The Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) is one of the largest major educational technology conferences in the world. People will be traveling from across the globe to learn the latest and greatest tech tools to implement in the classroom. Many of the break-out sessions are geared for special education teachers to learn about assistive technology and other general technologies that could help special needs children to be successful inside and outside of the classroom.
Even if you are not able to attend this outstanding conference, many of the sessions will be available either live or archived online along with all of the session materials. Another great way to follow the conference is through social media including Twitter, Edmodo, Facebook, and FourSquare. This is an excellent way to build your PLN.
Special Education Sessions
If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend this conference, here are some special education technology sessions that I suggest you visit.
Luis Perez and Ezzard Bryant will be presenting a session about infusion of iPad and iPod technology in the special education classroom. They will focus on the built in options with these devices that can be used with special needs students along with many free and low-cost apps.
Shannon Sullivan will be presenting about apps for special needs students with ADHD, ASD, developmental delays, and vision impairments. The apps shared in this session will help students with organization and communication skills along with behavior management techniques. Another goal of her session will be to get the attendees interacting with the various apps. Hands-on learning is always fun and you leave the session with an “I can do” attitude.
Beth Christner’s session is a panel-based discussion focused on elementary special needs students who are taught in the traditional classroom. The panelists include all individuals, including parents, who are involved in the education process on a daily basis. The technology tools discussed in this session are typical tools already found in many classrooms including computers, digital cameras, document readers, and interactive boards. The panel will share their creative teaching strategies and implementation strategies of technology to reach all learners.
Must See Sessions
There are a few speakers that I make sure to attend their sessions every year. Their motivational and high energy speaking style encourages the participants to integrate innovative applications of technology in the classroom. Be sure to show up early for these speakers as their sessions will fill up fast.
Leslie Fisher is a technology consultant with a background in Internet research. She is a very engaging speaker with a fun sense of humor and interactive presentation style. This year, her session is about technology gadgets teachers can use to manage their classroom.
Howie DiBlasi is a lively speaker who loves to share his knowledge. His two sessions this year are on technology for the future and technology projects in the classroom. He is a definite must see at FETC.
Rushton Hurley is a very energetic speaker. This year he his session is on how to engage teachers in adopting technology in their classroom. This would be a great session for tech trainers and coordinators on how to get everyone on board with using technology as a tool in the classroom. He will provide a wealth of resources and strategies. His non-profit organization, Next Vista for Learning, encourages teachers and students to use video creation as a tool for learning.
Gail Lovely is a great speaker to see if you teach young learners. She provides so many tools, tips, and tricks for engaging young learners using technology. Her session this year is about tech tools for tots.
Kathy Schrock is the Director of Technology for the Nauset Public Schools. She has a top education website called Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators which is hosted by Discovery Education. Her sessions will be on Twitter and the future of technology in education.
Please check the FETC official website for updated times and locations for all sessions mentioned in this post. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, TechSavvyLaura, for updates and resources from the sessions I attend at FETC.
Do you have any sessions or speakers to suggest? Are you presenting this year at FETC? Share your session by commenting.
Article by Laura Ketcham
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