Aaron Fowles sent along this video from Fox 5 News in Memphis, Tennessee that highlights the MidSouth Technology Conference, which is an edtech event for K-12 teachers (warning–first 30 seconds of video is an obnoxious Xmas ad). And while I was watching the video for the EDUPUNk reference at 1:11 (it’s actually a fleeting image from Aaron’s presentation) I was struck by the message that Fox took from the conference in it’s two minute report: school’s are engaging free web-based technologies for quick and easy innovation. Say what? Fox News 5 nails it?! Jesus, they are starting to look pretty good compared to The Chronicle and the like. I was ready for the fear and loathing, but it never came, and from what I can see of the conference, it looks like we really are starting to see the wider trend of free, web-based tools take hold as an alternative philosophy to expensive and proprietary systems.
What’s more, is that Aaron was presenting on creating your own Whiteboard using a Wii remote—-something I know Grant Potter and Patrick Murray-John have also been experimenting with—which is pretty crazy when you think about it. You take a $2,000-$4,000 (note: changed pricing by a decimal point thanks to that jackass Tom Woodward) piece of equipment that schools are buying up to suggest they are using edtech, and you reproduce it with less than $100 worth of equipment that’s is highly portable. Now that’s impressive, and whether or not Whiteboards are the best use of instructional technology resources becomes that far less an issue because they’re cheap, you can hack them to do what you want, and you’re freeing up funds to invest in people to imagine what they can do rather than investing in soon to-be-outdated proprietary machines. Edufabricators 🙂