#FETC Big Takeaways

I just got back from attending the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in SUNNY Miami Florida. As with any conference, the important step is to reflect on what was learned and then moving forward think about how what you learned can be implemented to increase student learning in your district and/or school.

So, how do I reflect and condense three days of sessions, networking and for me the Coaching Summit into manageable bites? I’m going to give it my best shot by adding my top 3 big takeaways here and then as I really dive into them I’ll continue to come back to more specifics.

    • This year FETC added two new tracks, one being Future of Edtech Coach. Networking with fellow Edtech Coaches was awesome! What I learned was many of us struggle with the same issues, ie what our job really is and keeping the focus where it needs to be: with the learning, not the tools. Brianna Hodges (@bhodgesEDU) had us think about what our jobs are, making a list of what we do, then a list of what we did the last two days on the job and compare. Do we know our why?  When you know your why your what has more impact because you are walking in or toward your purpose. Further questions to reflect on:
      • What is your why?  Do the teachers you work with know their why?
      • Are we there for the teachers or for the learning?
      • If ‘our job is to design personalized professional learning pathways’ then what does this look like in the professional learning we facilitate and how do we develop dynamic learning experiences?
    • Technology shouldn’t be in isolation, and neither should unpacking standards. We as educators need to stop putting the different parts of learning into their own compartments.
      • If I am a ‘liaison between the learner and learning’ then I need to facilitate learning by starting with identifying the standard, outcome and then the how of ‘how will the learning be facilitated.’ It requires me to know all the parts of the learning, or at the very least, be good at facilitating the conversation with the teachers in front of me.
    • The true power of edtech is to help our students see the impact they can have for #socialgood. I was very excited to attend and hear Dr. Jennifer Williams (@JenWilliamsEdu) speak about her many projects, specifically The Goals Project. I believe strongly that projects like this are why we are able to, and should, learn from each other on a global level. Building a more just and caring world has to be our priority. My goal will be to get more of my schools and their staff/students involved in global #socialgood projects this year.

And finally the best quote of the conference:

The smartest person in the room is the room.

Let’s keep the networking going and continue to help each other as we move forward in our roles as edtech coaches! This job isn’t about me, but rather about we. We got this, but only if we value each other and the room of educators all around us!

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