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Ed Tech Meetup: what you need to succeed

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January30/ 2014

Working Examples organization shares best practices for educators

Working Examples, which helps educators to share best practices, has reached out to the educational technology community to start a new Ed Tech Meetup for the benefit of all those aiming to use technology in learning.

“There’s a certain slice of the education sector who aren’t interacting on a daily basis,” notes Abby Loughrey, one of the organizers, who works at Bloomboard, a California ed tech startup that opened its Pittsburgh office in September. Bloomboard is developing an online marketplace for ed tech professional development, and an online assessment to help teachers know which professional development they might need.

“Many other cities have ed tech meetups and there are all these awesome events,” says Loughrey. “There are never any listed for Pittsburgh.”

Ed Tech Meetup in Pittsburgh

That should end with the advent of the Ed Tech Meetup. The largest group among its 60 members thus far consists of teachers and administrators, but there are also members from ed tech companies and from nonprofits and community groups concerned with educational outcomes for students.

The group’s activities are still being planned, but they will focus on such things as educators’ basic needs: learning what ed tech is available, which will work for their students, how to use them or how to help their kids use them.

“We decided it’s not going to be happy hours,” says Loughrey; instead, activities may include “a meetup on bring your own devices, [and] on the challenge of being a digital technology immigrant” – someone whose lifetime has included the development of the digital technologies younger people have always taken for granted.

Educational technology seminars

The group may also want to include sessions on educational technology tools for older learners and tools for those with issues around manual dexterity or vision.

One thing Loughrey noticed about their first meetup – there were no students in attendance. “If we’re really concerned about educational technology,” she concluded, “we ought to have students at the table.”

Writer: Marty Levine

Source: Abby Loughrey

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