I was a little sad when I realised it has been a whole year since I had last blogged about EduTech. I remember leaving the conference feeling totally inspired and motivated. This year I left feeling the same way. It is such a fantastic event to attend. I am crushed that it is moving to Sydney in 2017.
The best part of going to Edutech this year was getting to bring along three of my colleagues. Exposure to innovative ideas is great, but the chance to have professional dialogue about them and their application in your school context is even better.
Coding, STEM/STEAM, Maker Spaces and Robotics are all still the buzz words in the educational technology world at the moment and are still things I am very interested in. This year I have started my own Code Club at school and we have been working pretty heavily with Sphero. I was fortunate to attend some fantastic breakout sessions that focused heavily on this and learnt about some cool new robots and Apps to use with children to help them build their coding skills. A particular area I have been struggling to find a good tool to use was with Early Coders. I was really excited by these discoveries.
Dash and Dot
Dash is an explorer who zips around the room, getting into mischief along the way. Using sensors, Dash can detect objects in front and behind, and hear where you are. This robot has quite the personality and becomes more capable as you program and play. You will find lesson plans and more useful information here: https://teachers.makewonder.com/lessons
Colby the Robot Mouse
Cargo Bot App
Local New Report on the Event
See a Storify of my Tweets during the event below:
This year, I was fortunate to attend the Eduetch conference. It was my first year attending the event which is the southern hemispheres largest education technology congress.
I expected to walk away from Edutech feeling inspired and perhaps with an even deeper love of technology, but what I did walk away with was a surprising new perspective......
I have recently rediscovered Twitter and as well as starting to connect with some of the most inspiring people in education via the social network, I am also almost keeping a journal of my experiences and thoughts. I keep my Twitter account for professional interactions and so as you can imagine, I was burning a hole in my keyboard at Edutech this year. I managed well over 100 tweets in my two days. Over the coming days and week, I plan to go back and revisit the things that stood out to me, but for the purposes of this blog post, I like to share the following:
So that's it!
I expected to be all like "Yay! Woo! Tech-nol-o-gy! Yeah! - More, I must have more!"
BUT instead I realised that it is not about the technology at all. It is about the underlying intention. One of our keynote speakers, the famous Erin Sheninger said something along the lines of that the role of technology is to support and enhance learning - it is not the learning! The pedagogical intent should come first - it is the driver, while technology is merely the accelerator. We should be focusing on what the core of our business is - TEACHING and LEARNING. Technology helps to leverage this, but it is not the be all and end all of what education is about.
This doesn't mean that I am no longer crazy about technology in the classroom - far from it. But it did make me think more about how I am using technology and hopefully this post will make you think more about it also.
Thanks for reading!
Read all about my thoughts on teaching in the 21st Century, my experiences with technology in the classroom, running a Maker Space, launching STEAM and Design Thinking with students, coding, robotics and much more!
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