What Makes Us Human – CoSN 2018 Conference


Last week, we had the opportunity to attend CoSN’s (the Consortium for School Networking) 2018 conference, Designing Learning in the 4th industrial Revolution. Thought leaders of technology and education came together to share ideas and inspire changes in our schools, believing we have left behind the information age and are now entering a new phase where there are different implications of technology. Our lives will only be more and more intertwined with machines. In every field, we will collaborate more and more with smart machines.

Team4Tech Program Director, Dawn Kwan, presented our Rural Schools Initiative, specifically sharing about a recent project collaboration between VMWare volunteers, Utah’s Millard School District, and CoSN.
“I’ve been in education for 36 years and this experience (w/T4T) is one of the highlights of my whole career. I was so impressed by the volunteer’s dedication to us.” ~ Kevin Chapman (Technology/Assessment Director, Millard School District, Utah)

A few additional sound bytes of learning to tuck into your pocket:

  • What skills are most important for our students moving forward?  It ALL starts with a mindset of humility and curiosity.
  • It’s no longer about the digital divide (although, this still exists) but now, it has become a digital USE divide. A division of passive-users and active-users: those who primarily use technology for intake and consumption versus those who use technology to share, create, and reinvent.
  • Looking at Project Based Learning as extended challenges (Oh, there’s that elusive “R” of the SAMR model: Redefinition). Learning and technology that allows for new tasks, previously inconceivable.
And a sound clip for an extended listening pleasure:
At one of the general sessions, CoSN introduced FailFest 2018 where three participants shared a “failure” from trying to integrate technology into their schools/districts. It was heart wrenching, humorous, and altogether HUMAN. The storytelling of humans, the laughter of humans, and the shared moment of humans was absolutely beautiful. The irony isn’t lost on me that here I am, writing a blog post about my time from an EdTech conference and the greatest “ah-ha” moment is about humans sharing their technology failure stories. But I guess that’s what gets me most excited: I work in a world where technology and education hold hands together, raise them up, and cheer because failure is inevitable. At the heart of both technology and education are learners, humans who fail, learn, take risks, fail, and run onward.