Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Are my expectations too high after all?

Last week, arguably one of the largest education conferences SXSWedu took place in Austin. This is the second major conference I have gone to this school year. The other was the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, this past October in Orlando. My expectation of both conferences was to be inspired, motivated, engaged, and to see creative ideas for moving education in more blended ways. Unfortunately, that was not my experience.

What I heard and saw in Orlando was a lack of innovation. There seemed to be a lot of talk about blended and online learning, but not many action steps to help change teacher practices and make classrooms more engaging. The conference was filled with buzzwords like “disruptive”, “blended”, and “personalized”, but those conversations usually centered around a vendor pushing a product to alter a learning space or environment, not necessarily giving concrete strategies on improving student centered outcomes.

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