Evaluating technology for education… Trend is wrong!


New teachers… Seasoned Veterans… Educators talk a lot about the importance of knowing what you want to do with the technology before implementing it. I have said it!.. Decide what you want students to do and then find the technology to do the job well. Technology is a tool and we need to use the right tool for the right job… Right? Does this philosophy hold us back at all though?

As a result of the work that I have been doing through the IEAR.org community and as a District Technology Faciliator, I continue to think that this philosophy holds education back in many ways. While I remain convinced that we need to define what we want our students to do, we also need to continue to appreciate that we understand how to use technology better when we just use it as well!

Over the years, I have had numerous interactions with educators in which the person has an excuse/reason for not doing something with technology because they already do something without it or with a different form of technology. Too often we have predetermined ideas on what will work well and we prevent ourselves from “change” or “improvement”. I once had a librarian tell me that she would never purchase any “e-book” capable devices or books in her library because she loved holding a book in her hand. She couldn’t imagine people not having that feeling. Isn’t it interesting to note that Amazon is now selling more digital books than it is wood, paper and pulp books! While school teachers and staff interact and do more work over custom apps like EdQuants to reduce paperwork and be able to organize more info in less time. Sometimes we just need to try something different and explore what is being offered! Continue reading

SMeech.net – Who is Scott Meech?

Scott Meech began teaching full-time in 1995.  While Scott began his teaching career in Social Studies, he quickly realized his greatest educational interest was in the transformative nature of technology.  Scott was an early adopter and was regularly the test pilot for any and all new tech initiatives. Scott’s teaching quickly transformed from a traditional teacher-centered paradigm into a constructivist student-centered approach.  Meech earned his masters in education in curriculum and technology in 2005 and an educational leadership certificate through Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the International Society of Technology and Education.

Scott is a founder of several online initiatives. EdReach.us is an Education Media Network dedicated to giving educators a bigger voice.  App of Approval is an app development company focused on producing the most engaging and unique apps for children and education. I Education Apps Review is a community of educators helping each other by reviewing for iOS and Android devices.

Scott has been the recipient of several awards and recognitions including Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher. He is a Illinois Computer Educator Conference Co-Chair and a co-chair for several Students in Technology conference sites.

While he has a myriad of interests, his favorite pastime besides spending time with his wife and three daughters is studying the impact technology is making and can make on education. He believes that education is on the brink of major change and that technology will finally fulfill its promise.

App of Approval

App of ApprovalScott Meech is the founder of App of Approval. In 2009, Scott started I Education Apps Review as a means for helping educators to discuss, share and find the best apps available for education.  Throughout that experience, Scott has learned that the best apps are those that allow the user to create and to engage users with the uniqueness of mobile devices.  This experience has always been dedicated to sharing, providing advice, and to improving other designers’ apps.

Scott believes that we can do better and based on that expertise, we think it is time to produce our own apps that Scott gives his stamp of approval!

EdReach.us

Scott Meech is one of the founders of EdReach.us:

We all want one thing- to take education forward. As much as we may argue, we still want what’s best for our future thinkers and creators.

Education has never gotten the voice that it’s truly deserved- just check any online newspaper and look for the education section. Keep looking- because you won’t find it there.

The Ed Reach Mission:

To take education forward, by bringing voices together

The Ed Reach Vision:

Continue reading

I Education Apps Review – IEAR.org

I Education Apps ReviewCommunity and collaboration is the most vital aspect for improving education. Technology is really at a point where we can make a difference as a collective body in so many ways. Sometimes we just need a spark to ignite a movement.

I started I Education Apps Review for a few reasons. IEAR.org was my attempt to start making sense out of the app revolution and how apps and mobile learning may or may not make a difference in the classroom. When I first began doing reviews, I was overwhelmed by the shear number of “bad apps” under the educational category. I still am to be honest… I found myself overly impressed early on with weak apps because they had potential. As I became more critical and poignant with my reviews, app developers began to take more notice. Several applications were improved because of this feedback. There is a lot of potential there as we all want to make a difference. I repeatedly would state, “if only we could talk with the developers to improve the effectiveness of these apps!”IEAR.org was born…

Apple Distinguished Educator

I was honored with the distinction of becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator and I attended the 2011 ADE Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.  This was one of the best learning experiences that I have had the privilege of being a part of.  If you love to learn and you believe that technology can play an important part in the learning process, I suggest you apply for the 2013 institute.

Find out more about Apple Distinguished Educators.  I have learned so much from this community and I am honored to be a member.

Google Certified Teacher

In 2008, I was honored to be nominated as a Google Certified Teacher and I was privileged to attend the Chicago Academy. I am proud to be a member of this fine community as it consists of some of the best in the field of education.

The Google community is very active and it continues to teach me every day.  I am very thankful for all of the connections that I have had and continue to make through this program.  I highly suggest others to investigate the possibility of becoming a Google Certified Teacher.

Commuting…

I have been asked a lot about my commute and if I use a lot of “Books on Tape”. Don’t you love it when non-techie people still talk about the tapes! My response is how I listen to all the different podcasts and use my time to “LEARN” in a myriad of ways… Honestly, I cherish my commute right now… Although, let’s be honest, I should keep in mind how things might change when you ask me January 12th, a Monday morning, as it is snowing with gale force Chicago winds, etc.

David Jakes talks about asking teachers if they are willing to take fifteen minutes a day to “learn”? Fifteen minutes can be a very productive amount of time as well as being a very manageable amount of time. Fifteen minutes isn’t really asking for too much is it? Just imagine what I can accomplish with my 1 and 1/2 hour to 2 hour commute! Continue reading

Classroom 2.0 Live “unconference”

If you are near Chicago, Illinois or know of educators in this area, please spread the word about the Classroom 2.0 Live “unconference” that will be held at my school November 7 and 8. We’re looking for participants and sponsors! More information can be found here: http://wiki.classroom20.com/Chicago+2008

An “unconference” is simply a meet up of people interested in a particular topic. In this case, people interested in collaborative technologies and education will be meeting to share and discuss ideas. This is event is not focused on individual presenters being “a sage on the stage” and generally is more informal. Participants propose topics, help organize the structure of the day, and sometimes as as leaders or faciliatators for sessions.

Several of these events have already been held in cities around the country with great success (http://wiki.classroom20.com/Live+Workshops) and are an outgrowth of Steve Hargadon’s Classroom 2.0 ning: http://classroom20.ning.com.

(reposted from a message from Lucy Gray)