Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reflecting on FETC 2018

There truly is nothing more magical than Christmas in January.

In Florida.

At a 3-day edtech conference, appealing to my ever-loving joy-of-learning self.

With one of my favorite people in the world, a former teaching colleague... reliving our time at last year's FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference), and making new memories this year!

With 70° weather, when what you have left behind is 40°, maybe 50° weather.

45,000 steps on my Fitbit... 10 sessions (amounting to over a dozen hours of insight and education) ... multiple dozen of booths and poster presentations visited... and what feels like that many photos, notes, and links to check out. January really is the perfect time for this conference (for more reasons than just the weather). There's plenty of time for implementation here in the next 4 months of school before summer.

With Christmas in January, rather than holiday lights, the twinkling comes in the form of LED lights, iPad and laptop screens, and the idea-flashes that come with the inspiration of speakers of the 36th annual FETC conference last week. 

My favorite parts:

1. The 20 minute free chrome extensions presented by Dr. Lynn Herr. My reading specialists will be giddy and I can't wait to get them on our Chromebooks!

2. Getting inspiration from my girlfriend as we talked about her MakerLab and learning about all the things she found fascinating in her workshops.

Sir Ken Robinson
3. Hearing education guru Sir Ken Robinson and tech goddess Kathy Schrock share their own unique wit and wisdom.

4. Getting my book Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classrooms autographed by Monica Burns, realizing that we'd met about a decade ago as my partner in green and I visited her then-school (Alain L. Locke in NYC). With that partnership, later she and a team of their teachers came to visit us at our school to discuss our environmental initiatives. At the book signing, Monica and I discussed how both of our experiences at Alain L Locke ultimately and serendipitous led us both down our current paths.

5. Being able to walk away with at least 30 new-to-me websites and apps, ready to come home and more deeply explore each one... and eager to bring those back to my school to inspire both students and teachers alike!

6. Learning about the varied and amazing top 25 AALS websites (& resources there) from Shannon Miller... who's session last year at FETC 2017 turned me on to both Buncee and Padlet.

7. Speaking of Buncee...Hanging out with the Buncee crew, getting to meet other Buncee Ambasadors "live and in person," both at the conference and after hours.

It all reminded me how vital it is to step out of your daily routine, take a break, explore new things in your field (expanding the field of vision of those things you love), and to never stop learning or connecting.

My walk-away websites & apps to investigate, & you might want to check out too.

  1. Post-It Plus
  2. Chatterpix
  3. KidLit.TV
  5. Book Creator
  6. Little Bird Tales
  7. Flipgrid
  8. Booktrack
  9. Google Draw
  10. Google Keep
  11. Google My Map
  12. Classhook
  13. My Simpleshow
  15. Spreaker
  16. Write the World
  17. Sugarcane
  18. Baamboozle
  19. Vizia 
  20. Cite This For Me
  21. Formative
  22. Rewordify
  23. OER Commons
  25. Nearpod
  26. Adobe Spark 
  27. Listenwise
  28. CommonLit
  29. Media Smarts
  30. American Association of School Librarians Website: Tools & Resources
  31. Make Belief Comix
  32. Sutori
  33. Hyperdocs
Of course, as I look at them in number list here, my work is cut out for me! 

Maybe I'll take it a day at a time. Leading me forward, look at where I'll be a month from now! 

That's the beauty of being out in the learning world of FETC... you come away so completely rich! Yes, richer for the experience, indeed!

Pics from my camera and my experience down at FETC 2018.

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