Although Lebron James may have been named the MVP of the 2016 NBA Finals, he didn’t single-handedly win the championship series for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had the help of several of his teammates, including fellow high scorer Kyrie Irving and rebounding big men Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, in order to achieve that elusive NBA champion ring for Cleveland. After all, as the saying goes, “There is no I in team” and even the great Lebron James needed a group of fellow professional basketball players to support his quest for a championship.
Educators and school administrators could consider the National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) to be their championship series, the one event to pull out all the stops for and leave everything on the court – or exhibition floor. And, just like games in the NBA Finals, it’s always better as a team. Attending a conference together offers a unique opportunity for a team to interact with one another outside of work in a relaxed, low-pressure atmosphere. By allowing for informal socializing to take place naturally, team members can develop deeper relationships with colleagues, engendering greater levels of trust and collaboration that can lead to higher performing, championship-caliber teams.
Not only is attending FETC just more fun when you have your colleagues beside you, but it also allows you to take advantage of so much more than if you were to attend the event on your own. With more than 150+ workshops and 400 sessions etc., getting to every single session that you’re interested in is just not going to be possible. By attending FETC as a team, however, you can strategize ahead of time about ways to optimize your time as well as that of your colleagues.
For instance, the conference offers five distinct tracks under the Future of Ed Tech theme – Administrator, Early Learning, Educator, Information Technology and Special Education. You may decide that it makes sense to bring one person from each of these roles to attend a handful of related sessions, converse with experienced session leaders and network with peers in the field, and then each team member can report out on their findings and experiences when you’re back on your home court. Of course, you’ll all want to spend time together during the engaging and informative keynote and general sessions, including Awesome New Technologies, A Wake-Up Call: Breaking Down Barriers to High-Impact Instruction, and Tech Share Live.
With the interactive conference agenda, you can search all of the available sessions using a variety of criteria, such as date and time a session is offered, presenter name and topic. You may find it helpful to enter specific search terms, such as “Google” or “STEM,” to find all related sessions and assign topics to your attendees to maximize the information gathering on that subject. With topics ranging from coding to podcasts to makerspaces, there truly is something for every educator, school leader, administrator, technologist, special ed director and early childhood specialist at FETC.
And, if you’re having trouble convincing the person or people responsible for approving your team’s professional development requests, check out the helpful FETC Justify page, which outlines the many ways that FETC will help not only you but your team grow and enhance performance, communication and connections.