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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Flagship Ed-Tech Conference

Chatsworth, Calif. – More than 400 of the nation’s top technology companies, dozens of global experts on educational technology, thousands of educators and a well-known actor and environmentalist will converge on Orlando, Fla., in January when FETC 2010 convenes for its 30th anniversary conference.

Teachers, administrators, technology enthusiasts, bloggers and Web 2.0 experts have begun planning and registering to attend FETC 2010, one of the nation’s oldest and largest conferences devoted entirely to educational technology. The conference, which will be held at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center January 12-15, provides K-12 educators and administrators an opportunity to explore different technologies across the board, while increasing their familiarity with the latest hardware, software and successful strategies promoting student technology use.

The conference includes dynamic speakers, exhibitors and events, as well as the highly anticipated Opening Keynote Session on Jan. 13 which features Ed Begley Jr. – actor, environmental activist and star of the Planet Green series, Living with Ed! Begley will speak on the importance of education and personal responsibility for the environment.

“FETC is a great opportunity for educators from around the country to explore the latest in educational technology through workshops, speakers and hands-on experiences,” said Michael Eason, executive director of FETC. “Not only do attendees have the opportunity to learn about best practices from national experts, but they can also see and purchase the latest innovations in classroom technology from more than 400 exhibitors.”

FETC is known for being one of the most comprehensive and progressive ed-tech conferences in the country. This year’s conference will present more than 200 concurrent sessions and 80-plus ticketed workshops focusing on hot-topic areas such as 21st century skills, accountability, community connections, digital content, future and emerging technologies, virtual learning and many more. In addition, educators will be able to find solutions for working with tight budgets, improving curriculum and effectively integrating technology into the classroom.

New to this year’s conference is a “Brown Bag and Pre-Keynote Session” which will give attendees a first glimpse of the newest tech tools before the Opening General Session. Three of the nation’s foremost education technology leaders – Hall Davidson, Leslie Fisher and John Kuglin – will share their personal favorites while attendees enjoy a brown-bagged lunch. The 90-minute session will conclude with participants casting votes for their favorite “must have” ed-tech tool.

In addition to the keynote address, the conference will again present the signature “Eye-Opener Keynote” series, which are held each morning prior to the start of the session/workshop day. These informal, early morning gatherings feature inspirational speakers and innovative topics designed to generate thought and discussion throughout the day.

“Today’s economic and budget challenges make it even more essential for educators and administrators to attend professional development events such as FETC in order to learn about best practices and tools for extending limited resources,” said Eason. “Technology offers a way to do more with much less, and attending FETC is the best investment the budget-conscious educator can make in today’s economic climate. Plus, there are many resources, including American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Title I and II monies, available to help defray some of the costs of attending.”

The $4.35-billion Race to the Top Fund, which is part of the 2009 ARRA, is the largest competitive and federally-funded investment in school reform. The plan rewards schools for past accomplishments and creates incentives for future improvements. According to the U.S. Department of Education, one of the ways this federal stimulus money can be used is to recruit, retain, develop and reward effective teachers and principals. For more information on federal funding, go to www.ed.gov and search “ARRA.”

For more information on FETC 2010 – including a detailed list of sessions, exhibitors, ticketed workshops and registration information – visit www.fetc.org.

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