Tuesday, May 31, 2016

EduTECH 2016 - Day 1 and a Decade of Reflection

EduTECH 2016 has been my first general educational technology conference in over a decade.
My first reaction was that not much has changed - these were the same or at least similar messages to those I heard 10 or more years ago. 

Greenfield's presentation was sensational although also a little sensationalist when it came to online games and social media. Since 2005 I've used Blogger, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook and never posted about cats or lattes :-) And my experience of students and online games has little in common with Greenfield's notions - even if they are peer reviewed.

Vamvakitis from Google presented on engaging VR tours in education and showed pictures of students high on Greenfield's dopamine :-)

The Google presentation reminded me of tools I was using with students 10 years ago. 

In later sessions I heard again about the need for 'problem solving' skills - problem prevention is also important. It was good to hear one speaker mention wicked problems - we need more of this. 

Then as the day unfolded I began to understand why this #EduTECHAU is different - at least for me.
  • The delegates aren't just the early adopters - and they aren't mostly IT teachers.
  • The examples are not just what a teacher is doing but what whole schools, regions and even state systems are doing.
  • The 'congresses' are diverse - teachers, administrators, school business managers, librarians, IT managers, higher education, vocational education...
As I attended sessions across these groups I realised EduTECH 2016 provides an opportunity to view similar issues through different lenses. To discuss different approaches to common challenges. To meet the next ten years of rapid advances.

I think we need more of this kind of networking - or congress.
I'm looking forward to day 2.