True Dialog had the privilege of attending a number events during SXSWedu for the interactive portion of SXSW. The week-long affair included many events around Austin to discuss the latest in innovations in education. A large component of the SXSWedu was the technology being used in education (EdTech), and how it is shaping the modern learning environment. Coming out of these events, I took 2 large takeaways from SXSWedu. The first is how EdTech is shaping classroom interaction and the second is how the maker movement is being utilized for education.
EdTech for Classroom Interactions
Classroom interaction is crucial for fostering learning. However, those interactions can be tricky to conduct, depending upon the topic and age group.
EdTech has gained momentum due to the high interactivity it garners in the classroom. One company, Kahoot, had a large presence at SXSWedu with it’s game-based learning platform. This fun, easily integrated system (available for desktop, tablet, and mobile) increases classroom participation with quiz-like activities that students can participate in using their own device or one provided by the professor. One of my favorite interactions with Kahoot was during The Oslo Lounge’s presentation on EdTech and the SmartCity. During the event, they did an interactive presentation where we were invited to demo the platform from our mobile phones. The platform used bright colors and a need for quick-thinking made things more engaging and fun for all.
The Maker Movement in Schools
The maker movement helps empower people to process and develop unique technology products in a DIY fashion. This movement has slowly made its way from workshops to classrooms. And this growth is closely tied to the increasing demand for STEM/STEAM education throughout the U.S. Students are encouraged to go beyond the textbooks with increased hands-on projects leveraging technology for teaching necessary life skills and inspiring collaboration among peers. By providing students these technology tools, students are better equipped to compete with the rest of the world.
We can’t have a conversation about improving education without discussing how technology is integrated into our communications. EdTech is redefining the way educators interact with their students, which in turn affects how students interact with their education. Not only does EdTech improve the learning environment, it also ensures that students are better prepared for tackling the dynamic realm of technology.