- Scenes from the show floor and more at #FETC24
- Tom and Joyce Whitby take the temperature of the #FETC show floor
- Show Floor Spotlight — Jabra
- Show Floor Spotlight — LG Electronics
- Show Floor Spotlight — Samsung Education
- Show Floor Spotlight — Cox Business
- Breaking Product News – Students align talents, strengths with career paths via YouScience
- Conference Insights: Student engagement requires more than edtech tools
- Breaking Product News: Bullseye Showcases Customizable K-12 Instructional Support Platform
- Breaking Product News: Avantis Education Showcases Expanded Virtual Reality Content
- Breaking Product News–Scribbles Software Updates Document Management System
- Breaking Product News–Lightspeed Launches Networked Instructional Audio Platform
- Breaking Product News–Tutor.com’s high-dosage tutoring targets student achievement
- James O’Hagan, Vice President of Education Innovation at LeagueSpot, details the current state of play in scholastic esports.
- Mary Batiwalla, Director of Evaluation Analytics, ClassLink, on the emerging influence of data in the classroom
- Robert Martellacci on 10 Emerging EdTech trends for 2024
- Breaking Product News – BenQ “Teach Your Way” offers affordable projector pricing
- Breaking Product News – zSpace launches career readiness solution to inspire awareness, exploration
- Breaking Product News -Propello launches inquiry Booster Packs to promote teacher success, student engagement
- Breaking Product News – KinderLab spotlights new AI curriculum
- Breaking Product News—PowerSchool today announced the next evolution of its AI platform
- Breaking Product News—Orchestrate by ScreenBeam
- Look Who’s Talking—Chad A. Stevens, Ph.D., Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at ParentSquare
- Look who’s talking—Dalraida Elementary Principal Dr. Bryan Cutter (Montgomery, AL) on the Elementary Science Integration of ClassVR for STEM.
- FETC Showstopper— eLuma CEO Jeremy Glauser on addressing the mental health crises in schools
- Look Who’s Talking—Interview with Glenn Robbins, Superintendent of Schools at Brigantine Public School District, NJ
- Get Ready for Pitchfest 2024
- Editors’ Pick— Five Must-See Sessions
Scenes from the show floor and more at #FETC24
Tom and Joyce Whitby take the temperature of the #FETC show floor
Show Floor Spotlight — Jabra
Show Floor Spotlight — LG Electronics
Show Floor Spotlight — Samsung Education
Dr. Micah Shippee gives us a tour of the Samsung booth at FETC and demos the unique features of Samsung’s 130” All-in-One LED Display.
Show Floor Spotlight — Cox Business
Listen in as reps from Cox Business describe how their services can layer on top of a school’s existing internet connection to make sure classrooms are secure, provide resiliency, disaster recovery, and other IT solutions that augment existing IT staff and deliver for students.
Breaking Product News – Students align talents, strengths with career paths via YouScience
YouScience, a technology provider dedicated to solving the skills gap crisis for students and employers, demonstrated YouScience Brightpath, which supports educators in addressing critical issues facing students in one unified platform. Thousands of middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, trade schools, chambers of commerce, and employer partners use various applications from YouScience. With Brightpath, educators can: Personalize students’ education pathways for increased academic and career success; provide deeper purpose for classwork by supporting real-world career outcomes into every student’s educational journey; connect students to their future by bridging the gap between education and industry in meaningful and personalized ways, and support every student’s growth through the major transitions between middle school to high school, high school to post-secondary learning, and from the classroom to careers.
Conference Insights: Student engagement requires more than edtech tools
Student engagement is critical to academic achievement, but it can often be a struggle to engage students in meaningful and relevant ways. During a session at FETC 2024, Tom Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, dove into just what, exactly, makes for the effective use of edtech in supporting student engagement. Read the full story here.
Breaking Product News: Bullseye Showcases Customizable K-12 Instructional Support Platform
Bullseye’s platform helps K-12 leaders looking to transform their school walkthroughs, coaching, and feedback process. Its platform provides instructional leaders with the tools they need to conduct effective walkthroughs, deliver tailored feedback and support, and personalize professional development for teachers. With Bullseye, users can elevate instruction and drive student success in every classroom.
Breaking Product News: Avantis Education Showcases Expanded Virtual Reality Content
Avantis Education, creators of ClassVR, is showcasing more than 60 pieces of new virtual reality content for math and language arts, and is demonstrating its alignment of more than 350 lessons to U.S. standards. Avantis for the first time showcased the alignment of more than 400 of its VR lessons with U.S. state standards in science, social studies and English/Language Arts. The alignment, done in partnership with EdGate, provides added value and convenience for teachers by making it easier for them to identify which lessons to select to accompany their instruction. Avantis Education also debuted its first-ever library of VR math content. The initial launch includes 20 immersive VR scenes designed for students ages 5-11 covering a range of topics including numbers, measurements, shapes and geometry, fractions, decimals, percentages, statistics and algebra.
Breaking Product News--Scribbles Software Updates Document Management System
Scribbles Software has made significant updates to its ScribOnline document management system to continue to improve the customer experience and make it easier for schools and districts to maintain and organize data. ScribOnline provides a secure, permanent archive in the cloud for student records, human resources records, finance records, and more, helping ensure school districts’ documents can be securely accessed from anywhere at any time. The updates to the system allow school and district staff to more easily conduct mass scanning and uploading of documents, search for data using customizable index values, and update scanned documents using insertion, deletion, and notation tools.
Breaking Product News–Lightspeed Launches Networked Instructional Audio Platform
Lightspeed recently launched Cascadia, a networked instructional audio platform that effortlessly projects the teacher’s voice within the classroom while also empowering teachers to call for help and communicate outside of the classroom directly from their lanyard microphone. Cascadia delivers all the benefits of instructional audio and integrates with existing life-safety and building communication systems, providing the ability to initiate mobile, silent emergency alerts and make two-way calls to the office from anywhere in the building.
Breaking Product News--Tutor.com’s high-dosage tutoring targets student achievement
Tutor.com‘s high-dosage tutoring uses high-frequency, high-impact tutoring in a research-based, intensive solution to help K–12 schools and districts accelerate learning for at-risk students. High-frequency, high-impact tutoring is a data-supported method of helping students make significant, measurable academic gains. High-impact tutoring enables teachers to refer students who need intensive subject support, and then receive Lesson Reports three times per week to chart learner achievements.
James O’Hagan, Vice President of Education Innovation at LeagueSpot, details the current state of play in scholastic esports.
Mary Batiwalla, Director of Evaluation Analytics, ClassLink, on the emerging influence of data in the classroom
Mary is a product development leader at ClassLink, and her specialty is Education Analytics. She designs the systems that help teachers and school leaders know what is really happening with instructional technology in their classrooms. Previous to ClassLink, she was the Assistant Commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Education, where she led assessment and accountability.
Robert Martellacci on 10 Emerging EdTech trends for 2024
Breaking Product News – BenQ “Teach Your Way” offers affordable projector pricing
BenQ announced its new “Teach Your Way” Projector Program. Committed to partnering with schools to enable greater positive outcomes for all students by transforming classrooms, BenQ’s program offers planning, pricing, and customer support benefits for BenQ’s latest lineup of maintenance-free LED and laser projectors and InstaShow Wireless Presentation System (WPS). “Schools have had to purchase outdated, low-resolution projectors in order to save money, but these fail to meet the standards for the future of learning and provide all students with access to state-of-the-art technology,” said Bob Wudeck, senior director of business development at BenQ Education. “The BenQ Education ‘Teach Your Way’ Projector Program offers an easy and affordable pathway to projector upgrades. Plus, our latest solutions offer exclusive features and benefits that align with modern teaching pedagogies and IT standards while adding immense value and reducing TCO.”
Breaking Product News – zSpace launches career readiness solution to inspire awareness, exploration
zSpace, Inc. launched a new solution designed to enhance students’ readiness for future careers. The Career Readiness Solution takes a comprehensive approach to providing career awareness, exploration, and preparedness opportunities for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students. Through the expansion of its STEM, CTE, and Career Readiness content, students can now research, learn about, and experience future careers with immersive content using zSpace’s AR/VR laptops.
Breaking Product News -Propello launches inquiry Booster Packs to promote teacher success, student engagement
Propello launched turnkey Inquiry-Based Booster Packs to connect schools and districts with classroom-ready, standards-aligned supplemental science curriculum. Booster Packs drive student engagement through inquiry-based instruction that offers flexibility to conform to an educator’s existing workflow. Subjects currently offered in Propello’s Inquiry-Based Science Booster Pack are aligned to NGSS standards in Life Sciences, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science. Each booster pack includes click-and-go classroom-ready lessons, real-world phenomena-based videos, hands-on active labs and activities, diverse assessment options, embedded student supports like language translations and text-to-speech, and teacher guidance.
Breaking Product News – KinderLab spotlights new AI curriculum
KinderLab featured its new AI Curriculum for Young Learners, Thinking with KIBO: Introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Early Grades. This free curriculum is designed to help students in grades 1–3 understand how AI works, what its limitations are and how to think critically about how these tools can improve lives in their communities. Featuring 5 lessons, students explore fundamental ideas about AI through activities with the hands-on and screen-free KIBO robot.
Breaking Product News—PowerSchool today announced the next evolution of its AI platform with the launch of PowerSchool PowerBuddy, an AI-powered assistant for everyone in education. The company says that unlike other one-off AI offerings, PowerSchool’s comprehensive AI ecosystem is purposefully engineered to “bring AI to data.” PowerBuddy is a role-specific Conversational AI assistant being piloted now and will be available for the 2024-2025 school year to support student progress in and out of the classroom.
PowerBuddy will initially be incorporated into Schoology Learning offering students on-demand, one-on-one assistance with their assignments and tailored pathways transforming traditional learning into an immersive and engaging experience. Teachers will be able to use PowerBuddy to generate lesson plans, automate the creation of quizzes and assessments in Performance Matters, and personalize homework at scale, saving them time to focus on what’s most important – interaction with students. Additionally, it will offer individualized college and career guidance through Naviance CCLR for both counselors and students. Parents can leverage PowerBuddy in My PowerSchool to inquire about their child’s academic performance and other relevant information. They will receive proactive alerts if their child is falling behind, fostering transparency and empowering parents to participate in their child’s education. Additionally, PowerBuddy will offer personalized, district-approved academic and social-emotional learning resources from ContentNav to actively support them in their child’s learning. Furthermore, administrators can ask natural language questions about their data within Analytics & Insights and PowerSchool SIS to truly democratize information for decision-making. PowerBuddy will eventually be expanded across the entire PowerSchool ecosystem. It will be system-agnostic and will integrate with most education technology tools, including non-PowerSchool products.
Breaking Product News—Orchestrate by ScreenBeam is a new instructional tool for classroom orchestration and student management allowing teachers to easily share and collaborate over digital content with their students in a 1:1 classroom, where each student has a device. Orchestrate is unique from other classroom management tools in that it also enables teacher and student wireless presentation, touchscreen support, student monitoring, and moderation.
Look Who’s Talking—Chad A. Stevens, Ph.D., Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at ParentSquare
Session: What is Your District’s Calling Card? Branding is the Answer
Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM EST
Location: S220F, Orange County Convention Center/ Session Code: CS220F1
Description: Schools and districts compete for students, administrative and teaching talents, and community perception in our ever-evolving world. With teacher shortages becoming a national crisis and various educational options for students, districts must move beyond typical mascots, static websites, and predictable taglines to showcase a school/district’s unique assets. In this session, attendees will learn how with a strategic branding approach, schools can build a community and culture that reflect the academic programs at an intellectual, social, and cultural level creating a more positive and supportive environment for all.
In this preview conversation, Chad details his presentation, along with the recent evolution of Parent Square, a platform focused on family engagement. Over the past three years, the company has witnessed significant changes, including mergers and acquisitions, with a recent acquisition of Remind, a popular platform for communication and learning.
The acquisition will expand ParentSquare’s current offerings with additional communication tools that reach students and families in over 80% of public schools and used by 60% of teachers in the United States.
Chad touches on challenges faced by school districts in implementing communication strategies, such as consolidating various communication tools and addressing competition for student enrollment. He highlights trust-building through consistent communication as crucial, especially in times of societal upheaval affecting school districts. He also touches on the impact of AI, with a focus on improving language translations and overall readability of messaging to the wider community.
Chad is charged with shaping ParentSquare’s strategic direction, advising on all aspects of company operations and driving its marketing initiatives. He works closely with the leadership team to define and execute growth strategies, while overseeing all aspects of marketing and brand development. This includes ownership of content, engagement, enablement and education.
Prior to ParentSquare Chad led the K-12 Education Vertical at Amazon Web Services, was the Chief Education Strategist for CDW-G, and a Senior K-20 Education Consultant at Dell, Inc. Before the private sector, Chad had a successful 14 year career as Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Instructional Technology and Chief Technology Officer. He maintains Superintendent Certification in Texas. He is a current member of the CoSN Board of Directors, serving since 2019. In 2023 he was named one of the Top 100 Influencers in EdTech by EdTech Digest. He holds a B.S. from Tarleton State University, a M.S. in Educational Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Conversation highlights include:
- Evolution of Parent Square: Over the past three years, Parent Square has undergone significant changes, including mergers and acquisitions, with a recent acquisition of Remind. The platform has grown to serve 17 million students across all 50 states.
- Challenges for School Districts: School districts face challenges in consolidating communication tools, establishing a consistent brand, and building trust. Increased competition for student enrollment adds complexity to these challenges.
- Trust-building through Communication: Consistent communication is emphasized as a means to build trust among parents, teachers, and the community. A trusted voice and brand contribute to improved school-family relationships.
- Impact of Societal Changes on School Districts: Societal upheavals, such as teacher shortages and changes in librarianship, have put school districts in the spotlight. Trust and consistent communication can help navigate these challenges.
- Role of AI in Communication: AI is explored for its potential impact on improving communication, particularly in post translations and readability. The focus is on meaningful applications, such as using AI to assist in rewriting posts for better understanding.
- Future Innovations: Parent Square is piloting a new tool called Studio Editor in 2024, aiming to revamp and upgrade their newsletter tool. Google Classroom integration, reduced platform switching for parents, and enhanced security features are among the upcoming innovations.
- Focus on Engagement: Parent Square aims to be the most engaged platform by combining the strengths of Remind and Parent Square. The platform seeks to have a significant impact on the engagement of teachers, students, and families.
Look who’s talking—Dalraida Elementary Principal Dr. Bryan Cutter (Montgomery, AL) on the Elementary Science Integration of ClassVR for STEM. 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, room: CS220G10
eSchool was able to secure a sneak peek of how Dr. Cutter and his team implemented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education into primary grades. He shares insights into the establishment of a STEM lab, its impact on students, and the integration of STEM into the general education curriculum. The program aims to provide a foundation in 21st-century skills, fostering collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and creativity. The initiative has gained recognition and support at the district and state levels, with plans to expand STEM education to middle schools. Click through for a listen:
Dr. Cutter was a recipient of the Milken Educator Award in 2022, whose organizers published his bio below. After joining Dalraida just one year into the pandemic, Cutter assisted in the implementation of a new STEM lab, which was the first for elementary students in Montgomery Public Schools and the River Region. The nontraditional classroom experience provides students the opportunity to learn through hands-on play and allows teachers to implement best practices. STEM permeates every class and content area at Dalraida due to Cutter’s vision. Robotics and other activities give students early exposure to STEM careers where they build collaboration and teamwork skills. It is his hope that this unique, fun learning environment will in turn produce future engineers, scientists and mathematicians. Cutter ensures that all around him excel by engaging and inspiring students and colleagues to reach beyond expectations and focus on providing exceptional instruction. He established grade-level professional learning communities, coaches and evaluates teachers to support their professional growth, designed a schoolwide teacher mentor program, and uses data to drive instruction, identifying trends of success and areas of need.
A former student in Montgomery Public Schools himself, Cutter believes that building children’s confidence can change their lives. He is known as an excellent communicator who engages parents as partners in their children’s education.
Cutter previously served as an elementary and middle school assistant principal, summer school principal, CTE director and music teacher. As a choral director, he passed on his passion for music to students as he led them to city and state recognition, frequent community performances and national competitions. He’s also facilitated after-school reading and math programs and presented at state, national and international conferences on topics including student engagement, rigor and relevance, school culture and discipline. Throughout his career, Cutter has mentored young men, helping them make better life decisions, focus on academics and athletics, and become productive members of the community.
Cutter earned a bachelor’s in music education in 2009 from Alabama State University; education specialist and master’s degrees in music education in 2011 and 2013, respectively from Auburn University; a master’s in instructional leadership in 2014 from Alabama State University; and a Ph.D. in educational leadership, policy and law in 2019 from Alabama State University. He wrote his dissertation on middle school discipline policies and procedures in Alabama’s “Black Belt.”
FETC Showstopper— eLuma CEO Jeremy Glauser on addressing the mental health crises in schools
The issues are well-known—K-12 schools are grappling with staffing shortages and a nationwide youth mental health crisis. In response, eLuma, historically known as a K-12 special education teletherapy company, is focusing on expanding its solutions, as evidenced by its recent partnership with Aperture Education, a leading provider of social-emotional skills assessment and intervention supports, to deliver comprehensive answers for social-emotional well-being in K-12 schools.
I was able to discuss with Jeremey eLuma’s 2024 goals, both at FETC and in general, in the interview below. Have a listen:
- Pandemic Impact on Mental Health: The pandemic exposed and heightened the mental health crisis among youth, with statistics revealing significant challenges such as one in five kids experiencing mental problems and 70% of teens citing anxiety and depression as major issues.
- Social Media’s Role: The impact of social media on youth mental health is highlighted, with a Surgeon General report indicating that 95% of youth aged 13-17 use social media, and excessive use correlates with a higher likelihood of major mental health issues.
- eLuma’s Evolving Services: The company’s services have evolved from a special education-centric focus to a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that includes needs assessment, universal screening, counseling, professional development, and school psychology.
- Initiatives and Challenges: Jeremy mentions positive developments in funding systems and initiatives by the White House to address absenteeism, but also notes challenges in accessing and taking care of students physically, nutritionally, emotionally, and mentally.
- Efficiency Gains through Technology: The forced changes in behavior during the pandemic have led to positive outcomes in terms of efficiency, with remote collaboration and telehealth services playing a crucial role in addressing administrative challenges.
- Importance of Privacy: Privacy is deemed critical, especially in the context of mental health interventions. eLuma emphasizes being intentional, and thoughtful, and partnering with national organizations to protect the privacy of students while intervening in a timely manner.
Look Who’s Talking—Interview with Glenn Robbins, Superintendent of Schools at Brigantine Public School District, NJ
FETC finalized its speaker list for this year’s event this week, which includes dozens of experts and educators. Opening keynote Tucker Bryant will present The Poet’s Keys: a Guide to Unlocking Creativity, Innovation and Growth. Attendees will be equipped with tools to build a culture of creative disruption and bold exploration in the world of education, “so we’re set up to shape the future as leaders instead of remaining stuck in models of thinking that are bound for the history books.” Daniel Fitzpatrick will impart insights and tactics for harnessing AI in education. His work in the industry has earned him esteemed accolades such as the Tech Champion Award at the Digital Industry Dynamite Awards in 2022 and recognition in the latest EdTech50 awards. To close things on the mainstage, TechSHARE LIVE will feature Adam Bellow, Leslie Fisher and Dr. Adam Phyall III as the closing keynote. This esteemed crew will present the best new and hidden treasures of edtech, tailored for seamless integration into every classroom.
In between of course are a slew of sessions and presentations collected into seven different tracks. The Campus Leader track will provide school-based leadership with professional learning focused on strategies to manage school sites, create innovative learning spaces and infuse emerging technologies. eSchool had a chance to grab Glenn Robbins, Superintendent of Schools at Brigantine Public School District, NJ, to discuss his role and general excitement about #FETC2024. His passion is harnessing a district culture that thrives on positive psychology, design thinking, futurism, innovative digital spaces, technology integration, esports, cybersecurity, Social Emotional Learning Zen Dens, and Maker cultures. He is the recipient of the National Superintendent Certification, and serves as an AASA National Governing Board Member, AASA Aspiring Superintendent Mentor, and Chair of NJASA Techspo.
He’s also a great interview. Click through to listen and click here to read the transcript:
- Evolution of Educational Leadership:
- Glenn reflects on the changing role of educational leaders, emphasizing the need for a broad understanding of technology, curriculum, and various aspects of education.
- He underscores the importance of leaders being adaptable and staying informed about emerging technologies and educational trends.
- Strategic Approach to EdTech Purchases:
- When discussing his approach to hitting the FETC exhibition hall, Glenn emphasizes the importance of strategic decision-making. He advocates considering the district’s needs, budget, and long-term sustainability when evaluating new technologies.
- Glenn highlights the value of involving students in the decision-making process and seeking their input on potential edtech solutions.
- Collaborative Networking:
- Glenn expresses enthusiasm for building new networks and relationships at FETC. He hopes to engage in thoughtful conversations with educators, administrators, and vendors to share insights and experiences.
- The focus is on collaborative learning, with a desire to bring back valuable takeaways for both teachers and students.
- Practitioner-Driven Learning:
- Glenn is particularly excited about the practitioner-driven nature of the sessions at FETC. He looks forward to hearing from educators who have successfully implemented programs, products, or ideas in their schools.
- The emphasis is on learning from real-world experiences and practical strategies that have proven effective in diverse educational settings.
Get Ready for Pitchfest 2024
FETC Pitchfest 2024 provides a pivotal platform for early-stage edtech startups to gain valuable market exposure, secure investment, attract customers and establish strategic partnerships. Selected startups will pitch their groundbreaking ideas to a panel of industry experts, district administrators, front-line educators, parents and investors alongside a live audience.
The FETC Pitchfest Selection Committee has meticulously evaluated a pool of promising EdTech startups and selected five companies for each of the following eight categories, representing the diverse spectrum of innovation, approaches, and thoughts shaping the future of education:
- Immersive Tech: Kai’s Education, Curio XR, MegaMinds, Prof Jim Inc.
- Coding, Robotics & STEM: imagi (imagiLabs AB), Rocket Drones, Muzology, Robo Wunderkind Inc., Tanoshi
- Learning Management System: ELO Digital Office, Novis River Inc., LX Aer Corporation
- Social-emotional Learning: Abloom, Maro, BrainZones, Soft Kids, JAKAPA
- Language Learning: Erudyte, AIR Language, Literacy Tree, Readable English
- Early Childhood Learning: Johnnie May (by John Jones Media), Literably, KinderLab Robotics, Inc.
- Online Courses: Animation Prep, The Geek House, Sparc, Pencil Spaces, Connected Class
- Wild Card: Schoolytics, Readeezy, Scholar Education, Video Pro Learning, Cursive Technology, Inc.
“We’re thrilled to welcome this exceptional group of startups to FETC Pitchfest 2024,” said Kyle Christian Steele, Director of FETC Pitchfest. “Their solutions represent the very essence of edtech transformation, and the conference provides the perfect scale and network to showcase their potential to positively impact teaching, learning experiences, and access for students worldwide.”
Additionally, FETC is providing selected startups with unprecedented access to workshops, special talks, lunches and other unique opportunities that will allow them to interface directly with the 15,000+ K-12 teachers and district administrators who attend the conference. Find out more about Pitchfest here.
Editors’ Pick— Five Must-See Sessions
Looking for a great session (or two, or three…) to attend during FETC 2024? We’ve got you covered! FETC workshops and sessions are presented by experts and innovators who are making a difference across the K-12 education spectrum. They’ll share best practices, innovative ideas, leadership strategies and provide valuable perspectives and solutions to challenging edtech problems. Session tracks include: Assistive technology, campus leader, coach, district administrator, educator, information technology, and library media specialist.
- Crunch the Numbers—New Data on Student Tech Use; Chromebook Predictions; And the Impact of Pandemic Relief Funds - February 26, 2024
- Teacher Shortage Solutions for Computer Science and CTE - February 23, 2024
- Analytics in Action - February 14, 2024