This is the second of 5 blog posts where 5 education technology leaders share their thoughts on 5 questions.
Warning: These are quick-write style answers. These answers are fast, honest, and unedited. The voice is personal and there may be typos. Enjoy the unplugged ideas from these leaders.
Meet Amy, Tanya, Holly, Victoria, and Jaime:
Amy Mayer @friEdTechnology
Texas educational administrator, Director of Staff Development, Passionate about #edtech
Tanya Avrith @edtechschools
MA in Ed TECH-#DigiCit & #EdTech Lead Teacher @LBPSB. Apple Distinguished Educator. Google Certified Teacher. Co-Founder #cdnedchat &
Holly Clark @hollyedtechdiva
Victoria Olson @MsVictoriaOlson
Grade 3/4 and Tech teacher at West Langley Elementary School in Langley, BC. UBC Masters of Edtech Grad student. Founder of #BCEdChat
Jaime Vandergrift @jaimevanderg
Instructional Technology Coach & Trainer about.me/jaimevandergrift
Q1: In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing happening right now in digital learning?
Amy A1: The ability for students to create online is amazing.
Tanya A1: I am really fascinated in the shift happening with student ownership in learning. I love that we are finally getting to the point where the technology is becoming ubiquitous with learning. I am also seeing a shift with the importance for learning spaces and design.
Holly A1: The idea that – now that most of us have begun a journey with 1:1 it is now time to think about learning spaces. Learning spaces is really the next big thing and also a real game changer in education right now
Victoria A1: I love seeing pedagogy shift to student-created content and visible learning processes. It creates deeper meaning for students and allows them to reflect and assess their own learning. It also challenges teachers to meet learners where they are at, personalizing the experience for each student. Parent communication has also become more transparent through use of digital portfolios and student blogs.
Jaime A1: Global Collaboration and Learning.
Q2: Technology versus textbooks: will there ever be a winner?
Amy A2: Textbooks will go away because they are too expensive, regardless of any arguments to keep them, they just are not cost effective.
Tanya A2: I think that with technology the need for textbooks is shifting to a digital format. I think with open source resources the need for publishing companies is not necessary. To be honest, I think there is way too much corruption with these publishing companies. So I’m hoping the winner will be technology !
Holly A2: Yes – technology. Textbooks are going to be a thing of the past quickly. Think of them as blockbuster, or the library card catalog.
Victoria A2: Technology wins every time. Put both of these in front of a student. Which one are they most likely to pick up? We need to use the medium that our students are attracted to.
Jaime A2: Boo to Textbooks with limited opportunity for updates, interaction, or engagement! Yay to interactive learning. If you have an interactive learning and differentiated method of running your textbook then way to go!
Q3: What is going to be the next big thing in ed tech?
Amy A3: Online learning is going to overtake brick and mortar schools.
Tanya A3: Definitely a shift in learning spaces, mobile learning, developing icitizens and harnessing the power of social media (connectivism).
Holly A3: Learning Spaces hands down.
Victoria A3: I’ve been working closely with some leaders in the tech world on meaningful uses of Augmented Reality. I think we will see more and more applications of this tech in the classroom moving forward.
Instruction- Globally tied classroom co-learning projects
Devices – iPads and Chromebooks duke it out…
Q4: If you could give one piece of advice to teachers about how to integrate technology in their classroom this fall, what would it be?
Amy A4: Try one new thing a week but only if you find a new thing that really makes what you’re doing easier and better, otherwise, wait till next week.
Tanya A4: You always put the learning goals first then think about the technology. Lead with the pedagogy not the tools. Think about SAMR and ways you can begin to transform your teaching using technology.
Holly A4: Your classroom should be a hot mess. Don’t worry if things don’t go right or things get a bit messy at first – enjoy the journey and value failure!
Victoria A4: You’re a learner, too – so start where you are comfortable. As a tech coach, I use the SAMR model to guide my teachers through a meaningful tech integration process. Find supports in your school or district to push your thinking and GET CONNECTED – my online PLN always helps to push my thinking.
Jaime A4: Never have we diminished the learning of our students though failure of a lesson what failed with technology. In fact, those failures will be nothing more than stepping stones to growth in delivering the best lessons ever in time to come.
Q5: What’s your best kept ed tech secret?
Amy A5: I don’t have ANY secrets because I try to share everything I know, but I think Video Feedback is pretty great. Learn more here.
Tanya A5: My PLN (although I don’t keep them a secret). I learn so much every day with my PLN. I couldn’t do it without them. I just started this online show with Holly Clark called EduSlam where we interview some of the most innovative teachers from across the globe to highlight best practices in short online segments. This has been an invaluable place for me to learn.
Holly A5: No so secret anymore but I love Subtext and what it can do for digital reading and learning. It is a game-changer in education right now.
Victoria A5: I honestly try not to keep any edtech secrets, as my mandate is to share as much as possible.
Jaime A5: Jaime can’t tell us her secret, but I think it rhymes with iBook.