FETC 2000 Overview

The Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) is putting on its 20th Anniversary conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 29th through March 2nd. FETC is one of the largest conferences in the United States dedicated to educational technology. This annual event began in 1981 when a few Florida teachers and administrators gathered to learn more about emerging technologies and how they could be used to improve classroom instruction. Since then, the conference has grown immensely, with last year’s conference attracting more than 12,000 participants and 3,000 education vendor attendees.

The conference provides more than 200 hour-long concurrent sessions, allowing participants to choose from a variety of discussions designed to examine specific strategies on how to effectively incorporate technology into their curriculum. In addition, half- and full-day workshops will be offered to provide a learning experience through supplemental training and awareness. Over 350 companies will occupy more than 840 booths, filling almost 200,000 square feet of exhibit space. Attendees will have the opportunity to preview and purchase the latest educational technology hardware and software to enhance teaching and learning at all levels.

The keynote speaker of this year’s opening session is Soledad O’Brien, an award-winning newsperson who has received national recognition for her coverage of technology and education issues. Currently, O’Brien serves as co-anchor of MSNBC’s Weekend Today, anchors the news talk show Morning Blend, and reports for NBC’s Nightly News. She also contributes to MSNBC.com and is the contributing technology editor for USA Weekend Magazine.

Other speakers include Sara Armstrong of the George Lucas Foundation, Frank Barker of BellSouth, Gary Becker from Seminole County Public Schools, Gene Bias and Chris Carey from Orange County Public Schools, Dr. Gary Bitter from Arizona State University, Hall Davidson from KOCE-TV, Chris Dede from George Mason University, Ted Hasselbring of the University of Kentucky, Bob Hughes from the Educational Technology Exchange, Cheryl Lemke from the Milken Family Foundation, Pioneer New Media Technologies Director of Marketing Perry Reeves, David Thornburg from Compaq, and many more.

This article originally appeared in the 02/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.