One of the new features at the symposium is Demo Days. Demo Days will take place on Monday and Tuesday in America’s Seminar Lounge in the Convention Center. The purpose of Demo Days is for Edtech start-ups that are developing next generation tools and programs to have an opportunity to showcase these products. At the same time, conference attendees will have an opportunity to talk with these entrepreneurs about their product and identify how these products may fit in with their school program. The interaction between the entrepreneurs and conference attendees will provide multiple opportunities. First, attendees will be able to understand what these next generation tools are and how they may fit into their respective online or blended program. Second, the presenters will be able to hear from attendees about how the product may or may not fit with their respective school systems and what may need to be modified to make a product more useable. Third, attendees will also be able to suggest tools that are needed for the field. Together, the interaction between the entrepreneurs and educators will hopefully produce products that are truly useable in schools and ultimately, will provide the needed next generation tools for the education field.
We know that online and blended learning has the ability to personalize learning for all students. The challenge is how to best use the technologies to inform the teacher so instruction can be personalized. The technologies used in blended and online programs include communication tools, content, course management, and assessment. The recent publication, “Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning” may help to provide some context about the types of next generation tools needed for blended learning environments. The Demo Days lounge will demonstrate some of these next generation tools to help teachers to better personalize learning will be evident.
Competency education or the ability to measure student progress based on proficiency is a concept being implemented in school districts throughout the U.S. In order for competency education to move forward, the technology tools to track and measure proficiency need to be in place. The publication “Re-Engineering Information Technology, Design Considerations for Competency Education” identifies four elements that need to be in place for student-centered education to occur. These four elements include:
- IT systems are designed with student profiles and standards-based, personalized learning plans.
- Rich data on student learning enables robust continuous improvement.
- Student-centered systems require student-centered accountability systems focused on progress in learning.
- IT enterprise architecture requires interoperability, accessibility, and interfaces.
How do the Demo Days products meet these requirements?
Check out Demo Days to learn about next generation tools and products, but more importantly, ask questions about how the tools can be used by yourself, your students, and your schools.
Use the symposium online community area or the program book addendum to identify when different products will be shared at Demo Days in the America’s Seminars Lounge or just drop in most any time on Monday or Tuesday!