Free 30-Day EdTech Challenge Set to Launch on May 4
April 22, 2016 – www.edtech30.org
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The #EdTech30, a Massive, Multiuser Online Course (MOOC) focused on Educational Technology tools for the classroom, is currently open to enrollment and set to launch on May 4, 2016. Completely free to participants, the course runs on Instructure’s Canvas LMS and is designed and organized by Seth Dimbert, an independent EdTech consultant from New Jersey.
This is the EdTech30’s second year. Dimbert ran the first in 2014, as a run-up to that year’s ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in Atlanta. “I was inspired by all of the sharing I saw from my PLN (Professional Learning Network) on Twitter,” Dimbert said. “There were all these teachers there, constantly sharing links to tools that they used successfully in the classroom, and I just figured everybody could benefit if we put a bunch of them all in one place. I was getting excited as we got closer to the ISTE conference and that seemed like a natural finish line.”
Dimbert currently works as the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at Yeshivat Noam, a private Jewish Day School in Paramus, NJ. He calls himself a technology geek, loves Apple products and is an articulate and passionate advocate for the increasing role of technology in schools. “I try not to advocate for one brand or product or app over any other,” he said. “But I do believe pretty strongly that most classrooms need more tech and not less. The process always has to start with the learning goal and that tells us where to go next. But when I meet a teacher who says they don’t like technology, I’m like, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to give your students every possible tool to help them succeed?'”
That passion is what led Dimbert to launch the EdTech30. It began as a way to help his own school’s faculty grow as technology users but, once the course began to take shape, he realized that there was no reason not to open it up to those outside the school as well. The course attracted over 100 participants from several countries in its first incarnation and he hopes to triple the enrollment this year.
According to Dimbert, the course is designed as a 30 day whirlwind of EdTech. Each day, participants log in to view the day’s challenge. They might be asked to explore a new tool, design a new unit, or simply post their thoughts on an issue facing technology using teachers. “It isn’t designed to be hard. It’s designed to get teachers thinking about using new tools in their classroom. I am sure that at least some of the tools will be familiar to most of the participants. But I hope that that list is different for every person. The real goal is to get the teachers into the same room talking about how they use these tools in the classroom,” Dimbert said.
Dimbert is a veteran classroom teacher, with more than 20 years of experience in all levels of formal and informal education. He has worked at Blue Ribbon schools, IB Certified schools, is a Certified Google Educator and is the founder of JEDcamp, an internation series of teacher-driven, informal professional development events. He holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and regularly participates in local, regional and national education conferences as both attendee and presenter. He also delivers professional development and consulting services to schools and is always open to discussion of new opportunities.