Friday, October 29, 2010

Wireless EdTech Conference

I am at the Wireless EdTech conference today in DC. This is, to put it bluntly, exactly the kind of shit I hate. Not only do I hate it, but I think it is largely irrelevant. On the other hand, my friend Brian is on the advisory board and suggested I come down, and there are at least a couple people here I'd like to catch up with. Also, it is free, and I was able to crash with Dave Welsh, so it only cost SchoolTool a cheap flight on Southwest and a rental car.

Christopher Dede just opened things up. What a prostitute. He mostly talked about the National Ed Tech plan. The only question with that plan is who's punking whom? Is it a diversion to keep the ed tech community from noticing the rest of ED's agenda, which is already well underway and hostile to most of their goals? Or is the reason ED is destroying public schools to replace them with technology, and thus the people earnestly following the current reform strategy just tools of the technology companies?

Actually, Welsh did a good job of framing this session this morning by pointing out an op-ed in the morning Kaplan Test Prep Daily about the wireless companies wanting more bandwidth. Particularly the bandwidth that I use to watch the World Series in high def for free over the air. So my frame for this conference is that it is a prop in this debate.

Ben Daly from High Tech High is talking now, however, who is one of the people I actually like here, so I'll pay attention now.


Darren Draper said...

Gotta hand it to you, Hoffman. You've never been afraid to call it like you see it (and you're crazy sharp).

I like that about you, really, but how have you managed to keep your day job without pissing off all the folks around you? Like your boss.

I assume, of course, that you still have a day job. Don't you?

Tom Hoffman said...

I work for a South African billionaire. He has no particular interest in US education issues or whether I piss anyone off here. Apparently.