Category Archives: edtech

“EdTech” is a Leadership Position

Spending a lot of time at technology conferences, one thing is evident; there are a ton of sessions on “stuff”.  As I write this post, people are scurrying around to find ways to connect “Pokemon Go” to the classroom.

Sessions like “100 tech tools in 60 minutes”, often dominate these conferences.  So many choices, yet so little time to implement.  We quickly move from one thing to the next, waiting for the next big thing.

Yet many of the participants in these same conferences have positions that are purposely meant to extend past the classroom.  “Tech leads” or “Director of Innovation”, etc., are common titles.

So when you look at those positions…they are much more than the “stuff”. They are about how to help other people move forward.

For every blog post or book you read on technology, you should (at minimum) read an equivalent amount on leadership.  “Cool tools” stay as “cool tools” if we do not think deeply about “why” we use them, and how others will see meaning in them.

So some quick thoughts on how to help others move forward with educational technology:

  1. Don’t just show people tools…discuss the thinking and learn to make a direct connection to deeper learning.
  2. Ask questions more than you give answers. Great leadership starts from where people are at, not where they want them to go.
  3. If you go to a conference, take time to reflect on any tools that you learn and think about where they fit into the bigger picture of your school’s mission or vision.  If you spend 60 minutes in a session learning about a tool, take 60 minutes in that day to think about how to get others to implement.
  4. Streamline…do less, better.  Don’t turn a teacher’s full plate into a full platter.

This quote is relevant.

Quotefancy-15635-3840x2160

If you embrace the above, you will understand this is about a lot more than the “stuff”.

 

r/NextSpace (Reddit)

For a number of years, I’ve enjoyed using Reddit as a source for my daily reading. Reddit, often known as “the front page of the Internet,” is often where one can find stories and trends before they go viral in the mainstream. As well, because of the networking and conversational properties of the spaces, I’ve often mused about the potential of Reddit as a space where educational conversations might be hosted and shared. There are several education-related subreddits (specifically-themed topics or communities) such as r/education and r/edtech, but these spaces tend to be a bit stagnant.

Just recently, my friend @j0hnburns (and colleagues) took on the idea of developing a new subreddit at r/NextSpace with the goal of creating a space where deeper conversations around edtech related topics could be hosted and shared. He’s written about the launch and has included the overall rationale, how to get to started with Reddit, and how to contribute to r/NextSpace.

To help with this launch, I’ve agreed to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) starting on Monday March 14th, 8pm EST (or see your time conversion here). To participate, check out this AMA thread, ask questions (you can post them early if you like), upvote or downvote the questions or comments of others, and I will do my best to respond to whatever gets asked. I know I’m nowhere near as big of a draw as those who have led some of the most popular AMAs, but hey, I’d like to help in any way to get this started. Plus, I think I have a lot to share regarding my thoughts on edtech, digital citizenship, digital identity, or other related topics. And of course, an AMA is about what you contribute as well!

So I hope that you will give Reddit and r/NextSpace a try, and hopefully I’ll hear from you at the AMA next week!