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Technology Conference Highlights Five EdTech Conversations

Technology Conference Highlights Five EdTech Conversations

With iPads, tablets, smartphones, and other technological devices swarming through classrooms, teachers do their best to keep up. 

iPads, which took over classrooms a few years ago, are being pushed aside by other mobile devices in schools, and educators are "broadening their horizons and looking into the future," said an article on 

Last week, according to the article, a group of educators from across the United States joined together for the Fall CUE 2014 Conference where they talked about "next-generation learning." The article then presents five "takeaways" from the sessions, such as tweets and conversations between the educators. 

One of the conversations looked at Google, and teachers found that the edtech giant is now "everywhere."

Author Stephen Noonoo said while "glancing at the conference schedule, observers might be forgiven for wondering whether Google is now the new Apple."

"Although that claim may be tenuous at best, given that Google, in one way or another, has always been a classroom mainstay, there were an uncanny number of sessions devoted to Chromebooks, Google Classroom, Apps for Education, and deep dives into niche tools [think Google Drawing or the social studies godsend, Google Tours]," Noonoo said. "More than a few hours were devoted to picking apart every facet of Google Apps for every conceivable classroom environment. Simply put, a solid integration framework across a range of platforms seems to be pushing Google into more classrooms and onto more educators’ lips than ever before."

Another finding from the conference was that "games have arrived-- in a big way."

"Gaming and gamification have bubbled just under the ed-tech surface for years, even cropping up on the New Media Consortium’s trendsetting Horizon Report from time to time," he said. "The snowball growth of Minecraft in the classroom, however, may finally be helping to tip the scales."

Noonoo said Minecraft was on "many educators' minds at the conference" but "attendees also listened raptly to a teacher speaking in a large auditorium who described infusing her middle-school classroom with “XP” and level-ups—-terms closely associated with role playing games."

With all of these at play, Noonoo said that "the focus is still on students."

"At a time when so much technology and potential for learning is at students’ fingertips, speakers and attendees kept consistently focused on how technology can best benefit students," he said. "...Educators discussed how best to engage students in learning in ways that were both authentic and relevant to students, and which taught them how to apply the skills they were learning to real-world situations."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor​

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