January is an exciting time in the edtech world! Everyone is back to school after a refreshing break, preparing technologies for state testing, and starting to plan and research stages of their next deployment!
One of the best ways to scope out the latest and greatest in the edtech world is to attend a conference- there is nothing better than a group of like-minded educators gathering to chat about technology in the classroom! In perfect conjunction with this planning and research season, we have two of the top edtech conferences in the company occurring. FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference), happening January 23-26, 2023 in New Orleans, LA, and TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) going on from January 30- February 2, 2023 in San Antonio, TX.
Whether you’re a seasoned conference pro or a newbie to the scene, it’s easy to get overwhelmed attending an edtech conference. You’re in a new place, there are a million sessions to choose from, and more booths to explore than you can wrap your head around. To help you prepare for your conferences this season we’ve put together a list of the top five tips for attending FETC, TECA, or any other edtech conference:
- Explore the Conference Website
- Pick your sessions
- Scope out your must-visit expo booths
- Be prepared
- Stay organized
1. Explore the Conference Website
The best place to start once you know you are attending an edtech conference is to check the website- they are treasure chests for information. Here you will find information including the list of exhibiting companies, educational sessions, and special events. Even if you’ve been to edtech conferences for years, it is always good to get your grounding before the convention center doors open. Plus, conference websites are where you’ll start some of your conference research and planning!
Visit for more info:
2. Pick your Sessions
The amount of information and education you can absorb at an edtech conference is astronomical. If you can think it- there is most likely a session for it! With only a few days to take advantage of the learning opportunities, it’s vital that you plan before you go. For tech directors, administrators, and others deeply involved in the device procurement, deployment, and management process, this is the perfect opportunity to grow your skill set and knowledge. Sessions range from practical information about grants and funding, particular devices or OS management and deployment, to fun scavenger hunts, panels on esports, and tips on all the new, hot edtech tools on the market. Below, we have put together a list of sessions Gumdrop recommends for you during this planning and research phase of your edtech buying adventure.
- Foundations of Apple Device Management & Troubleshooting
- Technology Lifecycle Management
- Deploy and Manage Chromebooks Like a Pro!
- Changes Your Digital Strategy Needs BEFORE the Money Arrives
- Technology Grants: Write It, Sell It, Get It!
- Don’t Cuss About Customer Service – Best Tricks and Tips
- So We Have All These Devices…Now What?
- A 20-Year Success Story of District-Wide 1:1
3. Scope Out Your Must-Visit Expo Booths
Walking into an expo hall at an edtech conference is overwhelming, to say in the least. There is something exciting everywhere you look, and you totally feel like a kid in a candy store! However, when your focus is on how to make your next deployment happen, it’s important to enter the hall with a plan. Expo halls at edtech conferences provide such a great opportunity to get products in your hands, to make new connections, and to collect ALL the information possible to help you in your next steps.
The FETC and TCEA websites provide you with maps and interactive resources to plan your exploration! Easily take a screenshot and save it on your phone for when you’re on the floor for easy access. What’s even better? Both conferences offer FREE apps so you can have all the most important information right at your fingertips.
Make sure you plan a stop at the Gumdrop booth at both shows to play a fun bag toss game for a chance to win fun prizes and be entered for a chance to win our exciting grand prize!
Click the images below to be taken to expo hall maps. Make sure to visit Gumdrop at booths:
4. Be Prepared
Let’s face it, it’s going to be a super fun but crazy exhausting few days! It’s important to be prepared for anything that may come your way! Here are some ways to be prepared:
HYDRATE! Drinking water is key to keeping up your momentum!
EAT! Figure out if you will be bringing lunch and snacks, checking out the concessions, or leaving the convention hall to grab something to eat. Your brain needs energy for all the learning and exploring you are doing.
DRESS APPROPRAIATELY! Wear good shoes. You will be walking A LOT and you do not want to risk the misery of blisters. It’s also important to dress in layers for any temperature of room. Use a sturdy bag or backpack to store extra layers, devices, snacks, and more in!
BRING YOUR DEVICE! All sessions are BYOD (bring your own device) and it’s important to find the right balance of tech to bring with you during the day. We recommend the lighter the device, the better. You’ll be walking and moving all day. Stick to your phone or iPad (In a Gumdrop case 😉) and cloud-based apps to save information across devices. Make sure to bring charging cables and battery packs too!
5. Stay Organized
You will collect so many papers, flyers, goodies, and freebies that you’ll be swimming in riches like Scrooge McDuck! It will be AWESOME! As you are researching for your future edtech deployment, the more information you have, the better decisions you will make. However, it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Bring a folder with you to organize papers and keep them from getting lost on your travels back home, clean out your backpack so you have room to be organized the next day. Processing the information in chunks day by day will help keep you from drowning. To score the best swag (and free drink tickets!) make sure to visit our Gumdrop booth at both events!
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have a smooth and successful conference and will tick the edtech planning and research boxes on your list.
Gumdrop is excited for this conference season! As you explore and research device options, make sure you are thinking about your entire edtech complement. Are your devices protected with Gumdrop cases reducing breakage rates by 35%? Do you provide your students with premium headphones since 69% of schools use audio for testing? So many things to consider! Visit us at FETC and TCEA to get your hands on the best Chromebook and iPad cases on the market, receive in-person support from our expert sales and customer care teams, and win some sweet prizes too!
Stay healthy and travel safe! See you soon New Orleans and San Antonio!