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FETC 2012 Opens With Tech Shoot Out

FETC 2012 gets off to a very quick start Tuesday morning with the third annual "Technology Shoot-Out." Four experts in the world of educational technology who travel the country all year will spend a fast-moving 90 minutes running through the latest, most exciting gadgets, programs, and learning and teaching tools.

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FETC 2012 gets off to a very quick start Tuesday morning with the third annual "Technology Shoot-Out." Four experts in the world of educational technology who travel the country all year will spend a fast-moving 90 minutes running through the latest, most exciting gadgets, programs, and learning and teaching tools.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, the first full day of the conference, attendees will get "a buffet of the latest and greatest technology available for learning and teaching," according to educational consultant John Kuglin, one of the shoot-out participants and a member of the FETC Advisory Board that shepherded the event into life in 2010.

"The idea came from the Iron Chef show on the Food Network," Kuglin said. "We thought it would be fun to have something quick-moving that demonstrates all the best technology available out there."

Only instead of expert chefs, as is the case with Iron Chef, FETC rounded up experts in educational technology. This year, Kuglin will be joined by fellow experts Hall Davidson, Leslie Fisher, and Kathy Schrock as they offer "small vignettes" of what's available.

The four shoot-out panelists have each selected somewhere between six and 10 technologies they've become familiar with over the past year or so and will spend three or four minutes describing and demonstrating each one.

Now in its third year, the Tech Shoot-Out has rapidly become one of the most popular events during the three-day conference.

"This is something absolutely unique to FETC," Kuglin said. "It's really become the signature event. After the first year, we doubled the size of the room we held it in, and we still had people standing out in the hall."

What kind of technology can you expect to see?

"Web 2.0 was really the focus the first couple of years," Kuglin said, "but this year, as we've traveled around, we're starting to see some new things that are very exciting."

A quick survey of the panelists pointed to three trends: collaboration, cloud computing, and, naturally, mobile learning devices.

"There's almost been a mini-boom of companies coming into cloud computing," Kuglin said, "and so many new services for mobile devices. If you go to the shoot-out, you're going to see a lot off applications that are strictly for cell phones."

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