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Innovative educators understand the importance of being in touch with the latest trends in EdTech. Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), helps us by sharing what the organization sees as the next big EdTech trends. To bring this to life, he had the global leaders in each area explain what’s in store for us.

2019/20: The Year Of…

Artificial Intelligence

Culatta explained that AI is so important that General Motors approached ISTE with their concern that today’s students won’t graduate prepared to work for them. They need students who are immersed in and knowledgeable about AI on their team. But most teachers aren’t doing that.

Fortunately, teachers like April Keck DeGennaro who teaches at Peoples Elementary School in Georgia is. She shared why AI is important in her SCREAM Lab. SCREAM stands for science, computing, robotics, engineering, artificial intelligence, and math. Her students use technology to interact with others around the world to solve real-world problems in their community and beyond. She has used empathy-based engineering and AI to solve these problems. April also was a participant in the ISTE U Artificial Intelligence Course.

Educator Voice

Patricia J. Brown, a tech specialist for Ladue School District, in Missouri, USA, explains why we need to start hearing more stories about education from educators. She knows first hand. When she first enlisted in the ISTE and TED masterclass, she didn’t know what story she had to offer the world. It didn’t take long for her to figure that out and then share her powerful story on the ISTE stage in 2018. You can check it out in the video below.


Digital Citizenship: Student Style

Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran and her twelve year old child, Curran Dee, explained the importance of including students in the digital citizenship conversations, lessons, and use, even before the age of 13 years old. Dr. Curran explained that she and her son have a joint social media account. They use social media side by side so that when he turns 13 he will have the tools and guidance necessary to be successful.

Curran Dee, Dr. Curran’s son, explained that to learn about the digital world, kids need to be in it. He says instead of telling us what not to do, adults should help kids change headlines by turning negatives into positives. Curran provides advice for how kids can be responsible digital citizens by sharing their voice, solving problems and creating solutions, and empowering other kids.

Dr. Curran explained that what should be trending in social media is the learning that happens in the classroom.

This duo serve as the global connectors behind DigCitInstitute, DigCitSummit and DigCitKids. You can check out their mother and son story, DigCitKids: Lessons Learning Side-by-Side, to Empower Others Around the World.

Keep an eye out for their upcoming joint campaign with ISTE: #DigCitCommit

Digital Equity

The importance of digital equity was explained by Dr. Nicole R. Howard, assistant professor at the school of education at the University of Redlands and Dr. Sarah Thomas, regional tech coordinator in Prince George’s County Public Schools. They explained the importance of hearing from the voices that need to be heard and the power we now have to share those voices. A useful resource is the COSN Digital Equity Tookit.

Dr. Thomas shared some strategies to provide digital equity, such as:

A lot of these strategies don’t yet exist in rural South Africa, but with some time and thought, they could be implemented. Watch this space!

Your turn

What do you think? Is Culatta right? Are these the EdTech trends of the year? What do you think is missing?

This article originally appeared on Tech & Learning. It was written by Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu). Lisa has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.

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