Bio: Tom March began his career in education in as a high school English teacher who loved using technology to engage students in authentic learning challenges. This, plus a willingness to take risks and work hard, saw him recognised as a Teacher of the Year finalist for San Diego County after just five years in the classroom. While a teacher, Tom served as Head of English, IT Coordinator and district technology mentor. After 10 years in the classroom and completion of a Masters degree in Educational Technology and Instructional Design, Tom received a fellowship at San Diego State University where he and his colleagues developed some of the earliest Web sites to support teachers and students. While on staff he also taught pre-service teachers and collaborated with Professor Bernie Dodge to develop the WebQuest. Since those early days, Tom has been “working the Web for education” by designing online curriculum, developing eLearning environments for teachers and combining evidence-based pedagogies with classroom savvy to produce new conceptual frameworks for authentic learning and ICT integration. These days, Tom works to support systemic preparedness for our next era of education where 1:1 digital access can shift us from mass produced schooling to personally meaningful learning. At the heart of this change is helping schools develop a curriculum that promotes sophisticated student competencies and deep understandings. Tom March frequently keynotes, writes, facilitates workshops and consults with schools, all focused on making learning more real, rich and relevant for every student. In January 2015, he joined Hobsons as Principal Consultant for Teaching and Learning where he continues this work with Edumate schools.
Closing Keynote: How Ready is your School for Next Era Ed?
What’s up in schools these days? Students seem to arrive equipped with one-to-one digital devices that provide immediate access to rich media and smart software. Schools are jumping in with initiatives for BYOD, iPads and Chromebooks. Environments like Edmodo and Google Apps help put everyone in a shared online space. Once your head stops spinning, can I ask a question: So how’s that all going for you? Are students achieving and flourishing like never before? Is technology an accelerator of learning or more a distraction or disruption? If the reality at your school comes up short of your EdTech dream, see if any of the five Next Era Ed criteria could positively re-shape your experience and increase your success.