After #FETC – Clearing the Haze, Part 2 of 2

FETC Letters outside the convention center

In our previous post, we shared ways you can sort and sift through the pamphlets, trinkets, and other goodies you picked up while at FETC 2018. We continue the process, focusing on the handouts, notes and other information you received while attending sessions, workshops, breakouts, etc.

You undoubtedly picked up a LOT of useful information during your visit to FETC in Orlando. So much, in fact, you may feel more than a bit overwhelmed by it all. There are a couple of things you can do to help organize your information and digest everything you’ve learned.

  • Find the highlights. Quickly go through your notes and handouts and find the things that stand out – things that you underlined, things that you circled, and things you highlighted. Those are usually the points that will stick with you. Take some time to refresh your memory and mentally revisit the sessions where that information was born.
  • Prioritize your learning. As you go through the myriad of handouts, notes, and other information, see if you can organize and prioritize based on the criteria you decide. You might want to put shareable items at the top – things you plan to share with colleagues, administrators, and other stakeholders. Perhaps you want to let those things which apply most immediately to your own situation rise to the top first. You get to decide what’s important and how important it is. Some items may be interesting, but not important. Let those sift to the bottom of the learning for now. You can revisit those later.
  • Take the good, take the bad. As you reflect on your learning, think about the positives and negatives about each session. What did you learn? what did you hope to learn but didn’t? How can you follow up to fill in the gaps? What are the shareable points? Are you a blogger, tweeter, facebooker? What things would you (or will you) share? Make notes. Use a unique color highlighter or some other method to mark those things worth sharing.
  • Share! Remember: not everyone got to go to the same session(s) you did. There are lots of folks who would love to know what you learned, what you wanted to learn, and how you plan to apply your learning. You don’t have to write a book for each session. A couple sentences, sometimes just a few words, can convey the overall takeaways.
  • Toss. Just as with the other information and swag you picked up, sometimes you just have to toss things away. Don’t be afraid to junk a session’s notes if that session proved to be less than helpful for you. On the other hand, instead of tossing the notes and handouts, perhaps you have a colleague who would greatly benefit from them, especially if they weren’t able to attend.

The key to this portion of sifting, sorting, and sharing is time. This part of the post-FETC filtering can take days, weeks, even months. It’s okay. You don’t want to forget the great things you learned, but you also don’t want to overwhelm yourself trying to declutter without processing.

*BONUS: Make notes for your next conference visit! What did you miss that you want to see next time? Think about the content, the tracks, the presentations that piqued your interest this year but you were unable to take part in. Shoot for those things next time!

After #FETC – Clearing the Haze, Part 1 of 2

I tweet FETC badge

So, you’re back home (or headed that way) after an awesome week of session-going, conversation, and expo hall-hopping. Your brain may be in a haze from everything you’ve taken in over the course of the previous week. Here are a few tips for clearing the haze and making sense of it all.

  • First of all, point your phone, tablet or browser to fetc2018.edutechguys.com and start the playlist of incredible interviews and conversations held throughout the week! Leave this running as white noise as you move on to the next items.
  • Pull up a trash can, grab your favorite beverage and snack, and settle in.
  • Separate the wheat from the chaff – Quickly sort the handouts, pamphlets, tchotchkes, and other materials into coherent piles. By doing this quickly, you are forced to make snap decisions whether something receives a cursory glance or warrants deeper examination later.
  • Now that you separated things, grab the stack of pamphlets you snagged while walking around the expo hall. We suggest you start here because, let’s face it, most of this stuff will end up in the circular file at the end of the day.
    • Quickly toss those things that you immediately know you will never use, share, or recommend.
    • The other items can be organized into “keepers” and “sharers.”
      • The Keepers are the things that you would like for your classroom, building, etc. These are the products and services you will ultimately want to present to your peers, administrators, and other stakeholders as necessary.
      • The Sharers are those things you grabbed because you feel someone else at your district would benefit from them. These can be organized by building, by grade, or by whatever other method that will make disseminating the info easiest for you.
    • Throw away the items you thought you wanted to keep but have since realized you don’t have a purpose for them after the sort.
  • Let’s grab those gizmos, gadgets, and trinkets! That’s right. For now, we’re skipping the meat of the materials you have and jumping straight to the dessert!
    • Organize the doodads and goodies into “Keep” and “Toss.”
      • The Keepers are those things that you are going to use in your own home or classroom or will give to a colleague who will enjoy the conference treasures you brought back.
        • These will be separated further: “Yours” and “Theirs
          • Yours: Things you are keeping for yourself – for your home, your own family, your classroom, your students. You can further break these up into “Home” and “Work” if you like. The things you want to take to YOUR classroom, office, etc will go in its own sack. Put that somewhere you will remember to grab as you head back on Monday.
          • Theirs: Things you are giving away to other teachers, admins, etc at your building or district. Put these in a sack and place them where you will remember to grab them as you head back to work.
      • The Toss pile is easy. Throw those things out.
    • If you’re not sure where something goes after all the sorting, stick it in the “Theirs” sack. You never know what someone else might think is the greatest gizmo ever created. Give them the chance to find out.

Stay tuned for our next article, where we get into the meat of your experience: Session handouts, notes, and info!

FETC 2018 – On your mark, Get set, GO!

FETC 2018 is underway! It’s Day One. You’ve registered. You got your comfy shoes on. Breakfast is in the books. Now what!?

If you downloaded the app, and already made your schedule, you’re halfway there (oh, oh, livin on a prayer!) 😉

Remember, this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon.

Here are a few helpful tips to get the most out of FETC!

  • If you haven’t already, GRAB THE APP! It’s the “Swiss Army Knife” of FETC! You can find events, schedule your sessions, connect with others and so much more!
  • Share, share, share! If you’re not on Twitter, you’re not on Twitter. That’s a bad thing. Do yourself and your colleagues a favor, get a Twitter account and document at 140 characters or less (280, if you are one of those radicals). Share everything that’s important to you. If it’s important to you, it’s important to your students and colleagues!
  • Have a plan, even if you just jot it down on a napkin! Know where you are gonna go, when it starts, and why it is important to you. FETC is here to expand your mind and make you a better educator.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t pick sessions that are familiar to you. Find the ones that are going to elevate your knowledge. Pick topics that intimidate you!
  • It’s time to network! We’re not talking about the free wi-fi here. At FETC, you never meet a stranger. You find a long-distance colleague. Put yourself out there and make a new Twitter pen pal (refer back to #1!).
  • Now that you’ve hit your stride, it’s time to hit the exhibits! This is your chance to find the products and services that best fit your vision for the technology integration that you’ve come here to develop. Plus, you get FREE stuff!! Don’t be afraid to grab the goodies. They want you to have them and don’t want to ship them back home!
  • Enhance your narrative! Take this opportunity to add a chapter to the story of your educational journey. Motivate and challenge your students to create or expand theirs.

Whether it’s your first first day or your tenth first day of FETC, the enormous amount of information can be overwhelming. With a little planning, some collaboration, and the occasional “excuse me, can you help me,” this will be your new favorite or it will be the best FETC ever!

No matter what, stop by our table to ask a question, have a quick chat or just to say HI! Tweet out to us @edutechguys (Again, refer #1).

Top 5 Reasons to Visit EduTechGuys at #FETC

Are you going to FETC this year!? That is awesome! While you’re there, drop by the EduTechGuys table outside of S230 at the top of the escalators leading to the Exhibit Hall. Why should you do such a thing? Let us count the reasons:

5. This is your chance to hear from a presenter BEFORE they present their session.

If you’re on the fence about attending a certain session, check our schedule and see if your presenter is sitting down with us. Hearing a quick interview beforehand might help you decide if it’s the right session for you.

4. This is your chance to hear a presenter AFTER they present their session (it all depends on when they signed up)!

Missed a session and want to find out what you missed? Had a great time in a session and want to learn more from the presenter? Check the schedule and see if they are sitting in the hot seat!

3. You might be inspired to sit down and share YOUR story!

Tell us about your educational journey and your integration of technology in the ever-changing edtech universe.

2. See with your own eyes how you can bring podcasting to your educational environment.

Check out the mics, computers, and other equipment the guys use to create their live and recorded podcasts. See how much and/or how little you need to get the job done!

1. We’re like eye candy… for the radio!

See? We tried to warn ya...

See? We tried to warn ya…

 

BONUS:
*AND, You can ask us for directions to the restrooms, registration booths, and the exhibit hall! After all, we are often mistaken for two people that know where things are. 

No matter what you choose to do, be sure to take advantage of all that FETC has to offer. Stop and visit vendors, talk to strangers (despite the advice from Rick Springfield), mingle and share! This is YOUR opportunity to learn, improve, and take those chances that you’ve been telling yourself you were going to do all year. Spread the word! Use #FETC!

Remember: You can stop and talk to us. We’ll point you in the right direction.

FETC 2018 – ETG in the FLA!

We’re baaa-aaack! That’s right! EduTechGuys are VERY excited to be back at the Orange County Convention Center to host live, online coverage of the 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference! If you have not been to FETC, I suggest you RUN into your supervisor’s office and beg, no DEMAND, to be allowed to attend this awesome professional growth opportunity. Unlike many conference, FETC offers such a variety of delivery methods for the attendees: Breakouts, Workshops, Posters, Mini-Sessions, Demo Slams, and more. Several tracks allow conference-goers to stay focused on their area of expertise and specialty, but also allow folks to pick and choose sessions based on interests.

This year, EduTechGuys will once again provide LIVE, ongoing online coverage from the conference! Tune in to radio.edutechguys.com during the conference to hear interviews with presenters and attendees, get updates about changes to session locations, keep up with the evening events, and so much more. Drop by our table (which should be located in the main entrance area at the top of the escalators to the exhibit hall) for a chat, pick up a sticker, or just to say “HI.”

Whether you are going to FETC or not, be sure to tune in to radio.edutechguys.com during the conference. It’s almost like being there!

ISTE 2017 – “Look Ma, No Hands”

After a great day at the #BadgeSummit, a good nights sleep and a quick Lyft ride, I’m here.  I registered, picked up my Volunteer packet and made my way to the “Refereshing the ISTE Standards for Administrator” session.  WOW! ISTE knows how to put on a conference. Lots of WiFi, lots of signage, directions, people, etc. I’m looking forward to the sessions this afternoon, meeting people and sharing their #edtech adventures.  Heck, it’s a ton of fun just to talk shop! So much to learn and share. 

I’ll try and keep up with the action, but things move quickly around here! I will be volunteering at 3:30 p.m. today.  Looking forward to that experience.  You know how I like to meet people and talk! More to come, stay tuned. I’ll reach out once again and ask you to stop me or message me on Twitter and share your #edtech adventures!

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