Teachers and technologists need each other to innovate education

Teacher Lindsey Own (far right) and two science teacher colleagues, as the “Simple Machine Superheroes” for Halloween 2011. Pop quiz: What simple machines does each represent?

I can’t imagine why anyone would NOT want to be a 7th grade biology teacher.  As a 7th grade biology teacher, I have the privilege of guiding adolescents through some of the most profound, disgusting, and fascinating aspects of the natural world. And to be a 7th grade biology teacher now – in 2012 – is even more exciting, with the wealth of technological tools that allow my students to make connections and broaden their experiences in incredible ways.  But, like many in my profession, I sometimes find myself struggling. The tools are many. They are varied. And they often don’t fit the needs of my students or my classroom.

With the growing need for our students to develop global systems understanding, we teachers need to be at the forefront of innovation and working collaboratively with our technology partners to bring the best of technological application design and implementation to the best of education theory and practice.

Seattle Startup Weekend EDU and our preparatory meetups are designed to bring teachers and technologists together to tackle the real problems voiced by practicing teachers (you). During the weekend-long event, teachers, developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to identify needs in the education realm and form collaborations to begin solving problems in a way that will support our students’ development of key 21st century skills. We have seen great things come out of previous events. Rather than innovating in their silos, Startup Weekend EDU participants share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups to innovate education!

Registration for teachers begins this Friday at 9AM PST. Teachers can participate for the full weekend of solution development, or only for the Friday-evening brainstorm and problem identification portion. (WA State Clock Hours are available for both options!) Join me along with other teachers to create technological solutions that will support our kids’ development of key 21st century skills.