By Angelo Biasi

As I made my way through the vibrant corridors of this year’s Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, I was on a specific mission to explore the latest and greatest innovations, disruptors, cutting-edge tech, and methodologies, poised to redefine the future educational landscape. This event consistently attracts a diverse congregation of educators, technologists, policymakers, and innovators, all united by a shared commitment to enhancing teaching and learning through the adoption of new technologies. As a veteran EdTech founder, coach, innovator, investor, and operator, I felt right at home.

The central tenet resonating throughout the conference was unmistakable. Education technology is not just about glitzy hardware and sophisticated algorithms; it’s about humanizing the learning experience, making it more accessible, engaging and profoundly impactful for every teacher and student. I would boldly classify this as ‘pragmatic innovation.’

I feel we are deep within the belly of the greatest education and workforce transformation of our time. Whether we care to admit it or not, this more ‘mature’ and ‘insightful’ view took me a bit by surprise. It further underscored a pivotal narrative. The revolution in education technology is not solely about what technology can do for education, but rather what education can do with technology. In other words, it is about leveraging technologies and tools to kindle curiosity, to democratize knowledge, and to sculpt a future where learning and the human-centered application of that learning knows no bounds.

As with year’s past, 2024’s sessions covered hot and pressing Education Technology topics from personalized learning and the rise of EdTech for inclusivity, to digital literacy and data-driven decision making, to cybersecurity in education, while thought-leading expert speakers presented key messages to take note of for those of us most interested in thriving within the ecosystem. To sketch out my experience, here are some notes from conversations with moving / shaking executives who showcased their wares and shared their unique approaches and problems they are solving for within the ecosystem:

Brainly: Demonstrated how they are taking over 10 years of being a leader of high-quality expert and user- generated homework help and study tools to further enhance and personalize the learning experience. I was particularly impressed with their robust content database to further leverage new and unique ways for remediation, teacher efficiencies, and improved learning outcomes.

Incident IQ: Is a hardware asset and ticketing management system company focused on keeping devices (>8M) working among teachers and students. They shared with me how the company is using supply-chain communications technologies to improve response times and integration while not losing site of extreme- human-centered client care.

ClassVR: Focused on lowering barriers to entry for teachers and providing a “larger pipe” of interactive content so that the benefits of virtual reality (VR) immersive learning experiences can be more accessible, engaging and comprehensive. I’d put this in the category of value via collaboration and consolidation.

LG: We discussed how LG is using their prominence and human-centered design learning from consumer electronics and other specific markets, like healthcare, to make teaching more simplified, removing several of the existing challenges with hardware including cutting-edge display technology for classrooms, ultra-wide monitors and interactive digital boards, aimed at enhancing visual learning and collaborative classroom environments focusing on technology’s role in modernizing education spaces.

Gale by Cengage: Is solving for the question, “How can we leverage our depth and breadth of content to create individualized learning for every student and classroom at scale?” They presented digital library resources and databases, emphasizing the importance of accessible, high-quality research materials for students and educators alike, showcasing solutions that support curriculum development and lifelong learning.

Scribbles: Showcased innovative software for managing student documents and applications, or “solving for paper,” further streamlining administrative processes for schools, and improving the efficiency of traditional document handling and submission for college and career-readiness programs.
The collective vision of notable exhibitors, whether it be technological supply-chain innovations, new applications of robust data systems, improved accessibility to more personalized content, or simply increased efficiencies to regain teachers’ time with greater overall outcomes – each company listed above, and most others on the show floor, are paying great attention to human-centered design with technology as the enabler. Afterall, each year’s FETC conference stands as a crucial confluence point for the exchange of ideas, practices, and technologies that will shape the future of education. With the roadmap laid out by the luminaries and innovators at this year’s conference, the path forward is ablaze with the promise of transformation, equity, and unprecedented educational experiences.

As we look ahead, the insights and connections forged will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the eolution of education technology. For anyone involved in the realm of education, the conference reinforced the message that a human-centered design future enabled by evolving technologies is not just coming; it’s here, and it’s filled with opportunities for those ready to embrace it.

About the author

Angelo Biasi is an EdTech/WorkforceTech Leader/Founder/Coach who has committed most of his career to transforming teaching and learning on a global scale. He recently acquired the award-winning Solvably, a collaborative, creative problem-solving platform for lifelong learners, and released AI Centers of Excellence for K12, Higher Ed, and Corporate Talent to support “AI Literacy for ALL”. For more, visit: www.angelobiasi.com and www.solvably.com.