What the heck was I thinking? I had a great job as a teacher and Technology Lead at a small, local elementary school five minutes from my house. I essentially had my own ed tech incubator, where I could create and integrate technology district wide. I enjoyed collaborating with the school administration and the IT guys and actually got to develop what infrastructure and devices the students and teachers needed from the start. My principal/superintendent was enthusiastic about technology and her goal was for our district to become the leader in tech integration in our county. For over 10 years, I was part of a concerted effort to bring 21st Century teaching and learning to our little corner of the state. And we accomplished our goal as far as the technology would let us.
That was the rub. I had my vision on what integrating technology could be. But the technology hadn’t quite caught up to that vision. There were lots of devices – chromebooks, ipads, smartphones. There were lots of what I dubbed “drill and kill” apps that were easy (or not!) to use. But there wasn’t any organization or structure to how they were used. Technology had so much more more potential.
There’s a way to do it better, I kept thinking. If technology was used in a more purposeful way, with an end in mind, it could be a powerful tool to help level the playing field for learning and teaching. If technology was integrated in a familiar and structured environment, that allowed students to explore and practice with “real” tech tools while collaborating in real time with other students and their teacher, that would be the ticket. If students could then apply what they learned and actually create a product or project to show they mastered both the tools and the concepts, wouldn’t that be something?
I needed to be part of the bigger solution. And it just so happened that my principal/superintendent, Jean, was retiring and wanted to join me in my adventure. We’ve been on our adventure together for several years now, and have brought along a team of exemplary teachers, school administrators, and software developers to help us achieve our goal: Ednexio. We’ve been getting feedback all along from our pilot teachers and their students. Their insights have helped us develop a teaching and learning application where students are inspired to learn, are taught how to use tech tools productively, and are immersed in a safe and collaborative environment where they create products to showcase what they’ve learned. With Ednexio , teachers can produce their own content or easily integrate technology through a shared library of technology rich lessons.
So, now what am I thinking? We’ve made a great start at bringing our vision to life, but there’s so much more to accomplish. My experience as a teacher, and Jean’s as an administrator, only makes us more driven to make Ednexio innovative and purposeful. Our hope is that this blog will build a community of educators who support and empower each other to use real technology for real learning. We hope to provide you with timely ed tech news and insights, recommend apps and websites you can use with your students, and to collaborate with you to improve Ednexio. Innovation is a continuous process, and who better to join forces with than educators who want their students to succeed! We hope you’ll join us on our journey.