New ed-tech tools and techniques mark FETC 2010

Actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. opened the 30th annual Florida Education technology Conference Jan. 13.
Actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. opened the 30th annual Florida Education Technology Conference Jan. 13.

Free online tools that can save teachers time, new innovations that could make online learning more accessible, and keen insight into how educators can let students take responsibility for their own learning safely were among the highlights at the 2010 Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando last month.

More than 7,000 educators and administrators gathered in Orlando Jan. 13-15 for the 30th annual FETC, one of the largest state ed-tech conferences in the nation. The conference also featured an exhibit hall with more than 400 ed-tech vendors.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s show. (To read about each topic, click on the headline.)…Read More

What every 21st-century educator should know

cheryl_lemkeEducators today are constantly bombarded with the phrase “21st-century skills,” and the message that all students need to learn those skills in order to succeed. And while general roadmaps can help educators get started on this path toward 21st-century instruction, FETC keynote speaker Cheryl Lemke provided a more narrow focus on what it takes to be a 21st-century education leader.

“It’s all about the ripple effect,” Lemke, president and CEO of the Metiri Group, said in her Jan. 15 speech. (The Metiri Group is a consulting firm dedicated to advancing effective uses of technology in schools.) “When a creative idea is born, it has so much potential, and that potential can turn into innovation. By innovation, I mean that it begins to change the entire system, and therefore causes ripples in the system.”

Lemke went on to explain that today’s students have the ability to start ripples in society, and a good education leader will know how to give students the skills they need to start those ripples.…Read More