My brother, Ash, is a computer engineer– which basically means I have absolutely no idea what he does on a day-to day-basis. I do know, however, that he works for a “User Experience Design & Engineering Consultancy” based in Chicago which was recently named one of Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies (fancy!)
Not that I like to brag or anything, but my brother is smart. Like really smart. He designs and creates and prototypes all kinds of technology; Tom Cruise in Minority Report kind of technology.
One night over a wonderful Sushi Dinner, my brother and I were discussing what he does. After much technical jargon talk (on his part, of course) we got around to the subject of Educational Technology.My question for him was simple: Why does it seem like new technology keeps coming out that “accidentally” works well in the classroom? Shouldn’t Tech Developers (such as yourself) be reaching out to Schools/ Teachers/ Districts FIRST to create and design tech rather than the other way around?
His response? Show us the Benjamins. (OK, he didn’t really say that, but that would’ve been amazing if he had!) His response was really that there is not much funding in EdTech due to the high costs associated with developing new products around classrooms; often expenses that are too high for many schools/districts to bear.
That got me thinking– What would happen if we went a back way into helping propel new EdTech design with teachers in mind. What if we started by asking a large number of people (educators mostly) what type of tech or design needs they saw in the classroom? Rather than having large Tech giants start projects that just so happen to work well for our classrooms, why not start by asking what educators want first? This idea sparked a hashtag and subsequent chat on Twitter: #EdTechWish and #EdTech2015
See first Tweets below:
We got an amazing response from educators all over the country discussing their EdTech ideas, needs and problems they needed help solving when facing implementation of good tech in the classroom.
Also, feel free to keep the #EdTechWish hashtag going by answering this question on Twitter: What tech do you wish for in your classroom for 2015?