30hands moves into Quincy center for innovation and Plans to cultivate Innovative Learning and EdTech on South Shore
Boston, MA, August 5, 2013– 30hands Learning announced today that it is moving its headquarters to the Quincy Center for Innovation. As an area leader in the combination of educational technology and innovative learning methodologies, 30hands is very excited to be joining the Redline Innovation Corridor.
“We have been receiving great response to our blended learning technology and our hands-on workshops that help teachers experience first-hand how to flip the classroom, integrate project-based learning into the classroom and take advantage of the growing 1:1 and BYOD movements in schools. The innovative nature of the QCI has great synergy with the 30hands mission,” said Eric Braun, CEO and Co-Founder of 30hands Learning.
The QCI will provide 30hands Learning a great environment for conducting...[Read more...]
I attend a lot of conferences, both as an attendee, as a speaker and as a workshop facilitator.. It has often occurred to me that there is a disconnect between what we say we want for a classroom experience and how we conduct conferences. We say we want Project-Based Learning, Experiential Learning, Flipped Classrooms and all forms of Blended and Differentiated Learning. Yet, we still set up conferences as a series of lecture-based sessions in a schedule that looks very much like a traditional school day. We have keynote speakers who act a lot like the Sage on the Stage.
What if we... FLIPPED this model and created a Flipped Conference?
The fundamental question is, "How do we get the innovative ideas to stick?" How do we find a way to realize in the classroom what we so fervently discussed at EdCamp or any other collaborative event? This is what sticks with me and even haunts me at night. With everyone so busy, is there a way we can be both creative and productive in the events like...
EdCamp is an exploratory adventure. It behaves like a startup company and turns attendees into ad-hoc entrepreneurs. This is what I love about it, because I firmly believe that teachers should act like entrepreneurs in the classroom. If this is true, classroom innovation will occur with much greater frequency. But learning to be an entrepreneur is not easy, just like learning to be a teacher is not easy. Each learns a series of skills and competencies, and each finds the real world very different from what has been learning in preparation.
And what is this beast called EdCamp? From an entrepreneurial perspective, it is an Unconference. From a business perspective, it is Conference Gone Wrong. From the uninitiated, it may look like Chaos and Confusion. (Queue up the background flames and squeaky, mechanical music noise here).
It starts with a bunch of people (usually teachers) with similar interests (usually students and learning). They all get together in a space that seems pretty...
It all began when I heard Mitch Resnick speak at TEDxBeaconStreet last November. I had heard about Scratch before, but Mitch made with want to really try it out. With his infectious smile, he told about how his 83-year-old mother used Scratch to create a Birthday card for him thanking him for creating scratch (and for being her son).
After that, as things go, I kept running into people who have been using Scratch with their kids or their students. A few even admitted that they liked playing with it themselves... "My name is X and, yes, I am a Scratch addict."
In January, I started teaching a course on Intro to Computers. I didn't want to teach it. It sounded boring. But the dean asked me to teach it, so I thought about it. It's a required course, because everyone needs to be digitally literate. That makes sense, but did I need to be the one to teach it? Then, it occurred to me that if I thought it was not the most interesting topic, the students definitely would not be interested...
Saturday was PlayDate13 in Boston, where over 100 educators got together to discuss and play with apps and other edtech toys. Microsoft hosted the event in Cambridge and 30hands Learning sponsored the coffee and food. Topic categories included:
Presentations and Screencasting
Learning Management Systems and Google
Web 2.0 Creative and Sound & Audio
iPad & Desktop Moviemaking
Reading and eBook Creation
E-Portfolios and Notetaking
Social Media and Internet Curation
Everyone was so enthusiastic about learning, sharing and playing. There were great conversations and a whole lot of thinking going on. But, it's hard to describe it, so you'll have to sign up next year. In the mean time, check out the 30hands Mobile video story to get a flavor for what it was all about.
On Wednesday night, I stopped by Mass Innovation Nights for their 4-year anniversary at Lansdowne Pub in Boston. It was a change in venue from the ones I had attended before, and I was unsure how well a bar scene would work for MassInno. At 6pm, things were still on the quiet side, but I was able to find a cheerful Bobbie Carlton, who was doing pretty well for having just returned from SXSW2013 in Austin, TX. I talked to her briefly and then went to work, My goal was to check out the 10 startups, take a picture and get a 30-second sound byte pitch. The variety of companies was great, in celebration of the variety who have come through the past 47 events. I was particularly impressed with the companies that had young people working for them: Help Around Town and Thinkerdeck. The young students were very articulate and full of energy. It' good to see that some companies are doing their part to stimulate entrepreneurship in high schools. Thinkerdeck is also a social entrepreneurship company,...
Yesterday morning, I headed into Boston bright and early to congregate at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel at the annal meeting of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). With over 500 attendees, there was lots of opportunity to network. I thrive on networking at innovation-oriented events, because I find it helps me see things from different angles and be more creative. These events are different from the pure networking events where people are just looking to unwind or find a friend. The innovation community helps you think and create, which has been my mantra lately.
I decided to try out the 30hands Mobile app in a different way, more from a journalistic perspective. We call 30hands Mobile a "photo storytelling app", because it lets people organize photos and images into a storyline then record audio on top of the photos. If the storyline doesn't flow the right way, just drag and drop the thumbnail images around into the desired order. Recorded audio stays with...