Michael from Catalytic IT were lucky enough to attend the EduTech conference in Brisbane early June, in order to gain a better understanding of the latest educational ICT trends.
The conference began with a visit to the NetBox National Users Group, where we learned about the upcoming changes for v30. For those of you who are struggling with SNI challenges at the moment, this will be a welcome update.
We also got the opportunity to meet up with some local and interstate schools and get a feel for what they were doing, and the challenges they were actively facing. We then caught up with our former colleagues (and still partners) Datacom for a catch up and a quiet drink.
Things began in earnest for us on Tuesday as we got the opportunity to listen Eric Mazur discuss his vision for rethinking assessments, as he argued that assessment methodologies in use today do not accurately reflect the skills we want to give our students. A fascinating insight into his thought process, and certainly some implications for integrators as we look to help implement systems that support peer and self-assessment and more instantaneous feedback.
We also got to take a sneak peek into Design39 – an innovative new style of school (https://sites.google.com/site/design39campus/portrait) and it was fascinating to see the concepts that were embraced when starting from scratch. We listened to a session by the Dell Security team and picked up some great stats to demonstrate the importance of securing your networks appropriately. We also got to take a look into the infrastructure and thought process behind the BYO program at Kristen School in Auckland – a very well thought out approach and one we certainly picked up a few tips/tricks that we intend to put to use amongst our schools (particularly the BYO experience). We rounded off a great day with dinner/drinks with NetBox Blue and Seqta (it was definitely the place to be on Tuesday night!)
Our final day began with an utterly fascinating presentation by Larry Johnson from NMC as he walked us through networks between the generations. We also got to hear from Paul Lister (Scots College) as he walked through the process of finding the right partner for your school – an approach we thoroughly endorse and the values he espoused (Trust and Accountability) are tenants of any engagement we pursue. We heard from Kevin Richardson from Immanuel College in Adelaide as he walked us through their approach to BYOT and we were quite impressed with how much they managed to achieve with relatively fewer resources. It was also quite interesting to listen to Mitch Miller walk through their cloud strategy (they’ve moved pretty much all of their core infrastructure away from the school to Amazon), the hurdles they’ve faced and how they overcame them.
Throughout the conference we made sure we had a chat with suppliers/vendors that we thought had innovative solutions. New connections were made and we hope to share some innovative solutions that have come from those connections as they occur. All in all it was a great opportunity to see what others were doing, learn from their mistakes and hopefully help our customers prepare for educational ICT trends.