This is the future of education

Orlando plays host to Future of Education Technology Conference

By Carolina Cardona - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - We've seen the changes technology is making worldwide, impacting how we live, communicate and learn.

For children, technology is pretty much in every school, helping them learn faster and motivating them to stay focused.

And because it's become an essential aspect to teaching, companies continue to create innovative ways for educators to improve the teaching skills.

"In today's education, in today's classroom, you have to understand how to use technology," said Lenny Schad, co-chair of the Future of Education Technology Conference.

Orlando recently held the FETC, where thousands of teachers got to see the lastest tools in education available.

"It's a holistic view of the education system, from the educator all the way up to the superintendent, bringing these people together to learn how to work. They're going to learn about strategies or how I improve my curriculum," Schad said.

Thousands of teachers, hundreds of whom are from Central Florida, came together at the Orange County Convention Center. 

"It was a really cool experience, something that I definitely want to take to our administration and not just for my classroom but, I think, especially for like a science department and things of that nature," said Simon Codrington III, a math teacher at Cocoa High School, where he's also a track and football coach.

Codrington III tried out the Lenovo virtual reality at the conference and believes students at his high school can benefit from this new technology.

"Especially for our athletes to be able to simulate different types of environments and different types of scenarios, that way they don't have to be taxing. They can just essentially train their mind and get a lot of those reps without having to do a lot of the hitting and contact on the field," Codrington III said.

The event showcased all types of education tools. From 3D printers to touch screen monitors to innovative classroom chairs, such as the Virco Floor Rocker chair. The unique chair gives students a different learning atmosphere. It basically allows them to move naturally and they don't feel restricted like a traditional desk and chair combination would.

And when it comes to learning the alphabet, Alive Studios' rug is helping teach kids their ABCs and animals through augmented reality.

With the use of a tablet or smartphone and a printed habitat sign, 26 animals come to life, virtually speaking. Kids have to place the card in front of the letter, and if it's a match, the animal comes to life.

The KIBO Robotic System is another product among the 400 exhibitors.

"The goal of Kibo is to get the kids on the ground, being creative and playing using our various art platforms," said Christina Nawn, director of marketing.

The Future of Education Technology Conference started more than two decades ago by a group of people in Florida.

At the time, technology wasn't seen as much in the classrooms, but educators soon realized the critical role it plays in learning.

The annual conference will be held in Miami next year.

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