Welcome to the eSchool News Conference Information Center‘s special coverage of the Florida Educational Technology Conference, which takes place in Orlando from Jan. 26-28, 2005.

Whether you’re already planning to be at the Orange County Convention Center’s North-South Complex, or are still not certain you’re going, our Conference Information Center will have the news you can use in the weeks ahead. Here you’ll find schedules, information about featured speakers, and lists of vendors offering solutions in Orlando.

This all sets the stage for our live, real-time coverage during the conference. We’ll have daily news, information, and pictures–live from the show. Plus, we’ll have reports from our volunteer Conference Correspondents.

During FETC 2005, more than 500 companies will fill over 275,000-square-feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center’s North South Complex. (Photo courtesy of FETC)

These educators have kindly offered to review the more than 200 concurrent sessions taking place at FETC. Want to know what happens in a particularly intriguing session? Not only can you find out here, but you’ll get the scoop from someone whose full-time job is very similar to your own.

FETC is among the largest annual educational technology conferences, and it’s the largest put on by a state organization. From Jan. 26-28, thousands of educators will be in Orlando for the first major ed-tech show of the 2005 calendar year. Not since last summer’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in New Orleans have many tech-savvy educators been in the same place at the same time.

Presented by the Florida Educational Technology Corporation, FETC 2005 traces its roots back 24 years. The first FETC event in 1981 was a small gathering of Florida teachers and administrators interested in how emerging technologies could be used in the classroom to improve instruction.

During FETC’s early years, words like DOS, PC, Microsoft and Apple were still unknown to most Americans, and both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems were barely imaginable. As has always been the case with technology, however, the education field led the rest of society in recognizing its potential and wanted to harness its value as a learning tool.

The event has come a long way. Today, FETC is attended by more than 12,00 educators each year. FETC 2005 features more than 200 hour-long concurrent sessions offered free to all attendees and 70 professional development workshops requiring registration and additional fees. More than 500 companies will be on hand to present solutions for educators.

In addition to the exhibit-hall activities, the conference features an opening-night speech by best-selling novelist Carl Hiaasen, who is known throughout Florida for his work as a news columnist and political satirist for The Miami Herald. Hiaasen is also the author of the award-winning children’s book HOOT.

So whether you’re in Orlando for the conference, or not, you’ll want to visit the eSN Conference Information Center each day from Jan. 26-28, because we’ll have a complete roundup of the major events and offer a sense of what products are hot this year.

FETC 2005 promises to offer a wealth of information for educators. The eSN Conference Information Center will report on as many of its more than 200 concurrent session as possible, through our team of volunteer Conference Correspondents.

Links:

FETC 2005

FETC 2004: Big turnout, practical solutions

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