FETC theme: Schools must change

How can educators keep up with the “digital natives,” today’s generation of youth who were raised in a world of information technology and to whom it therefore comes naturally? And, perhaps more importantly, how can educators prepare all students for the challenges of an increasingly global workforce and society, regardless of their socio-economic background or abilities?

These were the key questions posed during the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando March 22-24. Speakers and attendees at one of the largest educational technology conferences in the nation aimed to answer these questions with the help of keynote speeches, more than 200 concurrent sessions, and an exhibit hall featuring more than 500 ed-tech companies.

Preparing students for citizenship in an increasingly global society was the theme of the opening keynote speaker, Rudy Crew, who gave an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation. The former commissioner for the New York City Public Schools, Crew now heads Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school system, where he has implemented the lofty goal that every student will graduate from high school fully prepared for college or the work force of tomorrow. …Read More

FETC 2006: Day Three

The final day of the Florida Educational Technology Conference, much like the days before it, focused on improving U.S. education in the face of an increasingly global and competitive world.

The day began with keynote sessions by ed-tech experts, including one that focused on what the nation’s next president should know, and do, about U.S. education.

During the session, the panelists discussed the ways in which attention to education and educational resources should be changed in order to improve not only the educational system, but how students learn and how educators teach. …Read More

Fighting the resistance to change

Willard Daggett, president of the International Center for Leadership in Education, was one of three “Eye-Opener Keynote” speakers Thursday morning. He talked about what students in the year 2010 will need to know in terms of communication, information, and biological technologies. During his speech, Daggett discussed why he believes the United States needs to change its schools, what needs to be done to bring about this change, and how this change will come about.

“You cannot, and you will not, change schools until there is more pressure for change than resistance to change,” he told the audience. “You have to have a faculty and a community…that believe we must raise the academic standards for kids across all the board.”

One reason academic achievement isn’t increasing is that governors, teachers, and parents each do not believe they are part of the problem, Daggett said. “Until you believe that you are part of the problem, you are an enormous obstacle,” he said. …Read More

‘Bubbling in on a test sheet … is insufficient’

How can educators keep up with the “digital natives,” today’s generation of youth who were raised in a world of information technology and to whom it therefore comes naturally? And, perhaps more importantly, how can educators prepare all students for the challenges of an increasingly global workforce and society, regardless of their socio-economic background or abilities?

These were the key questions considered during the opening general session at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando March 22. Conference speakers and attendees hope to answer these questions over the next two days with the help of keynote speeches, more than 200 concurrent sessions, and an exhibit hall featuring more than 500 ed-tech companies.

Addressing conference-goers in his home district, Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Ronald Blocker posed the first of these two questions to attendees. To answer it, he said, schools must look to the business world for appropriate models. …Read More

FETC 2006 Conference Kickoff

The 2006 Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) kicks off on Wednesday, March 22, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, and will bring together educators, administrators, and technology experts from Florida and around the nation. More than 8,500 attendees are expected.

The opening session begins Wednesday at 7 p.m., and Rudolph Crew, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, will deliver the keynote. More than 200 sessions are offered at this year’s FETC, and the exhibit hall will feature more than 500 exhibitors. The conference is sponsored by Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Jasmine Technologies Inc., Pearson Education, Riverdeep, and The Princeton Review.

Some of the topics to be addressed by presentations at the 2006 conference include accountability, community connections, learners, learning environment, professional competency, system capacity, and technology capacity. …Read More