Hack Ed 2013 ideas list

#iste13 #hacked13 Yesterday I attended the annual un-conference that is before ever ISTE conference. Over the years the name of this un-conference has changed, I think it started as EduBloggerCon but then last year they changed it to SocialEdCon, which didn't last because this year it is Hack Ed. A name the better suits this crowd of educational heretics.

Here are some of the ideas I got from this year's un-conference...

1 to 1 is big. With most schools now going for the idea of a laptop/computer/tablet per child, the problems that came up during these sessions were all about how to manage all of the hardware. Everything from security issues to bandwidth were discussed.

The Maker Movement is Coming. The ideas of "makers" has been around for at least the past 15 years, but now it is finally getting traction in our schools. With many schools now opting to change their old shops and home-ec spaces into Maker Spaces. Some schools are now giving up some of their library space to be Maker Spaces. Geeks and tinkerers rejoice!

Badges are Going to Be Big. There was a lot of discussion this year around using badges to motivate students to learn more. This is another idea that has been brewing for a while, but is now starting to hit critical mass for acceptance as a viable alternative to grades.

Sorry I can't write more, but I have to get to my next event.




An Edtech Teacher's Take on CES 2013

#edtech Why does an edtech teacher visit the largest consumer electronics show on earth?

Each winter I look forward to attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as part of my job as an elementary technology teacher and edtech consultant. More for the latter I suppose.

At CES each year I get a chance to glance into the crystal ball of technology. You see, often times when I am working with school districts on their technology plans I will get asked about my opinions of where technology is headed. A fair question when you're a district about to spend millions of dollars on technology. CES allows me to see how things are trending in technology. For example a few years ago 3D was all the rage, but at CES I got to play with 3D technology and I couldn't see it working in homes, let alone schools. So I steered districts away from it, and sure enough, 3D for homes and schools at least, is D.O.A.

Other technologies that I have discovered at CES like tablet computers as teleprompters, I used at my own school. There is something about being able to play with technology that helps me decide if it will work in schools or not. Seeing, and touching, really is believing when it comes to technology.

School technology is a moving target so it is important to get as much intelligence as you can, so you can get the biggest bang for your edtech buck. I think we've all been burned, whether at home or at school, when we've purchased a new piece of technology one day only to have is become obsolete the next. I work hard to prevent this as much as possible and attending CES helps.

But CES is massive, the show covers the equivalent of 32 football fields, so there is no way I can see it all in the few days that I am there. So I make a plan of which technologies I need to check out. This year I am focused on mobile technologies.

So here I go, off to Las Vegas with 160,000 other geeks to check out the coolest gadgets on earth, all in hopes of seeing where the edtech ball will be instead of where it is right now.


We've Made It to Podstock!

#edtech #edchat #podstock

This morning we left our cozy and cool home in Northern Colorado to drive across the state and into our neighboring state of Kansas to attend the annual Podstock conference that starts tomorrow. As we drove and the sun began to get higher in the sky the mercury started to rise higher and higher. By the time we got to Wichita my car's outside temperature read 109!

Nine hours later we were in Wichita and seeing how low we could get our hotel room's AC to go. Later, when the sun had gone down, we cruised around "Old Town" Wichita -- what a great looking place, we can't wait to explore it tomorrow.

This is my first time at Podstock and I am looking forward to meeting new edtech heads and geeks. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

- Brad Flickinger, Bekthe Elementary School

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Jamming at ISTE in the Blogger's Cafe

#edtech #edchat #iste11 So there I was minding my own business at ISTE in the Blogger's Cafe busily writing the previous blog post when in walks Kevin Honeycutt and before you know it we were jamming on our iPods and iPads and having a great time. Before too long David Warlick and others had joined in. I love ISTE -- Edu-Geeks unite! Here are some photos I took while I jammed along.

- Brad Flickinger

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