Who is your EdTech icon?

It may be the weekend, but the challenge goes on. On the June 12th we’re asking “who is your EdTech icon?

I’ll be honest, I’d want to question the use of the word icon here, but ultimately I want to talk about three people who have influenced or changed my perception of learning, education, technology, and the fairness of how we view learning and students (of all ages). These ‘icons’, if you want, are:

Sir Ken Robinson – From the moment I watched his influential TEDTalk, ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity’, I found the ability within me to question something. I questioned whether school had bee right for me. I know Sir Ken’s approach and posited statements of creativity in schools has come under fire in recent years but for me., reflecting on my own time at school and university, school was not where I did my best learning. I never felt comfortable or ‘at home’ in school, something always felt out of place … it was me. I didn’t fit in the 30 kids to a class, 5 rows of 6 desks, all facing a single desk which the teacher sat behind and bestowed his or her knowledge to me.

Professor Stephen Heppell – Seeing Professor Heppell speak at Learning Without Frontiers in 2012 was another eye-opening moment for me. the manner in which he presented from his Macbook desktop – no presentation, per se, and definitely no Powerpoint. Yet the apparent random photos and videos he shared eventually worked a narrative and purpose that was so very clever and insightful. The real ‘icon’ status for me was a talk he gave at Bournemouth University to my peers on my PG Cert, and the numerous conversations we’d have in the queue for the Uni Costa Coffee. So very helpful, insightful, willing to listen and learn from everyone he comes into contact with, not just imparting his countless experiences and ideas. At one point I was hoping to work with Stephen with his school for all ages (Portland Academy) near Weymouth, and Mumology degree. Sadly, that wasn’t to happen, but I am forever hopeful!

Professor Steve Wheeler – Another twitter hero moment with Steve, and someone I have come to consider a friend since our first meeting. I was invited to Dundee for the 2011 eAssessment Scotland conference, and the top billing was Stephen and Donald Clarke. Attending the private dinner the first night for speakers I spent time with both Steve, Don, David Walker, Sue Beckingham, and more, and during the event, we talked more. I was also lucky enough to share a taxi back to Edinburgh airport with both Steve and Donald, and engaged with them both on many varied conversations of EdTech and learning … but also left them to it to continue some arguments themselves, clearly far too over-my-head to take part in, but a fantastic experience nonetheless. Since then we’ve met many times, not least another invite, this time to Steve’s own PELeCON conference in Plymouth!

PS. I did not get to meet Sir Ken Robinson. But I wish I had.

Let me be clear, there are many others in my network I consider iconic, and I wish I could list them/you all here. The list is so very long, but I thank you all!! For those interested in some of these individuals, they have contributed to two of my self-published books – #EdtechBook and #EdTechRations – as well as my Twitter and LinkedIn updates.

  • This is Day 12 the 30-day JuneEdTechChallenge. Follow the challenge on my JuneEdTechChallenge blog tag and on Twitter using the #JuneEdTechChallenge hashtag. And write your own entries too. The list of challenges is as follows:

Photo credits: Paul Hudson