Tips and Ideas / Jan 12, 2017

Interested in Family Engagement? 10 Essential Companies & Talks to See at FETC


As the largest, national, independent ed tech conference, FETC is the place to be for innovative educators. It’s a fantastic opportunity to catch up with the latest trends and become a more confident and intentional user of technology at school or in the classroom. However, it’s also huge and overwhelming if you show up without a precise agenda and objectives! Your key to making the most of the conference is planning ahead.

If you’re interested in family engagement, you have to make time for the sessions and stands below. Follow our “FETC Parent Engagement Pathway” and return to work as a family engagement leader, who has a variety of tools and approaches for meaningfully connecting with the parents and the community.

Companies to talk to:

1. Internet access to reach all families with Kajeet

Surely everyone has internet access by now… right? Wrong. With essential learning components migrating online, families who are not able to provide internet access for their children feel excluded and disempowered. Kajeet is on a mission to change that. This portable, safe, filtered 4G hotspot can be used for students to enable them to work on their digital homework anywhere. But there’s more! In many cases, the tool benefits an entire family. For instance, Kajeet allowed low-income first generation immigrant families to access community resources and search for jobs.

Visit booth 613 to learn more.

2. Get infinite science project ideas for teachers and families from Science Buddies

This award-winning non-profit empowers K-12 students, parents, and teachers to find free project ideas and support in all areas of science: from physics to food science and music to microbiology. Bridging the gap between school and home, Science Buddies offer numerous resources for parents and teachers, and creative materials teachers can recommend to parents, ranging from “Dinner Science” to doing a robotics project together!

Visit booth 458 to learn more about Science Buddies.

3. Give parents a glimpse of learning topics with video with FlipGrid

Flipgrid is a video platform used by over 30,000 classrooms to ignite discussions and promote social learning. Teachers post discussion topics to which students respond with videos – although not the main feature of this tool, we think that FlipGrid can offer parents more insight into learning themes and see how their child engages in classroom tasks at home.

Check out FlipGrid at booth 1553.

4. Unite forces with parents to get kids moving, at school and at home

This smart app is just too cute to omit! GoNoodle gets millions of kids moving, dancing, stretching and focused with hundreds of interactive videos. GoNoodle helps students “get their wiggles out” during the school day but can also be used at home, giving teachers and parents an opportunity to talk about the importance of physical activity.

Connect with GoNoodle at booth 1306.

5. All-in-one parent communication & scheduling system by ClassTag

Tired of juggling multiple systems to engage parents? With ClassTag’s free website and apps you can get all communications and scheduling done while saving tons of time and, yes, trees as well. Schools that embraced ClassTag experienced improved parent-teacher communication, received more parental support, and a achieved a happier school climate. There is more: with our new Rewards, your school can make money with ClassTag! Intrigued? Sign up for a demo, and we’ll walk you through implementing ClassTag at your school and turning parents into partners.

Let’s chat! Find us at booth 2153.

Sessions to attend:

6. “It’s a Cyber Jungle out There!”

This session is a must for technology integrationists, school leaders, and digitally-driven teachers.

Parent communities are increasingly concerned about their children as students using technology, devices, screen-time, social networking and digital citizenship. This session will equip you with resources and ways to present to your parent community, hold open discussions and answer questions that will navigate those difficult issues. Walk away with a leadership presentation that will help you make your parent interactions educational as well as engaging and memorable.

Attend the session by Chris Stephenson on Thursday 26 January, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

7. “Showing How Awesome You Are: Using Social Media To Connect”

While 1-to-1 parent-teacher communication is best carried out in private, secure environments, social media can present an opportunity to enhance a happy school climate and share great things happening in schools and districts. Join Steven Anderson and learn how to avoid the pitfalls, understand the current social media landscape and use the right networks show the parents and the community what happens inside the school building.

Attend the session by Steven Anderson on Thursday 26 January, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

8. “Critically Examining Diversity Within Children’s Interactive Media”

Diversity – a vital topic for conversation and one that’s difficult when a teacher gets something wrong. This session discusses diversity within Children’s Interactive Media and helps teachers provide recommendations for parents. A must-attend for educators wanting to excel in a digitally-forward, multicultural classroom.

Attend the session by Amanda Armstrong on Thursday 26th 12:00 PM – 12:40.

9. “Everybody Code: Teaching and Learning an Essential 21st-Century Skill”

As a technology company, we couldn’t leave computer science out. Shannon McClintock-Miller will share the best tools and apps that both educators and parents can use to support students in learning coding and other digital skills.

Attend the session by Shannon McClintock-Miller on Thursday 26 January, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM.

Visit booth 1553 to find out more.

10. “Top 10 Things to Know to be a Tech-Leading Principal”

Today, principals are presented with an opportunity to use technology to lead innovation, spark collaboration, and importantly: engage students and families in the school community. Principal Pat LaMorte will dive into the top 10 things Tech-Leading Principals should know. Join the session to learn how to become one of them and use your new skills to meaningfully engage with your school community.

Attend the session by Pat LaMorte on Friday 27 January, 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM.

Will you make time for any of the companies and sessions above? What else is on your FETC agenda? Let us know by tweeting to us @classtagme!

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