Brock EdTech Internship

Regardless of technological ingenuity, the effectiveness of any educational technology is dependent on its ability to address the needs of practitioners. Unfortunately, most EdTech entrepreneurs have advanced technical training, but lack a comprehensive understanding of pedagogy, educational research and the realities of being a classroom teacher. This lack of educational insight can greatly hamper the product development and eventual success. Pairing EdTech entrepreneurs with interns that are pursing a Masters degree in education will provide these organizations with the educational insight needed to ensure that their products address the needs of educational practitioners, while also ensuring these products are informed by best practices and current educational research.

The internship will also provide graduate students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired in the graduate program to a growing industry that may provide them with future employment opportunities.  The rapid advancement of technology-enabled learning has foster exponential growth in the educational technology sector. It is estimated that the EdTech market will double its level of investment from $31 billion in 2013 to $59 billion by 2018 (EdTech Digest). This influx of funding should create significant growth in opportunities for educators that are knowledgeable about the EdTech sector and are able to capitalize on their educational background and training to support educational innovation.

Internship Description
In addition to working with their assigned Edtech startup, the interns will be required to participate in weekly meetings with their faculty advisor. These academically focused meetings and required reading assignments will  enhance the intern’s knowledge and understanding of the EdTech industry and related research. During these weekly sessions, interns will discuss the required research and industry readings as well as discuss and share insights gained from their individual readings, field placement, or knowledge dissemination activities.

To further support their understanding of the EdTech industry, the interns will have the opportunity to attend in-person or online a variety of EdTech conferences (FETCSXSW EDUCONNECT: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference) or other networking opportunities. During these events, the interns will be expected to network and interact with attendees to enhance their understanding of current industry challenges and opportunities, while also building a professional network. 

To support knowledge dissemination, the interns will be required to create a Twitter account and professional blog. Their blog and Twitter posts will highlight their experience while also sharing links to the key articles, blog posts, podcasts, and conference presentations that enhanced their knowledge and understanding of the educational technology industry.

2014 EdTech Interns

Accepting the Blogging Challenge – and Extending it…

This blog post is my acceptance of Lori DiMarco's challenge

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.

2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve a little recognition.

5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

This blog is my acceptance of the 5 challenges from Lori and I too am extending the 5 challenges to 11 people.

Challenge #1 – acknowledge the nominating blogger
Lori DiMarco, (@TCDSB_21C_AICT) is the Superintendent of 21st Century Learning and Academic Information & Communications Technology with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She is responsible for making 21st century teaching and learning a reality through her exemplary leadership of the TCDSB Project Next initiative.

Challenge #2 – Provide 11 random facts about yourself
  1. My undergraduate degree is in history 
  2. I work out to podcasts instead of music 
  3. I read 4 newspapers each day (Not the entire paper. Just enough to know what's going on). 
  4. I hate snakes 
  5. I wasn't born in Canada 
  6. I taught in the Jane/Finch community 
  7. I love to travel, but hate to unpack 
  8. I was a NCAA compliance coordinator 
  9. I spent over a decade working at summer camps 
  10. I've been to all of murder capitals in the U.S. 
  11. I have very small ears

Challenge #3 – Answer the nominating blogger’s 11 questions 
  1. Name one thing you have learned about 21st Century Learning and how it has impacted you. You don't have to use technology to be a 21st century edycator
  2. Name a favourite author of fiction. Which book or series? Why? - John Steinbeck 
  3. Name your favourite movie of all time (it does not have to be educational) and justify it with an educational reason or some learning that stuck with you - Moneyball (Not an all time favourite, but it always get me thinking how to apply similar principles to education. 
  4. What is your favourite piece of technology and why? - iPad; limitless reading 
  5. What book/reading/learning are you currently applying to your work? Disrupting Class 
  6. You are going out for dinner tonight to your favourite restaurant. What culture does this restaurant represent? Trinidadian Chinese 
  7. What blogs do you follow and recommend for me to follow? 
  8. Name one mentor who has impacted your career, how you know them and what impact they have had on you. Richard Thompson (SVSU Dean of Students); Leadership role model. 
  9. What were you doing when you found out that Nelson Mandela had passed away? Reading the news on my iPad. 
  10. Name one tradition your family adheres to. Getting together for Caribana weekend for a family BBQ 
  11. Share a link to a favourite recipe. Cajun Spatchcock Turkey
Challenge #4 – List 11 bloggers that deserve a bit of recognition and to whom you offer this challenge…

Challenge #5 – Ask 11 questions for your 11 nominees to respond to
  1. What is your favourite quote or saying? 
  2. Name your ideal retirement location. 
  3. If you could have only one educational technology resource, what would it be? 
  4. What is your favourite travel destination? 
  5. Recommend an educational game? 
  6. What is your favourite app? 
  7. What is your favourite tv show? 
  8. Have you ever paid it forward at a coffee shop? 
  9. If you had to pick a song to be your theme song what would it be? 
  10. What is the last movie you saw in the theatre? 
  11. What is the first thing you would do after winning a million dollars?

New project to highlight educational innovation: The Tech-Enabled Educator Network

Sisters Teachers are doing it for the themselves.
Standing on their own two feet and ringing their own bells.” ~ Aretha Franklin
 The Tech-Enabled Educator Network grew out of a desire to showcase the work of innovative educators to preservice students and new teachers. While committed to professional excellence, most educators are humble by nature and reluctant to promote their work, even when it is exemplary. This modesty not only makes it challenging for new educators to learn from these educational innovators, it greatly hampers the diffusion of innovation. Thus, the Tech-Enabled Educator Network seeks to take on the role of promoting the work of tech-enabled educators by featuring their exemplary blog posts, videos, podcasts, and conference presentations. 
As an education professor, EdTech geek and avid conference attendee,  I’ve had the opportunity to meet many tech-enabled educators and hear their individual stories. Unfortunately, a common sentiment is that because they are on the leading edge of innovation, they often feel isolated in their work environment.
Ananth Pai was at the cutting edge of using technology and especially games for learning in his classroom. Instead of leveraging Pai’s success, his superiors tried to ignore him and occasionally reprimanded him by reminding him to stick to school board approved curriculum. While his district hasn’t shut him down, they haven’t been supportive with resources or support.  ~ Excerpts from  Schwartz (2013). MindShiftHow Leadership Can Make or Break Classroom Innovation.
As an aggregator of educational innovation, the Tech-Enabled Educator Network hopes to reduce this isolation by providing educators with the opportunity to keep up with other innovative educators and let them know that they are not alone.
While there are lots of great educators doing great things, the network focuses on the work of tech-enabled educators. That is educators that actively use social media and take advantage of technology to embrace open, collaborative, distributed actions in their professional lives.
Tech-enabled educators understand the importance of being open so that others can benefit from their experience. Being open also creates greater opportunities to collaborate. Collaborating with other educators within their school and district, while connecting with educators from around the world is key to the development and infusion of new ideas and innovative educational practices.
“With an investment in collaboration, teachers become nation builders.”  (Hargreaves, A.,  & Fullan, M., 2013)
 Tech-enabled educators understand the importance of distributed learning and distributed leadership. Instead of monopolizing the role of teacher, tech-enabled educators facilitate distributed learning and bring a variety of “teachers” into their classrooms to support student learning and professional growth.
By embracing a distributed approach to leadership, tech-enabled educators realize that leadership isn’t about the title on the door or ones position in the organizational hierarchy. It is about influence – and whether they intentionally influence the knowledge, practice or motivation of others. Participating in professional discussions on Twitter, posting instructional resources on their blogs, or creating instructional videos are all actions that influence the knowledge, practice and motivation of other educators and thus serve to benefit the teaching profession.
The Tech-Enabled Educator Network hopes to enhance the scope of influence of these tech-enabled educators by promoting their work and bringing it to the attention of broader education community. By facilitating the distribution of these innovative ideas we hope that we can collectively support the advancement of 21st century teaching and learning.
Looking forward to a tech-enabled 2014!

You can support the Tech-Enabled Educator Network by: