Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Ways to Prepare for #FETC2015

The countdown is on and I am working this week to start preparing!  Here is a list of my Top 5 Tips to Prepare for #FETC15!  Can’t wait to meet new tech friends and see past tech pals!

#1: Identify Your Goals
For each conference, I always try to clearly answer these two questions:
“What do I hope to learn?” and “What can I look to share?”  This year I was able to answer these questions pretty easily.  My first goal this year is to find out how universities are preparing preservice teachers to integrate multimodal and digital literacies.  I also am excited to see how teachers are finding ways to empower students to guide their own learning through use of technology.  After my action research this year, I am eager to share what I have discovered about learning space design at my poster session on Thursday from 2:30-3:30.  I am also setting out to find all teachers that are interested in “Going Global” and connecting their students with students from around the world!

#2: Plan Your Schedule
This year’s conference schedule is available and ready for download at  This year, I am trying to befriend my 3-hole puncher!  There is nothing like newly printed papers, hole punched, and organized into a binder!  Today, I took out my highlighter and started selecting sessions.  Since I work best through brainstorming and collaborating, I always love attending session with my colleagues and friends.  Contact friends this week to plan out must-attend sessions, workshops, and times to meet at the exhibit hall, Makers’ Hub and STEM Demo Area.  After presenting in an IGNITE session at ISTE, I have a new obsession with these new, innovative, and fast-paced style sessions.  This year, I can’t wait to get to all the ASPIRE sessions to get ready-to-implement ideas from transformational leaders and experts in the field! 

#3: Identify Your “Must-Meets” & Start the Conversation
At each conference, I always set out to meet three or four change-agents that have inspired me to be a better teacher and leader.  My “must-meets” always tend to include an influential educator and also an organization or company that has made my teaching practices better!  Next, after I find my “must-meets” and identifying their sessions, I start the conversation.  I reach out on Twitter and through email and let my “must-meets” know I am looking forward to connecting! 

#4: Set Out to Share & Connect
I have seen first-hand the importance of connection and collaboration and firmly believe that strong relationships and friendships are key to happiness and success as a teacher.  So, for FETC, set out to share and connect!  Print up some simple business cards or contact cards with all your information including school, email, Twitter handle, and research interests.  A headshot or QR code are also great add-ons.  Make sure to update all your social media accounts with your current information and then start sharing!  You can use the hashtag #FETC to share your plans for the conference. 

#5: Meet up with Your PLC & Celebrate!
FETC is a great time to celebrate your accomplishments and share your goals for the future with members of your Professional Learning Community.  I love how hallways and corridors of the conference center are alive with conversations and any moment at FETC is a great time to develop relationships and meet new friends.  Utilize the scheduled social events and lunch and dinner hours to meet up with friends from the past! 

Can’t wait to see you all next week!  Let’s keep the conversation going!  What are your goals for FETC 2015?