What an incredible few days in Orlando. Honestly, I’m not really sure where to start. Wednesday, the first official day of the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), our two Florida DEN Managers, Danielle Abernethy and Karen Seddon, hosted over 80 educators at the Technical Education Center (TECO) in Osceola County. Launched by Discovery Education Executive Vice President Ron Reed, the day was filled with networking, professional development and plenty of fun!
After Ron’s inspirational message, participants attended a series of breakout sessions ranging from the basics of unitedstreaming to movie making and integration into third party applications such as Google Earth and Inspiration. Special thanks to Carole Gooden and Debbie Bohanan, local Florida Discovery Educators, who willingly gave up time and shared their expertise by leading several breakout sessions.
Thursday morning, a contest specifically designed for Florida districts was announced at the Discovery Education booth. Matt Monjan, implementation representative for the state of Florida, was on hand to make the big announcement. To get involved in this contest, check out the flyer below or contact Danielle, Karen or Matt!
Later that day, Discovery Education had the honor of sponsoring the first ever eSchool News “Best of Education Blog” Awards. My personal highlight was the round table discussion hosted by our very own Steve Dembo. Each of the blogging award winners (Wesley Fryer, Frank LaBanca, Sara Mead and Bill MacKenty) shared their insights about teaching, learning and the role of technology. I must say, this brief 30 minute discussion may have been the best professional development experience I have had in years. I would urge you to check out the eSchool News article that covered this conversation and check back often. I am hoping the entire discussion, which was videotaped, will be posted soon.
And the fun didn’t stop there. Later in the evening, two of the award winners, Wesley Fryer, Frank LaBanca, along with noted bloggers Will Richardson, Dean Shareski and Tim Wilson, joined over 60 educators for dinner at Dixie Crossroads. Here, Discovery Educators from numerous states had the chance to “pick the brains” of the world’s best educational bloggers. Wow, what an opportunity.
Overall, FETC turned out to be a place where I met new people, learned new things and just had a great time. Clearly, there are a lot of passionate and inspiring educators in the Sunshine State and I look forward to great things happening throughout the Florida Discovery Educator Network.