Examining the Role of Tech and Social Media in Education at the CIC

The inaugural Talent Development Scholarship Program from AEP, supported by Jim McVety of First Step Advisors, is intended to help professionals new to the educational resource community learn, grow, and network at one of the industry’s most important events. Winners receive a full pass to AEP’s Content in Context (CIC) conference, as well as guided networking provided by veteran AEP members. Before and after the CIC, scholarship winners will contribute articles to Educational Publishing.

Here, scholarship winner Lauren Baideme, Marketing Campaign Coordinator for eChalk, Inc., discusses her own experiences with technology in the classroom, as a teacher and a student, and shared what she wants to learn from her colleagues at the CIC.

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to attend AEP’s Content in Context Conference via their Talent and Development Scholarship. As I gear up for the event, I’m enjoying reflecting on my own association with the education resource industry and the new connections that are sure to be formed at CIC.

As a member of Generation Y, I grew up in an age where media evolved rapidly and education raced to keep pace. Born in 1985, by sixth grade I was dialing into AOL to surf the web and chat with friends every evening. By my senior year in high school, regardless of whether my teachers were online, I was. I researched everything online, from Roe versus Wade to the gritty details of forensic criminology to Robert Frost and advanced calculus proofs. Like my generational peers, I was hooked on the Net.

After college I became an educator and spent a brief time teaching sixth grade general education at a public school in the South Bronx. I was stunned by how similar their classroom resources (textbooks and transparency projectors) were to those I learned from in middle school ten years prior. Even though the early years of the 21st century have witnessed a boom in mobile media devices, access to the Internet and social media tools for communication and collaboration…my students’ classroom showed no visible distinction from those of the 20th Century. I was immediately inspired to work toward making sure all students learn in the 21st century, not just live in it.

Currently, I am working toward a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, which like the field of education, is rapidly evolving to keep up with new technologies and trends in social media. Staying true to my education roots, I am also on track to obtain certification as a School Library Media Specialist (or whatever we’re calling it these days). I have been inspired over and over again by the work that educators and content providers all over the world are doing to encourage kids to produce original inquiry and media projects as they learn how to become ethical and reflective digital citizens. Most of all, I have been wowed by the excitement in students’ eyes as they engage in such hands-on, real world learning.

I am also extremely excited to have recently joined the marketing team at eChalk, Inc. As a leading provider of web-based learning management and communication tools designed exclusively for the K-12 market, eChalk is in the business of ensuring that students live and learn in the 21st century; essentially, it is what I wish I had had when I was a student. As the market grows, more and more school districts are demanding online communication, collaboration and instructional platforms like eChalk, but budget cuts and fiscal barriers make it increasingly difficult for them to procure the tools they need.  Understanding educators’ needs and wants is therefore more important now than ever before. Looking forward to CIC’s general session “What Schools Want and Where You Fit In,” I am pumped to hear straight from the mouths of educators themselves what is going on in the field right now, what they need and how we can deliver.

I am especially looking forward to the session titled “So You Think You Know How to Use Social Media?” Virtually every person (students, educators, professionals) and relevant business is using some form of social media and/or social networking today. As an educator, I’m always intrigued by the innovative ways social media is making it into the classroom; as a marketer, this information is critical – are we sending effective messages, using ideal techniques, and reaching key decision makers?  If not, how can we do so?

Whether I continue with marketing in the educational resources industry or return to teaching, I will be in the education field for life. Nothing inspires me more than the prospect of giving our students the superb education they deserve. I cannot think of a better way to effect change than to introduce educators, innovators, publishers and service providers into the same conversation. I am exhilarated at the thought of sharing in that conversation at CIC, and hope to meet you there!

1 Response to “Examining the Role of Tech and Social Media in Education at the CIC”

  1. 1 So You Think You Know How to Use Social Media? (CIC Snapshot) « Educational Publishing Trackback on June 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

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May 2011


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