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2017 Future of Education Technology Conference Focuses on Early Childhood Education with Introduction of Specialized Track

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), the largest, national, independent education technology conference, today announced details of its Early Learning track, one of five targeted session tracks available at the upcoming FETC. Taking place January 24 - 27, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., FETC introduced the Early Learning track into the programming of the 37th annual event to better meet the needs of the conference’s audience of educators and administrators who serve young children.

New research and policies on the effect of technology on early child development are raising questions for preschool and early elementary directors, administrators and teachers as they grapple with how best to integrate tech into programs for young learners. Designed for preschool and early elementary directors and administrators, curriculum designers, educators, researchers and tech directors, the Early Learning track will provide intensive workshops and hands-on sessions aimed at helping attendees develop a deeper understanding of developmentally appropriate uses of technology for children aged 3-8 years. Through the nearly 30 distinct Early Learning sessions, participants will gain insight into how and when to incorporate technology into programs for young learners.

“Technology allows educators to bring new methods for innovation and creativity into the classroom, and it absolutely has a place in early childhood education. What’s not always clear, however, is what tools and strategies are best when integrating technology into curriculum for our youngest learners,” said Gail Lovely, Suddenly It Clicks! and program chair of the FETC Early Learning track. “By introducing a track that is dedicated to just this question, we can help educators and administrators further their efforts to take advantage of the newest tools and resources available to enhance early learning opportunities.”

During FETC, preschool, PreK and early elementary educators will have opportunities to take a deeper dive into early learning technology topics such as incorporating technologies in developmentally appropriate ways, ensuring equitable access for students, family involvement, assessing devices and interfaces with young learners in mind, and integrating digital citizenship within learning activities. Incorporating educational technologies in playful settings while keeping content and learning in mind will be the focus throughout the sessions. The diverse and informational sessions offered at the event will provide early learning teachers and administrators with a look at existing and emerging technology, such as robotics, tablets, virtual reality, augmented reality and more.

Through 15 special hands-on workshops, attendees will be able to spend two-and-a-half hours immersing themselves in new skills, strategies and materials that will enhance educational activities in their own classrooms, schools and districts. Featured Early Learning ed tech experts and thought leaders speaking at FETC include:

  • Dr. Kate Highfield, Research Fellow at Australia’s Research Institute for Professional Practice Learning and Education (RIPPLE), who will present a number of sessions, including an Early Learning Workshop titled “Creativity and Problem Solving with Young Children: Is There an App to Cross Boundaries and Borders?”
  • Tamara Kaldor, Assistant Director of the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute, whose expertise will be showcased throughout FETC, including during the Early Learning Workshop, “STEM and Tech Integration Lesson Planning in Early Childhood: Planning for Play.”
  • Dr. Katrina Keene, Educational Strategist for Dell, who will demonstrate some of the newest digital devices and toys available on the market during her concurrent session, “Top Tech Toys to Transform Your Classroom.”
  • Gail Lovely, Independent Educator at Suddenly It Clicks!, who will present two workshops focused on Early Learning topics: “Building Interactive Books with Book Creator (Early Learning Edition)” and “Hands-on and Minds-on: Making Technology-Rich Learning Tangible and Meaningful with Young Learners.”
  • Shayna Cook, Policy Analyst, New America who is presenting “Getting the InTEL: New Map Highlights Early Literacy Programs with Integrated Technology.”

More information about the 37th National Future of Education Technology Conference, including registration details, is available at www.fetc.org or by calling toll-free 1-800-727-1227.

About the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)
The National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), the largest, national, independent education technology conference, annually attracts thousands of education and technology leaders from around the world. Delivering strategies and best practices for student success and schoolwide advancement, FETC is known as one of the nation’s premier education technology events! Recognized for its outstanding program year after year, FETC provides CTOs, CIOs, Innovation Directors, Special Ed/Pupil Services Directors, Early Childhood Directors, Media Specialists, Technologists, Administrators and other Educators, the opportunity to explore the most effective integration of technology across the curriculum — from preK-12 — through premium sessions, intensive workshops, various concurrent sessions, live demonstrations of several hundred hardware and software products, plus much more. www.FETC.org

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