FETC is AMAZING

*Cross posted on http://blog.fetc.org/2017/01/12/nancys-top-7-for-fetc-2017/

FETC is 2 weeks away!

I am so excited to be able to attend the AMAZING FETC again this year! I have been avidly reading the session offerings and can not decide what to attend…I have 3 or 5 choices marked for each session! I have vendors I can not wait to see! Here is what I am most looking forward to:

 

Always engaging poster sessions are my favorite part of FETC. For an hour,
teachers share the things that work for their kids and help you develop ideas for use in your classroom. There are two poster session areas a couple of times a day. SO many great contacts and ideas all in one area! Go in, read over the posters, talk to the presenter and learn how you can take their success and apply it to your classroom. Make sure you have a QR reader, like I-nigma that can read a QR code from a distance.

 

Maker is my jam! For two years I saw maker at FETC and said nope not for me. Then I tried it… and it was the best thing I have ever done in 17 years of teaching. My students loved the hands-on, student-centered world of maker. They learned, they grew, they made decisions, and problem solved and I … sat back and watched and was in charge of the exacto knife and hot glue gun. I highly suggest you check out sessions on Maker and figure out how you can work it in. And don’t think I’m a classroom teacher I can’t…this year we are targeting our maker toward Social Studies and Science. 4th grade is working on making a Spanish mission and 5th grade is making the 13 colonies. They are all different and all student led…and the learning is amazing!

 

Accessible and paperless! Many presenters will give you a qr code or link that allows you to access their information. This will help keep you load light during the conference and save the planet. Too! I find when I bring home papers, they tend to end up in the trash. When I scan a QR code or save a link, I keep the information and share it with my fellow educators more often. I also tend to go back and access the information for weeks or even years to come.

 

Zipping through the hallways looking for members of my PLN and new folks to meet! I love conferences as a chance to schmooze and find people to help me along my way. In my school I am the only one of my kind. I teach media/technology and there is no one else who does what I do. I need my PLN to help me with ideas and keep me on track. I need to meet new people as well so I never get “stale”. FETC is a great place to meet people who are teaching classes like mine, as well as people who are classroom teachers, high school instructors, professors and more. Be open, step out of your comfort zone, put down your device introduce yourself to at least two new people each day! Bring along your business cards with your email and Social Media contacts so you can connect!

 

Industry leaders who share their products are great! At FETC you will be able to visit the vendor hall and see the newest and greatest, as well as the tried and true. Vendors will compete for your time and give away great prizes, but it can be a bit overwhelming. My friend spends hours walking the show floor and seeing everything. I can’t manage that. For my sanity and feet, I make a plan of who I want to visit and what I need to know about and I stop at those booths. It is important to me to be organized in my time, so I look at my schedule and select an hour to just be in the expo hall. It helps me stay organized and allows me to see the vendors I need to see without missing any sessions I really want to be a part of. Make sure you also take time to check out the Pitchfest and see new, exciting companies and ideas.

 

Necessary time to recharge! It’s January and as much as I love my teachers and students, I am in need of a burst, a lift, a shot of adrenaline. I get that from FETC. It is amazing…and sometimes overwhelming. There are so many sessions, so many people, so many vendors, so many great ideas! While I buzz around during the day, I also take time at night to settle, think, and reflect about what went on that day. You have to plan downtime so your battery can recharge- but not overheat and explode!

 

Generous amounts of learning! This year FETC has added tracks the session descriptors to help people find the information that is “just right” for them. Administrators, Early Learning, Educator, Special Ed, and Information Technology. These tracks help narrow down the course offerings and let you know if you are looking at the right sessions. There is nothing worse than selecting a session you think is about one area, only to figure out once you are in that you are in a totally different category. Been there, done that a few times. With these designations I know that what I may have thought was a teacher session was actually more of an IT session. Be sure you sort your session by track, but don’t feel like you can’t mix and match. Maybe you teacher Kindergarten, but see a session in the Admin track you are interested in, it’s okay go for it!
Get ready for an AMAZING conference! Wear comfy shoes, bring a jacket, make sure you have battery packs or chargers and have a great time learning with others! Connect with me on Twitter @penchevable!

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