Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guest Blog Post: #EdTechChat: An EdChat worth staying up for!

Guest blog post from good friend and supporter of #edtechbirdge, William Jenkins, aka @EdTech_Stories.  Visit William's blog at

An EdChat that's worth staying up for!

It's 1am in the UK when this chat is on, I know that there are lots of other great EdChats on that I would like to join but there are only so many hours in the day... But so many EdChats!

I did indeed stay up and join in the chat... despite the fact that the moderators were alternating between being very cagey with what they were up to and being downright bizarre.

 When the chat started they revealed that they would be asking the same questions as the first session while having a hangout while the chat was on.

Halfway through the chat Katrina asked if I'd join the hangout. What! Not only is it 1am and I'm in my PJs with the curlers in my hair... but I've got a face for radio and a voice for the silent movies! Man! Just when I'm get used to Tweeting and blogging I now need to get comfortable with video too?!

Will this personal development never end?! Once I got over my social phobias something struck me... I was the only person there that was not an Educator, I was an EdTech guy being invited to join the discussion. 

Tom Murray highlighted that #EdTechchat helped to establish relationships, and he's right, in a week when a damning report about EdTech suppliers (More on this in forthcoming posts... WAY MORE). I wondered what led to this invitation? 

You'd need to speak to the moderators to find out their exact reasons for selecting me over so many other fantastic educators who turn up each week but, for my part, I thought I would detail the reasons why I turn up to these EdChats each week.

There are two main reasons that I attend EdTechChat and other EdChats;

1) People who are committed to making great products listen to potential customers and what's happening in their niche sector

2) My #1 priority when I join these chats is to listen... I do offer input but only when I think that my contribution has value and adds to the discussion. 

The Teachers Know Best (Educators felt 50% of EdTech is ineffective) and Gallup research (EdTech has not saved money or improved Edu results) suggests to me that there needs to be more people in EdTech joining these chats. 

After all what better way if there for EdTech to collaborate, develop relationships and get feedback about their ideas from educators that a free service that you can participate in without needing to leave your office?

I suggest this in my "Greenwich of EdTech" post and argue that maybe some suppliers feel that #EdChats are educators' space, a place to for educators to get support from colleagues (and, from time to time, to vent frustrations), I hope that my invitation to join this #EdTechChat Google hangout dispels this idea.

I also suggest that educators and entrepreneurs could invite each other to any #EdChat and EdTech communities people are involved with. 

A note from the #edtechbridge moderators @mr_isaacs and @katyamuses

As #EdTechBridge is a community of Educators and EdTech developers we have put together a survey for anyone who is keen to actively invite any educators or EdTech entrepreneurs into their respective communities. If you take a moment to fill this out we will make sure that any relevant groups and people are aware that you're keen to hear from them;

We hope you will join us as we continue to create a community of Teachers, Students and Developers with the common goal of working together to benefit student learning and move education forward.  The #edtechbridge chat is held every Wednesday night at 6pm ET / 3pm PT / 11pm GMT.  We are planning on offering a second chat soon in order to better accommodate our global community. 

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