Presentations

Citizen Coyote Science Comes to Fruition

In December, I recorded my answer to the One Big Question “What’s the most important benefit technology can bring to the educational experience?” My answer to this question focuses on students’ abilities to create new knowledge with technology rather than only access and learn already-created knowledge. In my response below, I gave an example of children conducting a citizen science project that tracks coyote sightings in a neighborhood, examines ecological and biological reasons for the clash between the animals and people, and creates a report for a city council. I created this example from issues that were occurring in my own neighborhood where coyotes have been sighted quite often. Neighbors on the listserv swing widely from wanting to track down and kill the coyotes (who have been accused of killing pets) to protecting the coyotes as they are native to this area and honestly were here first.

Excitingly, a few weeks ago a neighbor mom posted on the listserv that an alternative to the dreaded “volcano experiment,” she suggested to her daughter to conduct a study on the coyotes. I quickly emailed her a link to my video (below) and encouraged her to pursue this avenue. I introduced her to the concept of citizen science. They then created a website and invited neighbors to post their sightings and comments. Did I mention that a 7-year old was conducting this research project? You can find her report of the problem, hypothesis and results here: https://zilkercoyotes.shutterfly.com/experiment. This student attends Zilker Elementary School in the Austin Independent School District.

Countdown to Slow Pitch EdTech Think Tank Summit at SXSWedu

We’ve got about 5 days until we debut the Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design Think Tank Summit at SXSWedu 2016. 

Check out our website with details about the schedule, the selected startups, and the mentors: http://slowpitchedu.org

Check out our SXSWedu schedule info and add it to your conference schedule: http://schedule.sxswedu.com/events/event_PP54541

SEE YOU THERE!

SXSWedu Summit – Seeking EdTech Startups to join #SlowPitchEdu

Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design ThinkTank

startuppitch

I am delighted to announce that details and plans for our SXSWedu 2016 Summit are nearly complete! Our very last detail is to find 5 amazingly interesting edtech startups who would like to work towards developing/revising/rethinking a product that can transform teaching and learning in PK-12 subject areas and be successful penetrating the PK-12 market.

You can find all the details at my super specific website: http://slowpitchedu.com

Or, you can just launch into the application right now.

Apply now

5 Pivot Points for Technology Integration

joan2Yesterday, I keynoted the Tech & Learning Live Austin event. The day was spent considering professional learning and technology integration. In my morning keynote, I shared classroom and school-based research insights on technology integration. Specifically, I talked about how technology leadership, technology vision, and professional learning shape successful technology integration efforts in K-12 schools. The talented Tracy Clark @tracyclark08 sketched the content, which is also included below.

I ended the keynote with 5 research-based actions schools can do to pivot towards successful technology integration. They include:

#1: If school leaders must tend to their own technology learning*, we should be inviting them to the professional learning opportunities we arrange in schools and districts. And leaders  – you should go! I’ve created opportunities for leaders to engage with actual technology-supported lessons for K-12 learning, and they loved this so much.  *Research shows that only 2/50 states require technology preparation course for school leadership degrees, and examination of school leadership curricula reveals 92% of 137 programs do not mention technological courses or preparation. Of the 7%, the technology relates to data-driven decision making, not teaching and learning with technology.

#2: Librarians are the new technology integration change agent*! Use this to your advantage. Hire and cultivate technology-interested librarians and encourage their contributions to your leadership team. *Research shows that librarians contribute to technology leadership activities because of their knowledge of pedagogy, curriculum, technology, and collaboration. Enablers of librarians to do this work include (a) supportive principal, (b) collaborative teachers, and (c) engagement with professional organizations. A disabler is a competitive instructional technologies.

#3: While an optimal technology vision has had input from constituents, not everyone participates in that process*. To increase awareness and buy-in for your technology vision, enact tiered visioning through small groups or PLCs, grade level teams, subject area teams) who develop their own mini technology vision. Think of these mini-visions as a wedding cake – the largest cake bases are built from these small group mini-visions and support and relate to the overarching school or district vision (the top tier). This can enable top-down and bottom-up visioning and enactment at the classroom level. *Research shows more success with technology integration if the technology vision is learner-focused, curricular-focused, and pre-planned in collaboration with stakeholders, such as leaders, technology directors, librarians, teachers, parents, and students. They can emerge from top-down or bottom-up processes as long as the visions are communicated widely and garner buy-in among stakeholders.

#4: Nurture content-specific, ongoing professional learning, such as in professional learning communities (PLCs) that examine problems of practice (POPs)*. If these PLCs have created mini visions (see Pivot #3 above), it’s a logical next step to work on enactment (with support). *To have meaningful, transformative technology integration, research shows the materials (e.g., technologies) must change but that is not sufficient. You must also change teacher beliefs and teacher practices.

#5: If we are asking teachers to change their practices and beliefs, then we must support real risk-taking by working towards cultural change*. *Changing our beliefs and practices will challenge the “grammar of schooling,” which is a school’s engrained educational format and goals. Thus, the kind of change you are working towards will necessitate changes in school culture. School leaders who are successful in technology integration create value and appreciation and support for risk-taking, exploration, and innovation.

This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please feel free to share with others, with attribution.

The content of what I spoke about is in the NOTES of the presentation.

 

sketch1Sketch by Tracy Clark

 

 

SXSWedu summit: Slow Pitch – the new way to develop innovative edtech

UPDATE: Our summit was accepted for SXSWedu 2016! Stay tuned for information on how edtech startups can apply to be one of the featured participants!

There are 85 SXSWedu 2016 proposals with the word “pitch” in their titles. Our 4-hour summit proposal, Slow Pitch: An Edtech Design ThinkTank, brings together educators with amazing ideas, edtech startups, funders, developers, students, teachers, parents, school administrators, school directors of innovation, and educational researchers to do what should be done when pursuing new ideas for education – think hard about the ideas collaboratively. SXSWedu’s icon of a head/brain perfectly fits the goals of our summit.

Best of all – our summit will be highly interactive. While we have a mentor panel, the audience will bring additional perspectives and expertise that is so worthy that you’ll have multiple ways to get your comments, questions, and ideas on the floor during the session. We also will have amply breaks!

Here’s a run-down on our summit, which includes way more details than what’s up on SXSWedu’s proposal. Please vote YES for our summit – to support the development of new edtech that supports, transforms, and penetrates into teaching and learning.

How long do you imagine the summit running?

This would be a half-day summit (4-hours). In anticipation of audience not committing to the entire summit, we have events set up in 30 minute increments (with 5 minute transitions/breaks between each) with the ability for audience feedback (i.e., voting) to occur on a rolling basis. Results will be shown and discussed after each “slowpitchedu” 30-min session but also again at the culmination of the summit.  Note that we will not have a “winner” as is typical in most pitch sessions, but instead each edtech startup will emerge with deep ideas and generative feedback from their 30-minute slowpitchedu thinktank session. The outcome for all involved is to learn from the experience, not to select a winner.  

What does the timeline within your summit look like?

Workshop in Session

    • Introduction (5 minutes)
      • to panel mentors and companies
      • announce optional tech that will be used during session: twitter, polleverywhere
      • clarify the design thinktank summit is intended to bridge across edtech to help emerging edtech advance and innovate.
    • Slow Pitch Exhibits (20 minutes)Transition back to tables/seats (allowing 5 minutes)
      • Each edtech startup has an exhibit area to share information about their company / ideas/product(s)
      • Participants in the session get to talk with them / browse
      • Participants in the session can talk with mentors
    • Edtech SlowPitchEdu (this is repeated 5 times; once for each participating edtech startup, 30 minutes each)
      • Fast pitch 90-second pitch. (2 minutes) [This is mostly to get everyone grounded again; remind everyone in room of the focal company under discussion.]
      • Q&A alternating b/w mentors, audience tweet, and audience open mic (25 minutes)
        • Mentors ask questions.
        • Audience may tweet questions (We will have a graduate student monitor these to pull ones to be asked.) (questions posed by grad student)
        • Audience open mic (line can form)
      • Final feedback to edtech startup (2 minutes): Startup Response – Response to feedback. (1 minute)
        • GoogleForm for audience: final analysis on criteria related to: innovative concept, transforming learning, transforming teaching, potential to penetrate K-12 market
        • GoogleForm for mentors only: final analysis innovative concept, transforming learning, transforming teaching, potential to penetrate K-12 market
  • Breaks (5 minutes between each edtech startup slowpitchedu, total of 20 minutes)
  • Closing: What did the slowpitch edtech design thinktank make you think more about? (30 minutes)
    • Mentor comments (1 minute each, allow 13 minutes)
    • Startups – comments (1 minute each, 2 min in actuality – allow 7 minutes)
    • Audience comments – open mic (1 minute max, 10 minutes)

How many more speakers should we expect?

We are planning to have about 10 panelists, who include student, parent, teacher, school administrator, VC/funder, developer, entrepreneur, researcher.

Mentors: (confirmed)

  • Ms. Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning, Lufkin ISD, Texas
  • Dr. Joan Hughes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Learning Technologies, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Janice Trinidad, Ph.D., Veteran Science Teacher & Instructional Coach, Manor New Tech HS and ThinkForward PBL Institute
  • Mr. Marc Wright, 12th grade student, Round Rock High School
  • Mr. Eric Silva, Undergraduate Student, Computer Science, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Dr. Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, Ph.D., Parent and Executive Director at Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation
  • Ms. Carolyn Foote, Librarian, Westlake High School, Austin Texas  
  • Mr. Lincoln Turner, EdTech Entrepreneur at Wizzimo
  • Ms. Angela Lee, Assistant Dean, Columbia Business School, & Founder,37 Angels

EdTech Startups Selection:

We will have an open call for applications for the edtech startup participation in SlowPitch. Criteria for inclusion will require:

  • an innovation idea or product for the PK-12 market
  • an innovation that targets processes involved in learning or teaching in schools subjects

We will group applicants into three categories of (a) emerging idea, (b) beta product, or (c) tested product. Emerging edtech startups have an idea but have not produced demos or mock-ups. Beta products have functioning products but have not been tested with users. Tested products are functioning and have some user testing completed or perhaps pilot tests conducted. We will randomly choose the edtech startups to invite – ensuring that we have at least one edtech startup in each of the three categories, with the two other selections to be from any of the three categories.

Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design ThinkTank (a 2016 SXSWedu Proposal)

In collaboration with Sean Duffy, founder of the EdTech meetup and co-founder of EdTech Action, an edtech incubator, we developed what we hope will be a transformational summit for all participants and attendees at SXSWedu 2016. We’ve summarized our proposal below and would love your feedback. We still need to get our proposal accepted so stay tuned – later in August, we’ll call upon you to vote for it in panelpicker! If we are lucky to earn a spot at SXSWedu next year, we’ll open up an application process to invite edupreneurs, teacherpreneurs, and edtech startups to apply to participate.

Slow Pitch: An EdTech Design ThinkTank (#slowpitch)

Organizer: Dr. Joan E. Hughes

Moderator: Mr. Sean Duffy

Join an interactive pitch session where startups, mentors and the audience will dialogue and hone startups’ products so that they will transform learning and penetrate school markets. Selected edtech startups (follow @techedges and @dearmrduffy to apply) will provide demos, evidence of real/potential impact, and marketing/monetization plans prior to SXSWedu. At the summit, we’ll cultivate a focused, generative dialogue between the startups, the 10+ educator, research, and business mentors, and the audience. Audience participation will be curated throughout with twitter, polls, and open-mic opps. This design thinktank will help emerging edtech advance and innovate.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Experience a design process for edtech development that includes input from a wide array K-12 and business mentors to increase technology adoption
  2. Assist edtech startups in crafting their products/missions to transform young people’s learning and/or teachers’ instruction
  3. Work through edtech goals, design, development, funding, and business complexity with mentors from education, technology, and business

Mentors:

  • Ms. Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning, Lufkin ISD, Texas
  • Dr. Joan Hughes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Learning Technologies, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Janice Trinidad, Ph.D., Veteran Science Teacher & Instructional Coach, Manor New Tech HS and ThinkForward PBL Institute
  • Mr. Marc Wright, 12th grade student, Round Rock High School
  • Mr. Eric Silva, Undergraduate Student, Computer Science, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Dr. Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, Ph.D., Parent and Executive Director at Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation
  • Ms. Carolyn Foote, Librarian, Westlake High School, Austin Texas  
  • Mr. Lincoln Turner, EdTech Entrepreneur at Wizzimo
  • Ms. Angela Lee, Assistant Dean, Columbia Business School & Founder, 37 Angels
  • Developer, to be announced

Situational ingenuity of teachers: The key to transformative, content-focused technology integration

Yesterday, I spent a very enjoyable day at the University of Houston, Victoria School of Education. In addition to meeting with them to discuss their new educational technology degree program, I presented for a colloquium that drew university professors, PK-12 teachers in the Victoria school district, and university students. I met several 5th grader teachers – two who were sitting near each other and work in two of the more rural schools in Victoria – so they got to meet each other. There was a gentleman who taught a plethora of subjects at a high school – crossing both science and history. I met about 6 undergraduates who are earning their degrees in teaching. And UHV university student recruited his mom, also a practicing teacher, to attend. Several of the COE and UHV administration was also in attendance. As advertised, it was quite a diverse audience.

In my presentation (see below), I share my vision for the use of digital technologies in education. I refer to it as transformative, content-focused classroom technology integration. I illustrate this concept through 3 stories of practice: from teachers, a school and its district, and a college of education. Tom is a mathematics teachers who designs a lesson with ropes, video, ipads, and graphing calculators to help students learn to write an equation for a trig function. Hilly High School began a iPad learning innovation in which all students receive iPads – I share how they developed their vision which included both a technology-focus and a learning-focus. Finally, I share data on preservice teachers’ use of social technologies and discuss how COEs could design a set of experiences that would develop preservice teachers to be connected educators. These will show the possibilities but also many of the challenges involved in this work. In these stories, I hope that you’ll discover ways that you, as a teacher, a school leader, a teacher educator, a parent, can assist in this transformation. I end by describing “situational ingenuity” and how I see teachers as most interested in this challenging work in their classrooms and how I see it as the key to designing content-focused, technology-supported innovations in classrooms.