What do you like about your role?
I am the Director of Bentley’s Computer Information Systems Sandbox, a collaborative, technology social learning space where students explore and develop skills using technologies related to their interests, courses, or careers.
In this role, I work with students who make technology relevant for their peers. Whether it’s connecting everyday objects to the Internet to illustrate the Internet of things, testing neural network code in an app to recognize handwritten characters, or investigating the potential of augmented or virtual reality, the CIS Sandbox has become a place that thrives on the creativity and excitement of students who recognize the potential of technology trends and can place them in a business context.
Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.
Equally important to the technologies that students use will be the learning environments in which they learn. Formal classrooms and informal learning spaces will adapt to model the highly collaborative technology-enabled conference rooms and working spaces that students will see when they begin their careers as technology and knowledge professionals.
Classrooms will continue to embrace the technology that students already have in their pockets, as BYOD (bring your own device) becomes the standard. Today's learners bring own devices, laptops, tablets, and smart phones, loaded with software and apps, required for their courses. This will require educational institutions to meet the increased demands of wireless networking bandwidth, infrastructure, and security required for students to use their devices effectively..
Effortless sharing of information will be critical. Whether sharing of documents in the cloud, or projecting device screens on the wall, the ability to view, edit, and access information from others anywhere, any time will be essential in the evolving edtech world.
What technologies do you believe have the potential to transform the education industry?
New ways to use mobile devices in the classroom will continue to transform education. Students will use mobile devices to capture, create and consume digital content, and connect with others around the world
Augmented and virtual reality will change the way students learn: scanning a figure in an augmented-reality enabled learning resource will bring the page (or screen) to life with videos, animations, or other multimedia content. With virtual reality headsets, students can explore places they never otherwise would see, or environments that could exist only in their imaginations.
Advanced authoring tools will simplify the process for teachers (and students) to create immersive and interactive multimedia content for their peers. Tools to create and share blog posts, podcasts, captured lectures, video tutorials, online presentations, apps, interactive timelines and graphics, will impact teaching and learning as these digital artifacts become more widely used because they are easier to create.
As we are celebrating out 5th anniversary of EdTechXEurope, we are looking at the key trends over the past 5 years in edtech. What would you say have been the key areas of change that are impacting edtech today? Anything unexpected that surprised you? Trends that were overhyped and never met their expected potential?
The past five years have seen a technology-enabled “perfect storm” as wireless Internet access has become ubiquitous, bandwidth has increased, storage costs have decreased substantially, and computing power has become incredibly fast. Mobile devices are everywhere; everyday devices are connected to the Internet; and storing and accessing data in the cloud has become commonplace. These developments have enabled progress with big data, internet of things, artificial intelligence, and new ways of collaboration - all of which will continue to impact opportunities in edtech for years to come.
Why is it important for all players in the edtech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?
Today’s business environment relies on professionals who can connect with each other in person and across the globe. The ability to use communication and collaboration technologies to share ideas and information, and produce artifacts is crucial.
A challenge of this agile mobile, cloud-based world is that online tools come and go, and those that stay change all too quickly. This require students to know which tools to use, and for what purpose, and how to use them effectively and responsibly. What types of conversations are best conducted using email, messaging, or chat? Which tools are best suited for sharing files, searching or analyzing information online? How can data or information from one site be repurposed for use in another application?
These are the 21st century skills that today’s students need to succeed in the workplace they are about to enter.
When you think about joining EdTechXEurope this year, what are you looking forward to? What makes you excited about our event in London?
As an innovative technology educator, i’m looking forward to spending a few days with thought leaders who are also “at the head of the line” at their schools, sharing what works and what doesn’t, and learning from each other’s experiences. The educational culture of the UK places emphasis on developing technology and digital literacy skills in K-12 and university education, and I welcome the the opportunity to lend an international perspective to that conversation.
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