EduTECH Sydney 2017

What a great event EduTECH was, seeing all the new gadgets and emerging technologies in education. But for me, the best part was connecting with like-minded educators who, like me, have a passion for the effective use of technology in education, to make a real difference in how students learn. It is not about the ‘bells and whistles’, but harnessing the potential and power of technology to change the way we teach and learn to improve engagement and outcomes and prepare students for an ever-changing world. “Teachers must be catalysts“, said Liam King.

EduTECH summary

PERSONALISED LEARNING

Many speakers talked about the important of personalised learning, the paradigm of student control, “learning playlists” and using technology to allow the personalisation of student learning to cater for all learning styles and abilities.

GROWTH MINDSET

The importance of the Growth Mindset rather than the Fixed Mindset to improve resilience, believing you can always learn and improve, praising hard work, resilience and effort rather than intelligence and results.

EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION

Abdul Chohan said “We’ve always done it this way” are the most expensive words in education! Look at the changes in education as a constant state of evolution rather than revolution, it is a process not an end result, making small changes along the way. Lee Crockett spoke of the 10 Shifts of Practice and “Learn the form, Master the Form, then Go Beyond the Form”. Innovative schools need to prepare students for the future.

RELIABLE AND SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY

Back end infrastructure, such as wifi, must be good and reliable, backup data and ‘just work’ to save frustration. Technology and LMS (Learning Management Systems) must be reliable and easy to use.

THE ‘BRILLIANT STRUGGLE’ AND ‘BEST FAILURE’

All innovations have come from trial and error and failures (some spectacular failures!), these should be embraced as learning opportunities, teachers should share their ‘one best failure’ as well as ‘one best thing’. Let students fail to build resilience. Catherine Misson said “Trial and error is the precursor to an innovative breakthrough”. Let students fail! Imagine how many failures all the best inventors and innovators have had on the road to success!

TEACHER TRAINING 

Development and training needs to be valued and should be regular not just occasional, teachers need more time to plan in school time and collaborate, “to be a good teacher, be a good learner”. Abi Woldhuis said “walk alongside, build confidence” and “invest in your teachers – build them up”. Leaders need to value training in schools and teachers need to feel they are valued.

FEEDBACK OVER MARKING

Evidence of the power of feedback through the voice, made easy with apps such as Seesaw and Showbie, and that feedback (or as Hattie calls it – Feed Forward) is more beneficial to learning than receiving a single mark. Catherine Misson said “really good feedback is a fundamental lever for accelerated progression of learning”.

Liam King posted the conundrum:

We’re currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist

for using technologies that haven’t been invented yet

in order to solve problems we don’t know are problems yet

As educators, we need to prepare students for an ever-changing and unknown future, so we need to teach them to be resilient, innovative, life-long learners and problem-solvers. And we, as educators, need to lead by example!

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