Episode Number: 108
Episode Title: Ed Tech Won’t Make Teachers Obsolete
Podcast Hosts Info: Ricky Zager - Host of the show.
Kristy Warren - Co-host and Google Certified Educator
Ricky: [00:06] This is Ed Tech Weekly, I am your host Ricky Zager and this is episode 108. And In tonight's show Chicago’s ed tech scene, how to get in the cloud, Getting K-12 departments to work together, and our breakdown tonight is how ed tech is not making teachers obsolete... that's good news.
Joining me on the show Google Certified Educator and my cohost, Kristy Warren... Kristy welcome back..
Kristy: [00: 32] Hey Ricky, It has been a while since we’ve been together so I’m glad to be talking Ed Tech again.
Ricky: [00:39] Yeah, I’d say it’s has been way too long since we were together on the show… I think we were just looking at our history, our call history, in Google Hangouts and it looks like it's been since 2018 sadly… so I'm glad we are back together again… what do you say we go on a long streak of weekly shows starting tonight?
Kristy: [00:55] Hey, Sounds good to me, let’s do it
Ricky: [00:57] Alright. Well, I want to jump right back into this with the news of the week... but I do want to mention that this episode is gonna be the first one that we also offer a transcript for and it will be on Edtechweeklyshow.com along with this episode’s post.
Kristy: [01:10] Well, that sounds pretty cool to make this available in many different forms.
Ricky: [01:15] Yeah. and I figured that those who had issues hearing should have an equal chance to find this not so great show... I kid, a little bit. Hopefully it is getting better. But, if you are reading this transcript don’t give up just yet, at least there is some ed tech news coming up as we begin now with the ed tech news rundown.
[Rundown Intro Music][01:33]
Ricky: [01:37] An Ed Tech Magazine article talks about overcoming and addressing potential objections for using cloud services in education. The overall strategy here is to keep all stakeholders in the loop and show the reasons why moving to cloud solutions are better for your school. Those are definitely high level decisions that need to be made and most likely higher ed will be the first to leap for cloud based solutions but everyone needs to realize that these solutions are gonna be too cost effective to ignore and at some point I assume all services are gonna be moving there. The one caveat here is that if you are moving to cloud based services you better make sure your internet is on point or these cloud services will just cause more headache
Kristy: [02:17]Yeah, for sure... without reliable internet I’m not sure this would work. Fortunately, internet access and speed has improved significantly to make this a viable option for many organizations.
Kristy: [02:28] Our next story is from BuiltinChicago.com shows that Chicago is making a name for itself in the Ed Tech space. They list several ed tech companies from Chicago whose goals seemingly are to improve students lives as they graduate and move into the workforce. One such company is named Peanut Butter, apparently named that because that’s all the founder could eat while in college, and it aims to help companies offer loan payment packages to new hires. Another company, Parker Dewey, puts students in contact with businesses to participate in micro internships… which are described as paid, short term projects.
Ricky: [03:04] Just when I thought we were finished with the “micro” of all the things, they keep it alive. I really think this is just called consultant work but I understand what they are doing here.
Kristy: [03:15] Are you feeling the term “micro” is a bit overused?
Ricky: [03:19] I don't know... is that a “micro”- aggression about my feeling that it is overused?
Kristy: [03:23] (Laughing) Possibly.
Ricky: [03:24] Alright, let's get to the next story. The 74million.org gives us an opinion piece on why some things ed tech can’t do emphasizes just how important teachers are. The really interesting part about this article to me is their admission that technology would actually free teachers up to do the things that technology can’t do. And I think this is an important concept as so many people believe teachers are at risk of being replaced but it should allow teachers to be more effective. We're gonna dive deeper into this during our breakdown segment so stick around for that.
Kristy: [03:54] Yeah, looking forward to talking about this a bit more, later.
Kristy: [03:58] Ed Tech Magazine explains how getting K-12 departments to work collaboratively to support ed tech is more important now than it has ever been. I’m sure some of you have experienced an IT department that isn’t on the same page as teachers or instructional technologist and it certainly can be frustrating for all involved. To combat these issues and start working together they think that having a “safe space” to speak freely about wants and needs is a good start. And some other sound advice in almost anything in life… reach out to others for advice who have accomplished what you are working towards.
Ricky: [04:28]Yeah I think the safe space thing is interesting because I do know that I've been in conversations on both sides of this and people are more freely talking about things. When they are in just the tech area they say, "well this is dumb because if this” or in the teaching area they'll say something but they don't necessarily communicate that well with each other. So I do think that's important.
Ricky: [04:47]Alright, well let's get to the breakdown. Let's just get right to it, In the battle between humans and technology… a battle that seems to be slowly being skewed towards technology. It’s possible that teachers could be the real winners here. The article from 74 million.org that we talked about earlier gives us a few ways that teachers can have the advantage.
Kristy: [05:07] Yeah, they mention that technology can’t provide higher order feedback, get to know students or actually care about students. With all that teachers have to do, those three strengths sometimes get pushed to the back burner because of how overwhelmed teachers are.
Ricky: [05:20] Yeah, I mean it It can't do it yet maybe it can learn sometime to care about students but at the moment... no. I know this is something that we’ve discussed a lot on the show and I feel like it will continue to be a huge topic as technology develops and offers even more ability to take daily tasks away from teachers. Again, this is going to happen, it's gonna happen and we know it and and how teachers react and position themselves will be very important. I can see teachers standing up against this instead of highlighting their true value connecting with students. I wonder how different this could play in the media and with the public based on how this is handled?
Kristy: [06:04] It seems to me right now that teachers are more important than ever in the media and there has been a lot of attention around teacher compensation.
Ricky: [06:12] The refreshing thing to me is that the narrative is shifting away from can technology replace teachers to ways technology can let teachers focus on being even better at what they do. How do you see this balance as a district tech person?
Kristy: [06:50] Definitely, as Adam Welcome, author of Kids Deserve It, emphasized at his keynote to our district last August, what’s the newest thing in education: Relationships, relationships, relationships. This can’t be done with a computer, but technology can hopefully help a teacher be freed from low level tasks to really focus on relationships.
Ricky: [07:32] Hopefully this is a shift in the right direction that can really show just how valuable teachers are.
Ricky: [09:13] No Lowdown segment tonight as we are easing back in after such a long break but if you want to follow us on social media... the gram, twitter, or facebook it is @edtechweeklysho... no w at the end... because the w is weak ... ok, really the character limit cuts it off… but follow us for all sorts of cool upcoming content.
Kristy: [09:36] And you can follow me @kristymwarren or Ricky @4techteachers
Ricky: [09:43] And before we head out, I wanted to mention a friend of the show who is starting her own podcast. Monica Burns has her own podcast and it is called The Easy EdTech Podcast. I have listened to her show and I like her format, it is sort of a story podcast with musical breaks and it is getting better with each episode so check it out and we’ll link it on edtechweeklyshow.com
Kristy: [10:17] And don’t forget you can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricky: [10:31] We’ll see you next week on Ed Tech Weekly!