Each year the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) provides a forum for K-20 educators to examine key learning issues and trends. This year the theme will focus on Technology and the Future of Work. Michael Moe, the founder of Global Silicon Valley, will kick off the event.
What else can you expect during the one day event on November 8, 2018 at Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh? Over 40 vendors and sponsors, over 40 presentations and poster sessions from regional and national experts, an innovation zone with startups from the Pittsburgh area, a student showcase, and most importantly, an opportunity to network with colleagues and experts.
There’s still a chance to become a presenter or share a poster session. The deadline for TRETC proposals is August 30. TRETC is looking for presentations that tackle:
- Real world connections for educators and learners in the workplace;
- Strategies to prepare students for an evolving workforce;
- Best practices for teaching students in the 21st century;
- Techniques to globalize and prepare your students for the future of work;
- Emerging technologies for 21st century work.
This spring the new CoSN project, “Driving K-12 Innovation,” started to develop. A team of over 100 educators from around the globe began to address the first key element: Hurdles. I’m part of the team of advisers who are identifying the Hurdles – “obstacles that make participants slow down, evaluate, practice and then make the leap to better support teaching and learning.”
Hurdles that the team of advisors are addressing include: Scaling and Sustaining Innovation, Changing the Perception of Teachers who are Reluctant Technology Users, Humanizing Online Learning, Digital Fluency, Developing Non-Cognitive Skills, Evolution of Teaching, Ongoing Professional Development, Inadequate Resources, Remaining Relevant, Pedagogy vs. Technology Gap, Digital Equity.
In the first phase advisers are attempting to define each Hurdle so there’s common language. In addition, each adviser ranks each Hurdle on how surmountable the challenge for overcoming the obstacles, outlines what might happen if the Hurdle is not address, identifies how the Hurdle manifests itself in schools today, and a details a plan of action to overcome the Hurdle.
Soon the advisers will be challenged to identify the five main Hurdles. It will be interesting to see how educators from around the globe pinpoint the common Hurdles. I’ve discerned over the last decade a more common focus in schools. In September I’ll travel with a CoSN delegation to Norway and Finland to investigate the educational technology landscape. I’ll be quite interested to see how educators in these two Scandinavian countries look at the Hurdles that are identified by the CoSN team.
I just returned from the annual CoSN Conference in Washington D.C. At the conference CoSN announced a new initiative – Driving K-12 Innovation. In the world of Educational Technology leaders the annual K-12 CoSN Horizon Report has become a staple for planning and conversation. At the end of November the New Media Consortium announced that it had to declare bankruptcy. The Horizon Report not only for K-12, but for Higher Ed and all other versions was in jeopardy. EDUCAUSE, the partner for the higher education version, decided to purchase the assets for the Horizon Report. Behind the scenes a team of CoSN Board Members, staff, and volunteers with the CoSN Emerging Technologies committee met to map out a possible strategy for a new direction for K-12.
I had a special insight into what worked and what did not work with the existing report. I was on the Board of Advisors for the 2017 CoSN K-12 report. I was happy to see the new format that now includes three reports that will come out at different times during the year. In addition, the new initiative will feature a slight change in the configuration. The new direction will attempt to take the best of the past with some needed adjustments. According to CoSN here’s the focus:
Hurdles. Obstacles that make participants slow down, evaluate, practice and then make the leap to better support teaching and learning
Accelerators. Megatrends that drive change – sometimes suddenly other time so gradually the implications aren’t readily apparent.
Tech Enablers. Tools that support smoother leaps over the hurdles and expansive changes in global K-12 education.
Stay tuned and if you’re interested and have expertise in the world of emerging technologies, please consider volunteering.