By Ellen Richards

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Attending Australasia’s largest education technology conference is a great opportunity to be in one space with representatives across the entire K-12 education sector. We took away so much from speaking with everyone and learning what your school’s need (and don’t need) from technology. The discussions held at EduTECH are highly relevant to the Schoolbox development team. The prominent message at EduTECH was about enabling students to learn with a focus on content to develop creative thinking and the move toward blended learning and disruptive innovation. Other themes that emerged were the:

  • Crucial need to seamlessly move all types of data between platforms and multiple devices.
  • Need to pro-actively accommodate individuals’ preferences in the learning process.
  • Potential new enablers being: Flipped classrooms; SAMR; project based and disruptive learning.
  • Technology opportunities that need to be harnessed for 1:1 and BYOD schools.
  • Need for teachers to focus more on facilitation and allow students to control their learning.

In particular the closing Keynote by Ian Jukes of the Fluency 21 Project challenged the status quo. The following points especially resonated with us:

  • Connectivity is transforming knowledge. We live in the age of Infowhelm.
  • Students are now our clients. They have many options for learning. Are we offering them a valuable and competitive product.
  • For the digital generation the world is one great big social network.
  • Mobile devices will transform learning experience.
  • Big data is here to stay. Radical personalisation of learning is on the way.

We loved Ian Juke’s comments: “We must disrupt ourselves or someone or something else will.” “Education stands in the gap between the present and the future; between success and failure.”

Interoperability and Schoolbox

Alaress was also selected to participate in the EduTECH – NSIP Interoperability Tour and present the State Government Education department CIO’s and representatives from the Independent and Catholic Schools sector. The tour provided an opportunity for the CIO’s to see how Schoolbox technology adds value through product integration to deliver a better experience for students and teachers. Schoolbox Co-Founder, James Leckie engaged with the CIO’s presenting how easily Schoolbox integrates with other products in real time to view SIS data including staff and student information, parent contacts, class enrolment, timetables and much more. The CIO’s were looking to see innovative ICT products that add value to school education, without adding unsustainable overheads. In particular they were interested in:

  • Products and services from different vendors that work together to provide an integrated learning ecosystem based on well managed personal data.
  • Value added through product integration – a better experience for students and teachers, reduced administrative overhead, better use of data, improved ROI.
  • Examples of product integration at the school or school system level.
  • Adoption of SIF and other endorsed standards.
  • Other approaches to product integration.

James explained how support for countless embeddable content providers such as Clickview, YouTube and Khan Academy, brings teachers the tools they love right into Schoolbox. He also presented our current integrations and concepts for future integration. Download the Schoolbox NSIP Presentation.