Jan 17 2024

FETC 2024: Conference Will Tackle Highly Captivating Topics in K–12 Innovation

This year’s ed tech event promises even more opportunities for professional development in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cybersecurity and esports.

Educators, administrators and IT experts will kick off the new year with one of the biggest national ed tech conferences for K–12 educators: the Future of Education Technology Conference. Now in its 44th year, the conference will run from Jan. 23-26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. With seven tracks including assistive technology, campus leadership, coaching, IT and library media, the event promises something for everyone.

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Keynotes Will Focus on AI, Barriers to Change and Favorite Ed Tech

This year’s FETC lineup will include keynote speakers such as Tucker Bryant, a former product manager at Google who now uses poetry to help leaders “overcome our universal barriers to change and unlock the doors to innovation.” His keynote on the future of learning kicks off at 1 p.m. Jan. 24.

Daniel Fitzpatrick, author of The AI Classroom: The Ultimate Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Education, will deliver a keynote at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 25. With AI continuing to inspire and confound educators and society as a whole, Fitzpatrick’s book and keynote are perhaps timelier than ever. After the session, the author will give away 200 signed copies of his bestseller.

The final keynote, at 1 p.m. Jan. 26, will feature three top ed tech leaders discussing the future of teaching. Adam Bellow, CEO and co-founder of Breakout EDU, along with past EdTech IT Influencers Leslie Fisher and Adam Phyall III will give attendees a tour of “fascinating tools and devices that are redefining the ed tech landscape.”

RELATED: Learn more about our 2023 EdTech Influencers and how to follow them.

Hands-On Opportunities in Esports and Other Immersive Technologies

A leading professional development conference, FETC gives attendees many opportunities to hear from and learn about ed tech innovators and innovations. Many sessions include hands-on training and chances to talk with leaders in the ed tech field.

“We know from all the research on implementation of different kinds of technologies that the more exposed you are and the more experience you have trying something yourself, the more likely you are and the more confident you are to integrate it in your classroom,” Jennifer Womble, FETC conference chair, recently said on the Stronger Together podcast.

The event will feature hands-on immersive virtual reality, 3D printing and robotics. As scholastic esports continues to be a trend in K–12, it should come as no surprise that there will be multiple opportunities to learn more about setting up a program. One of the highlights will undoubtedly be the CDW esports arena in the expo hall, where attendees can witness live gaming competitions and learn how esports can enhance career and college readiness.

HADO, the augmented reality sport from Japan, will also be onsite with its own arena, giving attendees the opportunity to play and learn about its academy program for educators.

DISCOVER: How modern teachers boost their ed tech skills.

FETC Sessions Geared Toward K–12 IT Technicians and Tech Leaders

As for the traditional sessions at FETC, there are hundreds to choose from, with many geared toward career advancement and upskilling for K–12 IT technicians. Some highlights include:

CDW also has several sessions designed for ed tech enthusiasts seeking more guidance on Windows 11 deployment, esports, school safety, AI and more. At the “Prepping for Windows 11 Deployment Best Practices” session, attendees will hear tips and tricks for planning, preparing for and launching a Windows 11 deployment at their schools or districts.

Those interested in learning how to lay the groundwork for meaningful esports programs at an early age may want to check out the “Esports Through the Years: From K to College and Beyond” panel discussion.

The “4 Pillars of School Safety” session will go beyond cameras and other elements of physical safety and address social-emotional learning and prevention. Finally, the “Driving AI Success in Our Schools” panel discussion, featuring practitioners and education and industry leaders, will discuss how K–12 leaders can integrate AI into their work.

To ensure you don’t miss a moment of FETC event coverage, keep this page bookmarked and follow @EdTech_K12 on X (formerly Twitter) for live updates and behind-the-scenes looks.

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