of Education Technology Conference will return in person January 25-28, 2022, for its signature Tech Share LIVE! session at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.
Leslie Fisher, Kathy Schrock, Hall Davidson and Adam Bellow—who all had to endure more than a year of virtual speaker performances because of the COVID-19 pandemic—will get to unleash their insight, tech tools and incomparable banter face-to-face at FETC. What will be on that agenda is anyone’s guess. They have all agreed to keep it a secret (other than the Google Doc they’re sharing with one another).
“Any year but this year,” says Schrock, educational technologist extraordinaire whose Guide to Everything is truly that, when asked if she could reveal details. “Not this year, because we have such a good idea.”
Attendees can expect to see a bevy of product updates, the latest in apps, devices, hardware and software, and the one element that makes it THE event to register for at FETC—the tongue-in-cheek interplay between the EdTech leaders.
“It’s a very raucous event,” Schrock says. “Hall will take a handheld wireless microscope and stick it in my hair. We talk about educational finds. Adam always has a song that he parodies, and it’s all about education. It’s always fun. People just go crazy in there.”
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The CEO of Breakout EDU and father of two belting out tunes? Yes, for the past 10 years, Bellow’s singing has become a somewhat legendary staple at Tech Share LIVE!
“The first time I did the song thing, the night before in a hotel room I wrote a parody to Imagine Dragons,” Bellow recalls. “I don’t remember what it was. I remember thinking, I might embarrass myself, but apparently it got an OK reaction. I’ve done it every year since. So, there will be a song. I listen to pop music, try to pull out who we’re going to use. Last year, it was almost The Weeknd and then I went with Green Day. I was thinking I should try to do a mix of all the ones I’ve done in the past.” Another parody melody could get interesting, especially if it is as comedic or outrageous as one of his blasts from the past. “There was one year I did a Broadway Melody,” he says. “I wondered, is this even a Broadway crowd?”
Schrock, who has been speaking at FETCs since 1999 (other than on the occasion of the rare snowout or budget shortfall that forced her to remain home), also recalled some fond memories of the show, when Tech Share LIVE! was not quite the large-screen, ultra-professional production it is now.
“In our early days, we would do weird stuff; one of my sessions was all about sushi flash drives,” Schrock jokes. “And then I had one where I put on an apron and talked about kitchen technology. We used to do it when everyone was around and there was nothing to do. They finally gave us a room that held 1,800 people or something. It wasn’t off the cuff because we knew we were doing, but there would be funny educational stuff in there, for sure.”
Sushi drives and wit aside, there is an incredible amount of wisdom, gadget guidance and ideas being shared—Schrock has promised “technology tips for teachers”—in this fast-paced environment, perfect for every level of attendee within K-12 districts.
“It definitely is a very mixed audience,” Bellow says. “That’s what I love about that conference. It’s a great gathering of so many people, from all the district folks and superintendents to tons of tech people and all the teachers. It’s Orlando in January. For a destination conference, you can’t go wrong with that. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my year. I’m excited to be back with everybody. This will probably be my first in-person conference in two years. I would imagine it’s probably that way for most of the people that are traveling. This will be a really incredible experience for people.”
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