Policy Pop Up Discussion Recap: Ed Tech

Pop Up PhotoFrom TC student Roger Horton, who led and organized the latest policy pop up discussion on Ed Tech:

Close to 25 people took part in a Pop-Up Discussion focused on Education Technology.  Students from EPSA, Philosophy of Education, Math/Science/Technology and other departments attended, as did Prof Gary Natriello (Director of EdLab and Gottesman Libraries) and Prof Ellen Meier (Director or the Center for Technology and School Change).  At least one alum who now works in the field of ed tech attended and participated.
The discussion ranged across several topics related to ed tech.  Several strands of the discussion centered on the size and rapid change of the ed tech industry and of technology more broadly.  It was noted by several participants that we are still in the relatively early days of the digital technology revolution and it’s not surprising that there is a lack of clarity regarding the appropriate use and impact of technology in education.  Large firms like Apple, Google and Amplify are making huge investments in ed tech but there are also many small firms engaged in innovation.  It will take time for the best technologies to emerge and prove themselves.
A scholar from Australia noted some of the positive impacts of ed tech when it is accompanied with proper planning and engagement by teachers.  There was a long debate regarding the proper role of teachers.  Do they have the knowledge to choose their own ed tech or do they need support through professional development to learn how to make proper use?  Do they have the opportunity to experiment and fail with new technology?
Another debate was whether technology can replace teachers for transmitting information in order to allow teachers to focus on the critical review of knowledge and how it is used.  Many people did not agree that this role for teachers could be so easily replaced.  There was no consensus about the role of virtual reality environments in education.
Despite the possibilities of ed tech, there were many concerns expressed.  Participants worried about the impact of ed tech on equity and equality in education, as well as on teaching.  Could ed tech be just the latest hot trend that encourages schools to buy lots of shiny new and expensive equipment (such as Smart Boards) which do not actually get used much? (Several points of evidence on that point)  NY State wants to issue $2 billion in bonds for ed tech, but one participant asked why that money would not be considered for other needs.  Another concern was that massive ed tech companies could use their capital and political weight to influence policy decisions and the actual educational use of technology.  A big concern is that tech companies do not have a deep enough understanding of teaching and learning to design products with the capabilities needed by teachers.
If wealthier districts take the risks with new technology, will they end up farther ahead than poorer districts even though there may be some expensive failures?
Overall a great discussion!
Stay tuned for the next policy pop up discussion in April. We hope to see many of you tonight for the EPSA Career Panel and Networking Event, starting at 6 PM in Milbank Chapel!
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EPSA Career Panel and Networking Event

In the spirit of ensuring that EPSA students continue to have access to career opportunities, the EPSA department is co-sponsoring a Career Panel and Networking Event with Student Senate, TCCS, and Alumni Relations on Thursday, March 27th from 6-7 PM (Panel in Milbank Chapel) and from 7-9 PM (Networking in the Everett Lounge).

If you haven’t already, please make sure to RSVP:

We hope to see you there!

03-27 EPSA Career Panel and Networking Event - Student Flyer

RECAP: EPSA Alumni Panel (Feb. 12, 2014)

Last night, over 25 EPSA students got to hear from four recent alumni, who shared their experiences in transitioning from TC to their current work. We heard from:

  • Romero Ross (MA, Sociology and Education) | Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School
  • Amrit Thapa (PhD, Economics and Education) | National School Climate Center
  • Lauren Meyer (MA, Education Policy) | NYC Department of Education
  • Albert Paez (MA, Politics and Education) | Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management

We are so grateful to Romero, Amrit, Lauren, and Albert for joining us and sharing their stories and advice. We know many folks who wanted to be there could not make it, so we have typed up our notes from last night’s panel for you. We’ll post pictures on the EPSA Facebook page soon!

EPSA Alumni Panel

EPSA Alumni Panel and Spring Kick-Off Social

TONIGHT (Wednesday, February 12, 2014) is the EPSA Alumni Panel and Spring Kick-Off Social!

Please join us from 7-8 pm for our alumni panel and from 8-10 pm for our social in Horace Mann 152. You are welcome to come for all or any part of the event. Our panelists have kindly provided us with their biosIf time permits, some of them will be joining us for the social as well.

For anyone who is unable to make it tonight, we will post an update with notes from our panel on this page. We hope to see many of you tonight!

02-12 EPSA Alumni Panel and Spring Social Flyer

Introducing the EPSA Student Advisory Council

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”

– Anthony J. D’Angelo

Thanks to everyone who voted in our EPSA Student Advisory Council elections! We are thrilled to announce our new EPSA Student Advisory Council members:

  • Natalie Kolodinski (MA, Ed Policy)
  • Christopher Lim (MA, Soc and Ed)
  • Ryan Heath (PhD, Econ and Ed)
  • Carly Lagrotteria (MA, Politics and Ed)

Our four program representatives will join the two current EPSA representatives to the TC Student Senate, Sam Lim (MA, Ed Policy) and Tamara Sacks (MA, Soc and Ed), on the Council. The seventh and final member (the Policy Student Network representative) will be appointed by our faculty.

Our faculty and staff were fully supportive in our formation of the Student Advisory Council, and we want to make this advisory body as transparent and constructive as possible. The Council will meet every three weeks this semester, starting on Monday, February 10th, from 4-4:30 pm in Zankel 214.

All EPSA students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the meetings. Following the format of the TC Student Senate, all EPSA Student Advisory Council meetings will follow parliamentary procedure, and meeting minutes will always be posted on this page. If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like the Council to take on any issue, please send us a note.

We look forward to working with the Council — and you — to ensure that we can best serve the EPSA community this year and beyond.