Ed Tech Teacher Boston 2014

I represented BookWidgets at the EdTechTeacher conference last week in Boston. The conference brought together over 700 educators, teachers as well as administrators who want to learn how technology can be rolled out in their organisation.

5 reasons why conferences like this are so valuable to us.

1. Talking to teachers and schools reminds you how important education is. To quote Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs (@HeidiHayesJacob) keynote speaker at the conference “How do we prepare our learners for their future?”. Being part of this community is inspiring and rewarding. It gives you the energy and drive to continue the hard work done because it does matter.(http://www.curriculum21.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/D_M_G_Literacies-.pdf)

2. For us as a company and me as an individual it is critical that we are in contact with our current customers and with our future customers. Our products are built based on customer feedback. Speaking directly with customers validates this. Educators will have to use our technology not only now but also in the feature. Their opinion matters.

3. We need to develop new ideas. We also have to learn. We are living in a  fast changing world. We need to take decisions everyday and want to take these decisions as informed as possible. For small companies it is critical to put our resources on what is important. On conferences like this, ideas can be validated immediately and directly. Customers will have an influence on the product development. This is a call for the participant to come talk to the exhibitors as well. We are not there to sell, we are there to contribute and learn.

4. Stay on top of the latest development in the education. Other exhibitors share the same passion we have and showcase their products and visions with us. Special thanks to @showbie and @skafflapp, which are also small startup companies with the same passion for technology and education.

5. Look at trends for the future and reflect on them. There is a great blogpost review written by a participant (Brad Spirrison: @spirrison) which is worth reading:

On a more general note, more than one keynote mentioned in one or the other way: it’s not about the tool but it’s how you use it. Some quotes:

Dr. Jacobs  (@HeidiHayesJacob): “It’s not technology per se, but what we do with it,” 
Meghan Zigmond: (@ZigZagsTech) “the tool is one thing, but the way we look at it is more important
Amy Ackley (@ACKPACK1996): #1 TIP:  IT’S NOT ABOUT THE APPS!!

and I could not agree more. 

Let me know what your ideas are on education in the future. 

Bart Buckinx

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