Year of the Horse

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Wishing all our ECIS ICT community a very happy new year and hope you got to rest and relax over the winter holiday. A break is always a wonderful way to recharge, and get sometime to reflect on the day. There is no doubt as 2013, 2014 will busy for all of us, with new programs, hardware, software, digital ecosystems, to consider and to implement with our respective learning communities. The rate of change and development of consumer digital devices keeps accelerating and with this for our learning communities brings new challenges and opportunities on how to harness these tools. One story that stuck out that got some press was the announcement by Google in regards to their computer learning clusters working on digital image recognition. Our colleagues at http://fluency21.com/ highlighted this story about Google Learning Cluster being able to recognize object independently. The New York Times ran a story on how some computer are developing the capacity to learn from experience. There has been also more information coming out about Google Omega project which again highlights some significant advances in computer clusters. These articles provide some wonderful food for thought for all of us on how with the advances of technology and artificial intelligence the role of educators and schools potentially will change. Even though sometimes these kind of reports and stories seem a little out there, or more science fiction than reality there is no doubt that we are seeing some significant changes which will impact us all at different levels. The role of educators and schools will only become more critical in providing a venue for critical discourse on these topics and changes. We as IT educators, leaders and coordinators have an important role to engage our learning communities in developing an understanding of these changes and together explore how these can support and enhance the learning opportunities of our school communities.

 Mashable hosted a MashTalk Hangout on Air to discuss the year that was tech for 2013, as well as make predictions for tech in 2014. Here is the video for your reference with some interesting observations.

 

Digital Bytes

Looking to the future, Cisco IBSG predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020., below are a series of resources that explain some of these numbers and what the internet of things is.

 

Professional Development

Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit
– a strand of ASB Unplugged, February 26-March 1, Mumbai, India.
ASB Impact (Sharon Peters) and Learning Confluence (Julie Lindsay) are pleased to launch the Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit, an opportunity for students and teachers to explore global issues and challenges and work together on solutions. This 3-day summit is about envisioning what can be done to make the world a better place through entrepreneurship and then working in cross-school teams to identify real solutions and develop realistic sustainable action plans to implement.
Places for students and teachers still available! This is a wonderful opportunity for CAS students and other groups in a school looking at how to take global action to the next level.How can one attend?
Application and Student Registration
Inquiries to Julie Lindsay, lindsay.julie@gmail.com, and Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit, gses@asbindia.org

Flat Connections Conference – Sydney, Australia June 18-20, 2014
The Flat Connections Conference is a unique event that includes students and educators to envision the future of education and of learning communities as they use leading technology tools such as wikis, blogs, social networking and digital storytelling. The conference is diverse in participation while allowing smaller groups to work with leading world-class presenters in a “flattened” environment where virtual participants from remote corners of the world also join in the conversation and action. The Flat Connections Conference is an alternative, challenge-based, global conference. Educators will leave the conference understanding how to collaborate globally and a better understanding of how educational technology supports this and with skills and contacts in hand to start projects. Students will leave the conference with leadership skills, technology skills, presentation skills, and a better understanding of diverse cultures and collaboration.Event facilitators include Michael Furdyk, Ann Michaelsen, Frank Guttler, Ann Mirtschin and Chris Betcher. Inquiries to Julie Lindsay, lindsay.julie@gmail.com

Your words, your input…..
Please remember your links, your thoughts, your resources, your conferences/events are important to this blog if you have something you wish to have featured  drop me a note jmikton@isp.cz a week before the first day of the month, I will make sure it is featured in our February issue edition.

Have a good start to the new year and school
John Mikton
  (Chair of the ECIS ICT Committee)

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