FETC Guest Post: Creating An Effective EdTech Ecosystem & Making the Best Use of Tech Tools

The 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place in Orlando, Florida, from January 27-30. In this Presenter Q&A Roundtable, a number of conference presenters share their perspectives on some of the compelling education questions of today. Read below to see what they shared, and to find out what sessions each will present at FETC. 

What is one common edtech mistake and how can educators overcome it?

The single most common edtech mistake is this: Believing that using edtech in schools will automatically result in transformational teaching and increased student achievement. Sadly, the evidence doesn’t support the hype; the average impact of edtech on student achievement is both dismal and unchanged for the last 50 years (Hattie in Magana, 2018). Read more.

Featured FETC Speakers:

Sonny Magana

Magana Education

Dr. Sonny Magana is an award-winning educator, best-selling author, and pioneering educational technology researcher. Sonny is a highly sought-after leadership consultant and instructional coach with more than thirty years’ experience helping educational systems around the world realize the power of transcendent learning. The author of numerous research studies and articles, Sonny’s newest book, “Disruptive Classroom Technologies: A Framework for Innovation in Education,” was published to international acclaim. Sonny founded and served as Principal of Washington State’s first CyberSchool in 1996, a groundbreaking blended learning program that continues to meet the needs of at-risk students in Washington. He is a recipient of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Education.


Jeffrey Bradbury

Instructional Technology Coach
Westwood Regional School District

Jeffrey Bradbury, author of Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging With Your Students, is the creator of TeacherCast.net, TeacherCast University, and Educational Podcasting Today. He is an TEDx Speaker, ASCD Emerging Leader, Google for Education Certified Innovator, Google for Education Trainer, PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Educator, Microsoft Surface Expert, speaker, writer, podcaster, broadcaster, consultant, and educational media specialist. He is currently the Coordinator for Technology Integration and Instructional Technology Coach for a K-12 Regional School District in New Jersey.


Nancy Conrad

Founder and Chairman, Conrad Foundation
Conrad Foundation

Nancy Conrad created the Conrad Foundation in 2008 to energize and engage students in science and technology through unique entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization’s flagship program, the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge, is a global competition challenging students to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to create products that address real-world challenges and global sustainability. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Foundation helps provide a bold platform for enriching the innovative workforce of the future. As a leader in transformative education, she has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology detailing how the Conrad Foundation exemplifies the use of partnership and mentorship to improve STEM education.


Matt Harris

International Educational Consultant
International EdTech

Matt Harris, Ed.D. is the Deputy Head of School for Learning Technology at the British School Jakarta. In his role, Dr. Harris works with all students, parents, teachers, and administrators to enhance teaching and learning while improving the schools use of technology and data for operations. His work also expands the use of libraries, Digital Citizenship, information literacy, STEM, and other digital resource across all grade levels. Dr. Harris is also known for his conference speaking, written works, and consulting practice in educational technology, data systems, and school leadership. He has worked with schools and Ministries of Education in the Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia, and Asia. He has also worked directly with


Karl Rectanus

CEO and Co-Founder

Karl Rectanus is an educator, entrepreneur and adviser. As cofounder and CEO of Lea(R)n, an education innovation Benefit Corporation that empowers educators and their institutions to organize, streamline and analyze education technology through its research-backed LearnPlatform, Karl leads schools and districts, states and networks, and colleges and universities in their efforts to simplify edtech selection, procurement, implementation and measurement. Karl works with learning organizations and networks across the country to establish and elevate standards of practice that drive personalized learning at scale, student achievement and equity in access.


Doug Casey

Executive Director
Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology

As Executive Director for the CT State Commission for Educational Technology (CET), Doug designs and stewards the state educational technology plan that ensure the successful integration of technology in Connecticut’s schools, libraries, universities, and towns. This work helps connect schools and libraries to the state’s education network, ensures students have access to broadband and devices outside of school, establishes technology competency standards, and provides policy and supports around data privacy and best practices. Doug’s prior experience includes managing technology and security for a network of magnet schools that are helping to close the achievement gap between urban and suburban learners. He began his career as a middle school English teacherand brings a diversity of experience


Lori Jackson

The Connections Model

Lori Jackson is an educational psychologist who has been working with students and their families for more than 15 years. She is co-founder of The Connections Model, an SEL and education technology company whose KidConnect app helps students develop emotional regulation, the necessary foundation for all learning. Lori believes that all children have the capacity to succeed in school and the right to a quality education. She has seen the transformation that is possible when students and educators are given the right tools to overcome their social emotional disabilities and she is passionate about helping more educators experience these breakthroughs. Lori holds a B.S. in International Business, Marketing and Finance, an M.S. in Applied Education


Robin Williams

Human Resource Development Specialist- BCBA
FDLRS Action Resource Center

Robin currently works as a Professional Developer with FDLRS and has developed a variety of trainings focused on Applied Behavior Analysis for teachers, parents and staff who support children with disabilities. Robin earned her B.S. in Psychology at UCF and her M.S. in Exceptional Education at FSU. She began her career as a Mental Health Specialist for Leon County Public Schools, where she provided technical assistance and coaching to all preschool educators. Robin taught with Orange County Public Schools as a Pre-K Varying Exceptionalities teacher and continued to work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has 18+ years of experience working with children and adults with severe developmental disabilities.


Christopher Bugaj

Inclusive Design Coach, Author
Loudoun County Public Schools

Christopher R. Bugaj is a founding member the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. Chris is the co-author of The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools published by the International Society on Technology in Education. Chris hosts The A.T.TIPSCAST (http://attipscast.com); a multi-award winning podcast featuring strategies to design educational experiences. Chris is the author of ATEval2Go (http://bit.ly/ateval2go), an app for iPad that helps professionals perform technology assessments. Chris has presented over 250 sessions at local, regional, state, national and international events, including TEDx, each listed at http://bit.ly/bugajpresentations. His latest book The New Assistive Tech: Making Learning Awesome For All (http://bit.ly/thenewat4all), also published by ISTE, is available for order now!


Mia Laudato

Technology Resource Specialist
FDLRS Action Resource Center

Mia Laudato received her MSEd in Exceptional Student Education specializing in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Behavioral Disorders from the University of Miami. She continued her learning at the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida receiving an Autism Endorsement and Pre-K ESE certificate. She has taught students from Pre-K through college in inclusive and separate classroom settings. Her love of teaching students with ASD and passion for using assistive technologies to create successful learners, contributed to her being recognized by Orange County as a district top five finalist for Teacher of the Year 2016. At FLDRS Action she provides professional development on instructional and assistive technology for teachers in 5 Florida Districts.