The Internet of Things in K-12 Education, Guaranteed Applause Lines, and Other Learnings From ISTE 2015
As explained by teacher and closing ISTE 2015 keynote speaker Josh Stumpenhorst, good grades and teacher praise are not the powerful motivators they once were. If you can’t guess what drives students today, the answer is at the bottom of this blog. Here’s a big hint: it has to do with social media.
An important message Stumpenhorst delivered to teachers is to stop complaining about the constraints or “the boxes” and aggressively work within them. The boxes are actually pretty big. He tossed out a number of creative ideas and resources to teachers including @Pernilleripp’s Global Read Aloud, @crafty184’s prosthetic hands maker project, and @wmchamberlain’s comments4kids project. In closing, he had everyone in the audience send themselves an email via Futureme.org, to be delivered after school starts up in the fall; as a reminder of the great lessons they learned and urging them to take action.
There were two guaranteed applause lines at ISTE 2015 and with teachers in general these days. Just say you hate testing and teachers everywhere will cheer you. (Taking Stumpenhorst’s more proactive stragegy to heart, I’d urge teachers to push for more formative assessment approaches, as a path toward avoiding the need for summative assessments.) The other, almost surprising applause line given that the conference is called International Society for Technology in Education 2015 is, “it’s not about the technology.” This may be reflective of a sense of competition against technology, rather than working with technology. To clarify, Stumpenhorst showed the following summary.
- Gift 21 – circuits
- Gift 22 – computational thinking
- Gift 23 – eTextiles
- Gift 24 – reverse engineering; tools and soldering irons
Stories of EdTech Innovation
The US Department of Education was on hand during the Connected Educator session and called attention to 70 stories of innovation at k-12 districts across the country, involving personalized learning, 1:1 initiatives, connectivity, community engagement, and accessibility. Planning for CEM 2015 is now well underway. One of the activities that originated with CEM was the FutureReady program, as a way prepare school districts for the new technology resources becoming available through the E-rate program.
Have you guessed what the most motivating feedback to students in the social era is? Josh Stumpenhorst encourages his students to post their project results on social media. He has found there is now no stronger positive feedback than Likes, Retweets, Favs, Views, and Forwards.