FETC Recap: The Most Connected Conference of 2013
Posted by: Lucia Giacomantonio
This is a guest post from Patrick Fogarty, Faculty Advisor of Instructional Technology at Xaverian High School, Brooklyn, New York. If you are interested in contributing to the Edmodo Blog, please complete this form.
FETC is like the older, bigger cousin of most other conferences I’ve attended, this year it was also the most “connected” conference I’ve ever attended. Despite its intimidating size and breadth, Florida’s biggest ed tech event kept its attendees wired and in touch at every turn.
1:1 Mobile Device Deployments
I was lucky enough to speak to a crowded room about a topic near and dear to me: 1:1 mobile device deployments. My particular line of work has led me to a number of really interesting (coming soon to SXSW Edu 2013!), and I feel like I could easily fill four hours rather than forty minutes (though my audience might strenuously disagree).
I discussed cloud classrooms and the role Edmodo has had in our iPad deployment, and I spent nearly an hour after my presentation meeting with members of the audience, answering questions and providing whatever information I could to school leaders interested in ubiquitous classroom computing. I tweeted during my spiel and openly solicited new members of my Edmodo group.
I was able to check out several other presentations, and anything I missed I was able to catch up on via Twitter. The best quotes from each presentation were being shared by dozens of active tweeters, so I was able to keep up with the action happening around me even as I spoke at my own presentation.
The #FETC hashtag was alive with hundreds of attendees sharing thoughts, offering critiques, and participating in backchannels on a whole host of education technology topics. As a presenter, I was also able to share my materials using Edmodo, and that made life easier when members of the audience asked me to email them slides or wanted to take a look at my sources.
Tech Conference Tidal Wave
The FETC experience was well worth the trip, and I eagerly anticipate attending with no speaking agenda next year. I walked away impressed with everything about the conference, but I think what impressed me most was how much technology has changed these events.
We’re no longer limited to engaging with what’s in front of us; now, we can communicate with like-minded people without ever being in the same room, and we can share the best of what we experience with thousands of people with a few clicks. While I spoke, I could hear my iPhone alert me to Edmodo notifications telling me a few people followed through on my group join request after I displayed my group code.
I was connecting with the people in front me, and there are myriad ways we can and have stayed connected. And I’m willing to bet FETC is one of a coming tidal wave of conferences that will keep its participants engaged long after the last speech is delivered.