Jan 10 2020

FETC 2020 Touts Esports, Experts and Future of Education

The 40th annual event is expected to draw more than 10,000 educators to Florida to learn about emerging educational technology.

The 40th annual Future of Education Technology Conference is once again offering an opportunity to start the new year learning about the latest educational technology as well as related trends, strategies and best practices related to teaching and learning. 

This year, the event will be held Jan. 14 to 17 in Miami. The conference, which drew more than 10,000 attendees in 2019, includes tracks tailored to library media specialists, education coaches, IT professionals, administrators and other educators. There’s even a track specifically focused on inclusion and special education. The conference also touts an Expo Hall the size of 62 basketball courts that includes hundreds of companies. 

Opening Keynote Examines Motivation and Engagement

The experts lined up for keynote addresses as well as individual sessions are a primary draw for this conference — and the slate of experts highlighted for FETC promises not to disappoint.

Bestselling nonfiction author Daniel Pink will give the opening keynote address, “Leadership, Innovation, and the Surprising Truth of Human Motivation.” The discussion will address behavior, the future of work, and “how to use social science to do work a little better” — topics that are a natural fit for educators “who are dealing with the modern school system and a whole array of emerging technology,” Pink says in a video announcing his participation. 

Pink is “extremely skilled at articulating the factors behind motivation and engagement, essential elements for everyone in the education field to understand and consider,” says Robert Avossa, former superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County, now senior vice president and publisher of educational products for LRP Publications, in an announcement about the keynote. 

Co-presenter Alberto Carvalho is superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, one of the nation’s largest school districts. Miami-Dade has a one-to-one computing program, enrolls more than 345,000 students and employs about 40,000 people

Focusing on Underrepresented Students in STEM

Justin Shaifer, executive director of the nonprofit educational organization Fascinate, will give the closing keynote address, “Bring STEM to Class: A Practical Guide to Education.” The 24-year-old Shaifer’s work centers around boosting under-represented students’ interest in STEM. 

Another keynote, “Tech Share Live,” is slated to feature:

  • Adam Bellow, co-founder of Breakout EDU
  • Hall Davidson, senior director of Global Learning Initiatives for Discovery Education
  • Leslie Fisher, educational technologist and director of lesliefisher.com
  • Kathy Schrock, CEO of kackl! tech training and support

MORE FROM EDTECH: Learn how the rise in state-sanctioned esports events benefits K–12 schools.

New Arena and Sessions Offer Deep Dive into Esports

Esports will get significant attention at the conference, which will feature a new Esports Gaming Arena, powered by CDW, where attendees can play games and witness competitions. FETC has also partnered with the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors to offer sessions about esports targeted to administrators. 

Those sessions, as well as others scheduled throughout the event, will address topics such as how to start an esports program, building esports arenas, and lessons learned from administrators and other educators who already have experience with school-based esports programs. 

EdTech is heading to FETC, so keep an eye on this page for conference coverage. Follow @EdTech_K12 on Twitter for live updates, and join the conversation at #FETC.

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