Teachers Should be Mean to Ed Tech Salespeople
In this episode, Kristy and Ricky talk about the ed tech news of the week and ask for listeners advice for a fellow listener on a district ed tech solution… and also, teachers should be more mean to salespeople.
Ed Tech News RunDown
What Exactly is a Modern Learning Environment?
Ed Tech Magazine asks What exactly is a modern learning environment. This is a valid question, especially considering I heard a government representative say he wants to take things back to one room schoolhouses… believe it or not. They mention that modern classrooms embrace tech in all aspects of learning. The distinction here is that technology, like cell phones and other tech, aren’t an afterthought but rather an integral part of the classroom experience. The second, and final, part of the modern classroom is flexible and efficient furniture. They mention easily customizable furniture, standing desks, and furniture outfitted with usb and other means of charging electronics. Overall, I don’t think these are groundbreaking ideas but I would say these things certainly can, and probably should be, a part of a modern classroom.
3 Tips for Exciting Professional Development
In this article from EdTech Magazine, Jena Passut summarizes tips from Steve Dembo’s session at TCEA where he offers 3 tips to create more exciting professional development. First, interactivity creates a dynamic learning experience. He suggests using audience tools such as All Our Ideas which follows a hot or not model and Dot Storming a way for the audience to upvote their ideas as ways to generate ideas and get everyone weighing in. He also suggests Padlet which is getting better and better. He also likes laser pointers and buys them in bulk to pass out during sessions. Second, Use Twitter for Professional Education. We know how much we can learn from being connected to other educators and participating in Twitter chats, but it can be intimidating and overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. He shares that Twitter beginners should check out Participate, which brings all of the chats into one location and filters them into one location. Lastly, number three, don’t forget to make PD fun and embrace the idea of the EdCamp. At an EdCamp, there is no set agenda and the topics are chosen by the attendees.
Teachers Should be Mean to Ed Tech SalesPeople
An EdSurge article explains that teachers may be too nice to ed tech sales people. The overall premise of this article is that sometimes it is nicer to say no. They mention that teacher are always hoping for the best for their students so, of course, they want to believe all ed tech is going to help. They also just aren’t the type of cutthroat buyers and therefore string ed tech sales people along which can be bad for the sales people as well. The big takeaway from this, for me, is something I have been saying for a while. Don’t entertain a sales pitch for something you don’t already know you need. We should only be searching for products that fill a very specific need for our students, schools, or districts.
Fight Your Tech Addiction
This article may not seem like a good fit for an Ed Tech Show, but Ed Surge brings us “Need to Go on a Tech Diet”? Current Ways to Fight Your Device Addiction. This past Sunday, the New York Times reported that former Facebook and Google employees are teaming up with Common Sense Media for a campaign to inform people about the dangers of technology. Some concerns mentioned in the article for young children are using tech as a tool when your child is emotionally upset trains the brain to act as stimulant rather than using tools to calm down. Also, devices can decrease a child’s ability to stay engaged in the learning process after being conditioned for an immediate reward through technology. The article mentions a “Wait until 8 movement” and I thought it meant 8 years old, but no, it means 8th grade. Lastly, they give serveral examples to monitor or limit your children’s internet usage at home including Google’s Family Link, ways to limit your apple device, and third party apps like Circle, Dinner Time Plus. As a last resort, you can put it in a locked case by Yondr where you have to have a special key to unlock it. Seems pretty extreme, and I’m not sure locking down devices is the way to go, but how do we teach our kids healthy habits and limits so it doesn’t get to that point. Certainly monitoring and setting ground rules should be a part of any tech device.
Check out Episode 58, Where we talk more about successful Ed Tech Integration.
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