|Figment of my imagination.|
My trip to FETC began with a day where Murphy's Law ruled. The entire morning represented the expression "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong" but eventually I arrived at the airport and checked-in for my flight. When I landed in Orlando, I knew everything was looking up when Figment greeted me at the airport. You don't know Figment? He's the underappreciated mascot of Epcot, a Figment of my Imagination. Eventually, I arrived at the hotel and made a plan for the next day.
Day 1 (False Start)
|MIEExpert Road2E2 jackets|
seen in the wild.
One thing I learned, a little too late, is that the first day of FETC is all premium workshops. This means that you needed to register and pay for a premium registration to attend. Therefore, after I checked in and got my nametag, there wasn't anything for me to do. So what did I do? I spent the day relaxing and maybe I did a little shopping.
Before long, it was time to meet up with my MIEExpert family for dinner and a reunion. Our dinner lasted so long it was amazing the restaurant didn't kick us out. Not only was it the MIEEs, but we were joined by the awesome teams of Flipgrid and Wakelet as we all caught up on two years.
I not only reunited with friends and peers. I also made new friends and connections.
Day 2 (The Real Start)
Wednesday morning revealed the true FETC beginning. I started my morning by trying to attend a session on making professional development engaging but it was standing room only so I ended up leaving. Made my way over to Microsoft's room and found that was standing room only also, but there was enough room near the door that I stayed to listen to Leslie Fisher talk about Teams and OneNote.
|Collage from the expo hall.|
I spent a good amount of the day in the expo hall learning about new products and features of products I already knew before trying to attend a few other sessions. One thing I will say about FETC is that because it was the first in-person conference and because I was really nervous about being in crowds I missed out on a bunch of sessions I wanted to attend because they were all popular.
Wednesday night, I was invited to an event hosted by Nearpod and it did not disappoint. I am not part of Nearpod's PioNear program like I am with Microsoft's MIEE program, but they welcomed me at their dinner anyway and made me feel like family.
Day three started with another Keynote and more networking. In the afternoon, it was my turn to present a session on Digital Whiteboarding. My session was scheduled for one of the mini theaters in the expo hall which was great because tons of people were stopping to watch for a few minutes between checking out the vendors.
|A Canva template.|
Murphy's Law reared its ugly head again as I had a lot of wifi issues during my session. Luckily, Microsoft Whiteboard is not 100% cloud-based so while I couldn't demo the cloud and collaboration, I was able to demonstrate the Windows 10 whiteboarding app. While the cloud was not cooperating, I did have my slide deck in PowerPoint so I was able to also show screenshots and discuss some pedagogy including the awesome templates on Canva.
After the Conference
Disclaimer: As a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert (MIEE), I was fortunate to have my registration and travel covered by Microsoft as a presenter using Microsoft tools.