Five minutes go by in a flash. But that’s all the time allowed when pitching at ISTE Ignite, an event format created by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis, where presenters show 20 slides for 15 seconds each to explain their product, service, or “ah-ha” moment.
MentorMob’s Vince Leung used his five minutes to review the history of formalized education, from ancient times when only the most wealthy had access to any education at all, through the industrial revolution, to the informal, webbed, tech-driven learning avenues of today.
And today, Vince argued, the biggest problem with education is not access but quality. (Not the ONLY problem, but the BIGGEST.) Why on earth is it that every time you search for how to do something on the web, you start from square one, even though millions of people have already searched for that same exact thing?
MentorMob provides a place for teachers, students, and life long learners to organize all the high quality learning content online, while cutting out the garbage that makes searching online such a pain in the butt in the first place.
And MentorMob was only one of the outstanding ideas put forth during the hour long session—all of which deserve a closer look.
Chris Walsh, of New Tech Network, discussed the Infinite Thinking Machine—a fun, quirky Internet show for educators.
Mary Ann Domanska presented on using podcasts to engage her students and share their writing.
Traci House, of Joplin Schools, told the story of turning some very sour lemons (massive tornado damage to school property) into lemonade (fast-tracking a 21st century, textbook free curriculum).
Rushton Hurley, of NextVista.org, argued in favor of the transformative power of digital video in education.
David Jakes suggested we replace the cynical response to new ideas of “yeah, but…” to a more powerful and hopeful “what if…?”
Lisa Parisi, of Denton Avenue School, preached the necessity of cutting down on the time spent on testing and test prep—imperative if we want children to grow up into creative, collaborative, caring adults.
Justin Reich, of EdTechTeacher, challenged the audience to make sure emerging edtech doesn’t leave behind the vulnerable kids whose lives would be most impacted by increased access to education.
Will Richardson walked through 19 out-of-the-box ideas to help move toward a new, more effective learning model.
Alfred Solis, of the Buck Institute for Education, explained how his own crazy career path echoes the multifaceted, non-linear experience of education today.
And Selena Ward reminded us that movie making is an excellent way to foster students’ creativity—a skill that’s highly prized, but almost never a testing area.
Catch the recording of all eleven Ignite talks on the ISTE homepage here.