On Episode 376 of The Waves of Tech, we are very excited to have Matt Markstone, an Instructional Technology Coordinator and history teacher, join the podcast as the three of us dive into a great conversation about educational technology (EdTech) – what it’s like to be in the trenches of the industry and what it takes for educators and students to succeed. Technology has the ability to dramatically alter the manner in which we teach, learn, and grow. Educators are finding new methods to innovate lesson plans, incorporate educational standards with technology, and create a vibrant learning environment. Students are using technology and learning to improve their social, writing, critical thinking, and communications skills. Hear first hand from Matt Markstone about the amazing events happening in EdTech.
Technology Nightmares of 2017 – Things Have Been Quite Scary
If we thought 2016 was an unprecedented year for hacks, 2017 is shaping up to be nothing short of scary and nightmarish. This year has been fraught with non-stop hacking, fake news infiltration, phishing schemes, ransomware demands, and Internet trolls. The largest players in the space have been summoned to Washington D.C…and we still have a few weeks left.
- Yahoo, Equifax, others have experienced record hacking attacks worldwide
- Millions of users personal data and information has been stolen, sold, bartered
- Russian interference has been proven in domestic & international elections
- Ransomware has taken millions from the pocketbooks of enterprise business
- Users are still feeling the affects of phishing scams and personal hacks
Educational Technology – Lessons From in the Trenches
Matthew Markstone (an Instructional Technology Coordinator, history teacher, and podcaster) joins the podcast this week to share his insights and experiences in educational technology. Matt works in a field that is ever changing and so desperately needed. We touch on some of the innovative approaches being taken by school districts, administrators, teachers, students, and IT professionals that are preparing our youth for success.
In a district that has moved to 1:1 (every student has a tablet and/or laptop provided by the school), there are obvious concerns – cost, laptop durability, security, access to information, maintenance, trained IT personnel, trained educators, privacy, virus protection, and much more. Imagine moving an entire field and reimagining the classroom where technology is used as a resource and tool to enhance the educational experience. This is what Matt is doing at his school on a daily basis. By providing continual professional development for teachers, educators are beginning to focus on how to change teaching and learning instead of just trying to find different apps to try and make things better, fresher, and newer.
The field is moving into a realm where students are doing the creating, the exploring, and the curating of information with the guidance of educators and technology coordinators. Students are coupling the use of technology with their critical thinking skills, interpersonal communications skills, and literacy skills. Students are learning the importance of dissecting information, rationalizing thought, and creating sound conclusions while using technology.
What about data? What about privacy? What about sensitive information? Matt provides a solid background on the power of data, what it can be used for, and who has access. As an example, the school is working towards collecting and using disaggregated data from student benchmark exams to help us improve student learning.
Technology has the ability to change the way we teach and learn dramatically. Matt is using technology to provide educators and students learning opportunities they would not have if certain technologies were not available. In Matt’s eyes, they are better preparing the youth and students for when they leave the educational system, regardless of whether that is in junior college, university studies, trade school, or the job market.