So far it has been a bit of a whirlwind tour during our time here in the states. We have spent the last 10 days touring some of the tech giants of the world (Google, Intel, Microsoft, Adobe) as well as visits across the education system (from elementary, to secondary, right up to district level).
To hear from the tech companies and their take on education was interesting. There are a few developments in the work at each of these companies, and there is a definite recognition that consumers want applications and services that will run across devices. Hardware and software alike are continuing to improve to provide richer and more powerful experiences, which the consumer will ultimately be the winner as this innovation continues.
There is also a big emphasis on BYOT and BYOD concepts, not only from the industry perspective, but also from the education systems. There is no doubt that this will be coming like a steam train, and is already a reality in several secondary, and of course, tertiary systems.
However, large questions remain around some of the age old questions that we always seem to face. How is the technology enhancing teaching and learning? What are the factors of educational technology integration? How can ubiquitous access be provided for all students?
It seems that in some sectors of education here and back in Australia, that there are some schools doing extremely well at answering these questions. On the other hand, this is not a reality nor a consistency across the sector. I do feel though that the systemic and collective understanding within education over the last few years has improved in this regard. My fear however, is that given the rapid development of technology, the early adopters will continue to steam far and ahead of those who have not come to grips with powerful teaching and learning that is enhanced with technology.
Today is a day of transit for our group as we had to ISTE13 in San Antonio, which will no doubt, be an awesome experience!