Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seattle Women in EdTech Meetup

Wednesday evening, we had the first Seattle Women in EdTech Meetup at a coffee shop on Capitol Hill here in Seattle.  We gathered a great crew of 17 women from many different realms of EdTech, including classroom teachers, higher-ed lecturers and professors, classroom-teachers-turned-entrepreneurs, e-learning designers, and many many others!  We rooted our conversations in starting to determine WHAT our group goals might be, and what support we need from each other. Here are a few of our findings...

My small group's notes from our discussion

You can find all of the small groups' notes in a scanned PDF here.  (Yeah, I'm a teacher... big sheets of paper and markers for group note-taking!)

After discussing in small groups, we got back together to see what common desires we all had.  Most commonly cited desires included:
- group problem solving
- satisfying genuine curiosity about what we're all up to
- connecting entrepreneurs and educators
- identify "trendy" edtech vs that with potential for real change
- share resources, knowledge, skills

You can find my notes trying to track all the different ideas here.

Some of the most exciting and innovative ideas for future meeting topics included:
- developing venues for continued communication.  You can join our new LinkedIn Group - Seattle Women In EdTech #EdTechXX #LeanInEDU here! And also follow our new hashtag: #EdTechXX
- defining what *is* EdTech, and brainstorming ways to reach out to those who need the group but either might not be able to find it or might not realize that their needs fall under our umbrella.

We wrapped up with just open time for connecting and chatting!  Our event was supposed to end at 8pm, but - when I left at 8:30pm - the party was still rolling!  I don't know when everyone finally trickled out of the back room of that coffee shop, but I know we have a LOT of enthusiasm moving forward!

Our next meetup - at an as-yet-undetermined-date-and-place - will be a mini-presentations event at which all participants will share their own view of the Seattle edtech landscape, so that we can begin to put together a big-picture view incorporating all of our perspectives.  A central part of those presentations should be:

What do YOU see as "trendy" or "flash in the pan" and what do YOU see as offering real and lasting improvements in education?

You can also join the Seattle EdTech Meetup to be kept up-to-date on EdTech happenings in the Seattle area, including Women In EdTech events and events for the broader community!

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