In this episode, Kristy and Ricky talk about the Ed Tech news of the week including a lot of talk about broadband and 5G internet access. And the featured segment is 3 ways for teachers to be add engagement in their online course.
Ed Tech News RunDown
How Should Ed Tech Be Used?
Ed Week.Org recently did a Q and A session with an ed tech expert to talk about his take on the direction of ed tech and some ideas about how it should be used. The interview is with Justin Bathon,an associate professor in the department of educational leadership studies at the University of Kentucky and the director of Innovative School Models for the college of education there.
As I recommend with most Q and A sessions we talk about, take a minute to read the entire interview as you may get different highlights than I do. One of the first things that caught my eye is that he still sees a lot of blind spending on Ed Tech. I really was hoping that this would be something that would be almost gone at this point. Seriously people, this should be something we don’t do anymore. He mentions people who are putting public perception ahead by giving out devices simply so it looks good in the press. I can attest that this can alter decisions as I have seen it happen first hand at a previous job. The other thing that really jumps out is that students are disconnected to technology in general as it is something they are so used to now, even that initial wow factor may be wearing off. He mentions that students are very interested in watching YouTube and that as educators we should be finding ways to use that to our advantage.
Bringing Broadband to the Masses
An article in Ed Tech Magazine explains that states and K-12 districts are working together to bring Broadband to schools. To sum up this article… slow internet bad, fast internet good. Seriously though, it requires a concerted effort on the parts of schools, districts, and states to make sure that they are addressing internet connectivity issues. And while the access to broadband has been greatly increased it still needs improvement to keep up with demand for devices, especially in one to one initiatives. The article mentions that all too often schools either have the technology or the broadband covered but too often they don’t have both to the level they should. Part of that certainly comes down to funding but also poor planning can be the issue as well. There is also the issue of location, some schools just simply don’t have access to fast internet. We have an article coming up that hopefully will help give access to more schools.
5G and the Implications for Schools
We have a story from Ed Tech Magazine that talks about what exactly 5G is and what it might mean for ed tech. I think the concept of 4G, 5G and the like is pretty well known with how ubiquitous cell phones and data plans are these days but let’s dive a little bit deeper into 5G. First and foremost 5G will increase the bandwidth available for cellular data connections. If you’ve ever seen the verizon, i think, commercial with people all running through a hole in the wall and all of the sudden then hole gets smaller and a lot less people can get through… that’s essentially bandwidth. And why this matters to schools is that many more devices should be able to use the same connection and maintain fast speeds. Eventually we will probably just be using wirleless cellular data instead of wired internet connections and 5G may be the technology that gets us there. They claim that the latency is so low that AR and VR experiences will be excellent on 5G. Verizon is a big player in this network rollout and they’ve also also issued a challenge for universities and nonprofit organizations to submit ideas on how to utilize AR/VR in K–12 classrooms, offering funding and 5G access to the winners. So check that out and maybe get your school or district fast tracked to 5G. Based on our last article and this one, it’s all about the internet baby… faster and more simultaneous connections for the win.
Getting Your Next Ed Tech Jobs
Our next story is an Ed Surge article about building a bridge to your next ed tech job. I assume as listeners of this show it is highly probable you either have a job in the ed tech industry or as an educator you have at least thought about the prospects of working for the private sector with an ed tech company. I think some of the things this article mentions could also be helpful attempting to get a more ed tech related job in the school system as well. One of the biggest concepts they mention is how important it is to be facing the future during an interview. It is fine to talk about your past experiences but don’t get stuck only talking about that. Mention how those experiences have paved the way for you to take the company into the future of ed tech. This is probably good info for any type of job interview as well because the person interviewing you wants to know what you could bring to their company, not only what you brought to your old one. I think it is an important message in general for ed tech enthusiasts as well. Don’t get caught up in past achievements, always be looking to be one step ahead of what the future will bring. It makes me think of the last story… developing cool AR/VR experiences may not matter if you aren’t already addressing the future internet needs.
Check out Episode 90 Where we talk more about school WiFi.
Give the Podcast a review on iTunes
Reviewing the podcast really helps us reach more people and it also makes us feel good. Please click here to leave us a review and subscribe to the show.