FETC is one of the biggest conferences K-12 has to offer for innovative technology and inspirational tips. When I was in the classroom full time, my district could never send me to large conferences like FETC. I would see posts on social media and instantly get FOMO. If you couldn’t attend this year or might have missed something, I have all the updates for you!
Companies from all over show up to FETC ready to share their latest and greatest innovations to make the classroom more engaging, safer, healthier. Walking the expo hall at FETC 2023, I noticed booth after booth focusing on the mental health of students and educators. Talking with these mental health booths made my teacher heart happy—companies are finally getting it; we teach more than curriculum, we teach the whole child, and that’s a lot to ask of one teacher. We need support. Companies like Shmoop want to offer that!
STEM is taking over, and it’s so exciting! On the expo floor, I programmed and flew drones; I made pathways for a robot to follow (and dance). I controlled robots to play frisbee golf. There were STEM activities for every age group. In the past, when I would see STEM activities, I would think:
- We can’t afford this. Or,
- When do I have time to incorporate this?
Again, these companies are listening. Many are more affordable AND include lesson plans with standards!
Aside from the FETC 2023 expo hall, companies will have meeting rooms to host sessions that you can attend. Class hosted six different thought leadership sessions!
I am so thankful to present my sessions: Oh Crap Moments in Teaching, Making the Oh Crap Moments Count. This was a session I have been working on since the pandemic and was born when my principal at the time wanted to help the new teachers connect with their students and families through distance learning. I had to reflect on my past years as an educator and hone in on the Oh Crap moments that made me the teacher. In my sessions, I realized that so many educators want to relate and laugh. Our jobs are hard. It’s nice to have the opportunity to sit back, laugh at ourselves, and gain insight into small changes we can make that can have a big impact!
Dr. Gregory Hutchings presented his session: Getting Into the Good Trouble at School, It’s Time for a Revolution. If you haven’t had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Hutchings, I suggest finding his next speaking session or buying his new book. Dr. Hutchings focuses on achieving true systemic transformational change and created a guide to building an anti-racist school system. In his session, we laughed together, we cried together, and we took away concrete next steps to change our school systems. Some sessions you attend can leave you feeling a bit perplexed about the next steps, but not Dr. Hutchings. He held us accountable and suggested where we go if we want to dismantle systemic racism.
Robin Gonzales, the President and Founder of Zia Learning, presented alongside Class’s SVP of Education, Jason Bedford, their work in shifting how we look at standard education today. Bringing in a hybrid element of learning opens up a world of possibilities and support to students and teachers. Class allows students to learn any subject, from teachers around the world, in an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration.
My time at FETC 2023 was inspiring, humbling, and engaging. I am excited to see where the future of learning is heading. I hope to see you next year at FETC 2024!
To learn more about how you can maximize virtual learning, visit us at class.com/k12 or schedule your demo today.
5 Next-Generation Education Models
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