The warm sunshine isn't the main attraction at FETC, however. This ed-tech conference is in its 37th year, this time pulling together around 9,000 teachers, January 23-26. And the Orange County Convention Center is huge. As in, has its own zip code large. (Okay--maybe not.) Even with the massive spread of space in the convention center, FETC had a noticeably full feeling each day I attended. Even though this was my second year attending, I still felt the awe of stepping into the expo hall. Of the conferences I've been able to attend, I would say FETC is second or ties for second right behind ISTE when it comes to the size and fullness of the exposition hall..
The Microsoft area of the expo hall was a hive of activity, so I had to wait my turn to get to the Surface Studio. Obviously, I was impressed with the device, but was equally pleased to get my hands on the Surface Dial, which felt incredibly intuitive. People who work in art, web design, photo editing, and all areas of graphic design will fall in love with this device. As a former hobbyist photographer/re-toucher, I can see the potential workflow empowerment of those who make the upgrade. Unfortunately, I will not be purchasing a Surface Studio anytime soon, but the Dial will be getting delivered to my door this spring, as I think it still will flex some usefulness to the Surface pro 4.
Class Notebook Boot Camp is supposed to resemble basic training for the various branches of the armed forces in one way: It is meant to equip you with a foundation of the core things you need to know. Not everything there is to know, as that would take much longer than a 2.5 hour workshop. Rather, Class Notebook Boot Camp teaches the essentials of what you need to start rolling comfortably with using Class Notebook in the classroom.
I was very pleased with how the session went. I always pick my presentation and myself apart in a post-workshop reflection, and I can honestly say that I feel those in attendance walked away satisfied. Part of that credit may go to my preparation, but a good deal of it goes to an enthusiastic bunch in attendance. This was a seriously engaged group of educators who made my job much easier. I've noticed this past year that there is some serious interest in OneNote in the South. :-)
I felt kind of like a bandit, because right after my session was over, it was time to sprint back to the hotel, check out, and hit the path homeward. The folks who put together FETC annually know what they are doing. It is a well oiled, smooth running operation with lots to keep participants engaged. I hope I am able to attend again very soon.