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FETC® is here for you during this unusual and historic time in education.

The Future of Education Technology® Conference is providing education technology leaders and professionals with guidance to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic impacting schools across the nation. We understand this is a very difficult and unforeseen time in the lives of all educators.

As we all work through this together, we are collecting useful insights and strategies from former FETC speakers; plus our magazine, District Administration, is keeping on top of all the developments and passing helpful information on to you here.

This page will be updated regularly, join our mailing list to stay up-to-date.

INTERVIEWS WITH FETC SPEAKERS

Ryan Schaaf

Top 5 Quick Tips

Ryan Schaaf
Ryan Schaaf, Associate Professor of Educational Technology, Notre Dame of Maryland University


  1. Learning with Digital Games: A Guide for Educators and Parents during the COVID-19 Crisis is a free guide that will provide educators and parents with over 40 learning games and ten learning game hubs to supplement instruction for learners during the pandemic.
  2. Globally, over 2 billion people play digital games. They are highly-interactive, engaging, and fun. There is a growing body of research that supports that players can learn through gameplay.
  3. Digital learning games are available and can help both parents and educators provide academic experiences for learners, while schools are closed.
  4. Each game entry in the guide provides the title of a game, its suggested age range for players, a game description, and the academic content covered in gameplay.
  5. Gameplay for learners may include independent play, where children are simply learning as they play. Some games may require support and guidance from parents or educators.

Leslie Fisher

5 Gadgets to Help you with Remote Learning

Leslie Fisher
Leslie Fisher, Director, lesliefisher.com


  1. Lume Cube: Lighting so bright you can actually bounce it off a wall or ceiling instead of it having it hit your noggin. Allows you to control light levels from you mobile device and enhance how you look while in your virtual meetings.
  2. iPevo: Offers high quality wired and wireless document cameras with accompanying software that does everything from time lapse, zoom, brightness, OCR and so much more. Website includes tips on how to use their devices for remote learning as well as with a multitude of popular online meeting platforms.
  3. Think Board: Dry erase plastic sheets that you can peel and stick onto tables, walls, etc. Easily removable and can be applied again and again. Perfect for placing a sheet on your work table, pointing a document camera at it and scribbling away for others to see virtually.
  4. iCloth: Handy little cleaning cloths I have been using for years. Cleans your devices of grime without streaks. I use it now more than ever on my iPhone.
  5. Snap Camera: If you heard about the principal logging into a meeting as a potato and not knowing why you can blame this free application that gives you the ability to access snapchat filters for free from your Mac or PC.

Monica Burns

Tips to Support Families with Online Learning

Monica Burns
EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, Class Tech Tips, LLC


  1. Lean into the workflows students and families are already familiar with as best as you can. If you’ve already used Seesaw, Microsoft Teams, or Google Classroom, commit to these instead of trying something new.
  2. To support students and families as you implement online learning, use your established communication channels (email, mailed newsletters, social media, apps like Remind and Class Dojo) to share resources and make recommendations.
  3. Include a “how” with any free resources you share with families. For example, if you send a link to a collection read aloud videos like StorylineOnline to families, include some tips for how to use those videos with students.
  4. Think weekly in addition to daily. Families with a variety of obligations might find it easier to support their children with weekly academic goals than daily goals for submitting work or completing activities.
  5. Provide space for families to ask questions or request support for resources. Although a community group may be useful at times, you may find that families are more likely to complete a Google Form with a request, than posting it in a public Facebook group.

Kyle Steele

Student First Strategies

Kyle Steele
Founder and CEO, Learn Jelly, Inc.; Program Director, Rally Social Enterprise Accelerator; Managing Partner, CREDO Conduit


  1. Do Not Fear
    Do not cuddle your fear or anxiety because you will never experience the power of these strange times staying in the shallows where it’s secure, where you can touch the bottom. Use these times to coax yourself into the deep by trying new things, experimenting with new methods, or pushing past the traditional. Yes, these are strange times and things can feel uncertain and unfamiliar but do not fear because we have each other and we’re all in it together. For in time, our students and community will reap a rich harvest if we fight to go deep.
  2. Turn Your School Into A Hotspot
    As we move to deliver educational content virtually, we must remember that a digital divide still exists. As a result of economic circumstances or living location, a significant number of students have either no or limited access to the internet. Therefore, allow students to access the school's internet via WiFi during designated hours from designated outside areas, such as parking lots. Additionally, have school personnel or security staff actively monitor the adherence of prescribed rules and ensure the security of students.
  3. Upload Downloadable Lessons To YouTube
    Have teachers record classroom sessions on their mobile devices, Zoom or other platforms of choice and then upload them to Youtube. Ensure that the videos can be downloaded by viewers. Once again, we have to assume students have various levels of internet access therefore, by making videos downloadable, we give students the ability to access the content offline 24/7.
  4. Low-Tech First
    When creating education delivery plans, keep low-tech options at the center of discussions and solutions. With everyone being ordered to stay at home, the competition to use available devices within the family unit has substantially increased. Therefore, educators should find and deploy low-tech options to deliver and present content. The reality is that printing out assignments, bundling them up for students, mailing them weekly, and providing return postage could be the new norm, at least for the foreseeable future.
  5. Lean On The Community
    No one has to go at this alone. People and organizations all across the education community are lending and providing support. Services providers are reducing or eliminating the cost to access the internet, online content, and other important resources. Additionally, frontline educators are providing free virtual sessions that expose other learning guardians to new activities and lessons for students. Lean on the Future of Education Technology Conference and other trusted folks who can point you to credible resources and mobilize an army of teachers and thought leaders who are ready to help you. Remember, now more than ever, that our lives and work will always get better when we come alongside each other!

Eric Sheninger

Remote Learning 101

Eric Sheninger
Associate Partner, International Center for Leadership in Education


Remote Learning 101

Kasey Bell

Top 5 Quick Tips

Kasey Bell
Learning Coach and Author, Shake Up Learning


  1. Grace is Greater Than Grades
  2. Prioritize Emotional Needs
  3. Choose a Platform and Stick with It!
  4. Offline Activities are Just as Important as Online
  5. Reduce Work by at Least Half

Rushton Hurley

Insights for school district administrators

Rushton Hurley
Founder and Executive Director, Next Vista for Learning


  1. Convey your faith that students and teachers can live up to this challenge.
    In our world at the moment, figuring out how to teach and learn effectively is hard. However, given the tools and information resources that are now available, the members of your community who push themselves will learn things that will make them stronger for the rest of their lives.
  2. Draw upon the talents of your team.
    Each member of your team has talents, but when things are easy and formulaic, many of those talents go unseen. Reach out to everyone - teachers, staff, students, families - and ask what they can do now that they couldn't a week ago, and what they are learning about themselves.
  3. Build a culture of creative exploration.
    People will judge themselves against the speed at which others learn, but foster a joy in figuring things out together. If your teachers can do this with each other, their students will be much more likely to have chances to discover new things in themselves.
  4. Seek and share stories of success.
    There are stories at your school as people grapple with this crisis. Stories of students who discover confidence and ability, of staff members who contribute in unexpected ways, and of teachers who keep building on what was already strong. These are the stories that will define your school for a generation. Document and celebrate them, and know that it has never been easier to create compelling visual stories to inspire others.
  5. Know that heroes are those who choose an honorable path, even when it is difficult to do so.
    Some in your community will complain about the extra work and the changes now required of them. It is easy to give them a pass, but know such gratitude is temporary. Stay strong, help them see strength in themselves, and you will have done what is right.

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