TEACHER TOWN HALL: Our second meetup at Minerva's swanky new pad was quite a treat. (And yah, the sweet view of City Hall was the icing on the cake.) We dared to be different this time; instead of the usual "sage on the stage" format of presenters and panels lecturing, we turned the mic over to the eclectic crew of teachers, developers, and edtech hobbyists to share and discuss what mattered most. Conversations touched upon everything from efficacy to engagement, pilots and proficiency. Here's what some attendees had to say:
"I was really pleased to see entrepreneurs and educators having so many great discussions around questions that were relevant to both sides. I really enjoyed meeting so many other educators from different schools who are interested in and working with edtech--it can be difficult for educators to get out and meet each other, but the town hall format made that easy. I was also particularly struck by the depth of a few conversations with entrepreneurs who I have talked with on and off for the past year. It is amazing to see how much some of these companies are growing."
--Jon Deane, Chief Information Officer, Summit Public Schools
"I had a blast! It was a great way to expose attendees to both the diversity of interests and potential synergies in the room...I really appreciated and support the final reflection provided by one of the attendees re: the importance of companies truly immersing themselves in the schools they serve through site visits and relationship building with students and teachers. Truly tailoring support--differentiating--for time- and resource-strapped teachers and students to maximize their use of a certain technology is what will bring long-term positive results to our students and schools."
--Abby Poats, Teacher, Citizen Schools
"I was struck by how enthusiastic and engaged everyone was. Breakout conversations were very active with a lot of back and forth. Never a dull (awkward) moment. There is an eagerness to connect within the new edtech startup scene. It's a tired comparison, but I wonder if what's happening now in SF around Edtech might be similar to the role of the 19th century Parisian café to art and intellectualism."
--Paul Smith, LearnSprout
Next time: On March 21, we're planning an edtech job fair. If you're hiring, drop a note to Tony (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a spot. (We are charging a modest fee unless you're already a sponsor). If you're on the job prowl, come on by! Specific location to come--we'll keep you posted here.