Big Idea 01: Eight Months!

As I write this, the official agenda for FETC 2019 is going to print, representing eight months of incredible work pulling together the best speakers presenting the most incredible topics to make FETC 2019 the best EdTech conference ever — especially for school IT leaders.

You may think our job is done, but launching the agenda is just the beginning! FETC 2019 will offer numerous workshops and concurrent sessions uniquely tailored to fit the needs of IT professionals. Since workshop space fills up fast, make the most of your FETC experience now by learning more about the IT track and reflecting on what would make your time at FETC the most worthwhile.

Take a moment to learn about some exciting new aspects of the 2019 FETC IT track and do some goal-setting to maximize your FETC experience:

New IT themes

One thing different about the FETC 2019 IT track is we created three major themes. These include:

Box-and-Wires: These technical, hands-on sessions include technology infrastructure, data administration, network security, student data systems, internet and wireless access, and mobile device management. This focus area caters to the IT technical staff members who need to understand the “how-to” of getting good work done. Within the IT track, find dedicated workshops that provide deep dives on this theme.

Future of IT: Catch glimpses of “what’s next” in school IT with immersive learning opportunities that prepare IT leaders and their staffs for emerging trends. This includes “game-changers” such as campus safety preparedness, cybersecurity and data privacy, digital ecosystems, network imperatives for achieving equity, data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing.

Leadership IT: Why is school IT leadership so important? How do I lead my team to successful outcomes? Grow your IT leadership skills by exploring the “why” of school IT and learn how to develop personal leadership talent, communication and storytelling skills, and team building techniques. Learn strategies for delivering on the important in the middle of the whirlwind.

Why did we do this? We did this to ensure that we uniquely tailored the IT track to meet your professional development and training needs. FETC brings high-level professional development content to chief information officers, information technology directors, and their teams from around the country, so we want to make it easy for any IT professional to find what they need in our program.

Likewise, you need to be very explicit about the reasons for attending the conference. Take a minute and write down your goals for the professional conference — the “why” you’re attending.

The “Why” in Why You Should Attend

Below is a goal-setting “launch” exercise that will help you focus on why you’re attending the conference to ensure you get the most out of your experience. I’ve listed them in a launch sequence so you can build towards your ultimate “why I am attending FETC 2019”:


  1. Boxes-and-Wires: What is one hard IT skill that I would like to further develop by attending a conference workshop?


  1. Future of IT: What is the one technology that I want to explore that will impact my professional practice in the next 3 to 5 years?


  1. IT Leadership: What is the one leadership skill that I should invest in at FETC 2019 that would advance my career as a school IT leader?


  1. Conference Connection: Who is the one person I need to meet, connect with, or reconnect with that will help me the most over the next 12 months?


  1. Finding my Why: After reflecting on the conference, what is the one takeaway from FETC 2019 that if achieved, will make the time, travel, and investment worth every penny?


Excited yet? We are only 152 days away …