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EdTech as a Social Good with ViewSonic and Intel®

Chris O’Malley, Manuel G. Edghill, EdTech for Social

Chris O’Malley, Manuel G. Edghill, EdTech for Social

Want to address inequality? Help students with special needs? Support hard-working teachers? Technology can make it happen!

EdTech can help schools modernize the learning experience, reduce workloads, and better support their students. But it requires more than just the latest and greatest technology.

Listen to this podcast to learn how to get started with EdTech, where it fits in school budgets, and how it can elevate the overall educational experience.

Our Guests: ViewSonic and Intel®

Our guests this episode are Manuel Edghill, Head of Software Growth and Partnerships at ViewSonic, a global provider of computing, consumer electronics, and communications solutions; and Chris O’Malley, Director of Marketing for Internet of Things Group at Intel®.

In Manuel’s current role, he works with clients to solve issues and improve solutions. He started his career in finance, but after moving to Taiwan to obtain his master’s degree he entered the technology world. He has been at ViewSonic for over six years in various business and partnership development roles.

Chris O’Malley is mainly focused on in-school technology for education and corporate collaboration. He first joined Intel’s legal team working on healthcare and benefits contracting before moving to marketing.

Podcast Topics

Manuel and Chris answer our questions about:

  • (4:56) Key challenges in education today
  • (7:33) Current trends changing the educational landscape
  • (9:06) Addressing different learning abilities and styles with EdTech
  • (11:08) How EdTech can make a meaningful impact
  • (14:31) How technology can support teachers better
  • (19:59) Where EdTech fits into the budget
  • (28:26) The first step into the EdTech journey

Related Content

To learn more about technology in schools, read Ed Tech Goes the Distance. For the latest innovations from ViewSonic, follow them on Twitter at @ViewSonic and on LinkedIn at ViewSonic.

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Transcript

Kenton Williston: Welcome to the IoT Chat where we explore the trends that matter for consultants, system integrators, and end users. I’m Kenton Williston, Editor-in-Chief of insight.tech.

Every episode I talk to leading experts about the latest developments in the Internet of Things.

Today I am talking to Ed Tech with Manuel Edghill, Head of Software, Growth and Partnerships at ViewSonic, and Chris O’Malley, Director of Marketing for the Intel® Internet of Things Group.

Technology has played a huge role in the educational sector over the past 18 months as classrooms around the global were forced to switch to remote learning. But there is so much more to the story. EdTech can be a powerful force for social good, addressing inequality in education, helping students with special needs, and supporting hard-working teachers in a myriad of ways.

It can even help schools alleviate budget constraints, which is a completely counterintuitive idea that I’m really looking forward to discussing.

With that, I thought it’d be nice just to start by learning a little bit about both of you. Manuel, we’ll start with you, could you tell me a little bit about your career path and what led you to your current position?

Manuel Edghill: My current role is the Head of Growth and Partnerships. However, the title doesn’t really tell you what I’m up to. Most of the things that I do, and the team does, is we just listen pretty much. We listen and solve issues that our clients have, that’s mostly what we do.

And the way that I ended up here is my background was in finance and then I went to school and then I did an exchange in Taiwan. Currently I’m in Taiwan. And then I got into tech. If you’re in Taiwan, it’s very hard not to get into tech. So then I just jumped from an incubator to a startup, to a corporate and now to this big international company that is ViewSonic. And now we’re doing some really cool stuff in EdTech, so that’s how I got there.

And my education street cred, I taught for about three years some ESL and my mom was a teacher for nine years and then she moved to be an early-development specialist and speech therapist. So I lived with a teacher for most of my life.

Kenton Williston: Wow, that’s great. So it sounds like everybody on this call is going to have some legit educational cred to their name. So my wife–her mother, so my mother-in-law–is a retired school psychologist. So I’ve just been surrounded for years now by people who are deeply involved in the educational system, and have come to get lots of new friends of my own through that community, and that’s been very, very interesting to hear their firsthand experience.

Chris, I know your wife is an educator, tell me a little bit about her and then also a little bit about your journey.

Chris O’Malley: So it’s funny because I’m here, I’ve a loud voice so she’s probably hearing me, and she always yells at me when I talk education, or she laughs at me and comes in to correct me. She was a classroom teacher for 10 years and then she was a high school guidance counselor for 10 years. So she’s got a pretty good handle on education. Great person to bat around ideas with or thoughts that we have from a technology standpoint.

But myself, I’ve got a circuitous process. I’m a Global Marketing Director. I manage what we call education, mostly focused on in classroom or in school technology for education. But I also manage corporate collaboration, which is think of corporate videoconferencing. That’s grown really well, too. So I manage that worldwide except for China and India. Other than that, it rolls up under me. So I’ve been doing that for about two and a half years now.

Prior to that, I used to manage all of our point-of-sale technologies at Intel, along with ATMs, digital signage.

Before that I used to dabble in the military, I did energy, and I also did healthcare for a number of years.

Kenton Williston: It’s kind of interesting hearing about all of the things you folks have been involved in.

I think it’s safe to say that over the course of all of our careers, technology has just radically changed everything in our world, right? I mean, it’s hardly left anything untouched, but the educational sector in some ways has been the exception to that rule.

My daughter’s own classroom, I have a 10-year-old daughter, it’s still very much you’ve got a whiteboard at the front of the class, and you’ve got paper handouts and all this sort of stuff. It looks pretty much like the classrooms I had when I was her age. I think it’s a ripe time for things to change.

But the purpose of this podcast and what I want to talk to you folks today about is not just technology for the sake of technology, but how technology can actually make a meaningful impact in that sector.

So I want to start by asking you, Manuel, what you see as some of the key challenges in the educational arena that might need fixing.

Manuel Edghill: Currently, what a lot of the educators are having as a challenge is competing with the technology and with the attention span that is outside the classroom. You have the TikToks and you have all these really quick bursts of information. How do you translate that in education where you need a longer attention span?

So those are some of the challenges that are being faced by educators right now. How do you engage your classes and your students inside the classroom? And now with this whole remote and distance learning stuff, how do you do that when your students are remote or abroad? It’s very tough. So these are some interesting challenges that we’ve been listening to and trying our best to solve.

Kenton Williston: I totally agree with you, and again, having a 10-year-old, she and all of her friends, I mean, just tearing them away from a screen is a challenge.

Chris O’Malley: If I could chime in on that, I have school-age children as well. But I often say when I’m presenting to educators that we live in a world of screens; we live in a world of video. All of the media we consume is video. It’s dynamic. It’s interactive. That’s what they’re used to. That’s what they thrive on. That’s what engages them. And then if you walk into a classroom that has paper displays or paper materials without any video, without any interactivity, without any of the dynamic digital content that these kids are used to, they kind of shut down. It’s like walking into the 1970s. It’s very difficult for them.

But if we bring it down to the issue we’re facing right now, teachers are thrust very quickly into balancing in-person learning with virtual learning, with hybrid learning and multiple absentees regarding aggressive student quarantine practices where sometimes you’re trying to teach in front of 10 people in class and 10 people who are quarantined at home because of a COVID issue. I think technology can address all of those different issues that they’re facing right now in the most efficient manner possible that’s good for the students and good for the teachers.

Kenton Williston: I’m excited about the possibilities. Chris, you talked about–of course, Manuel, this is true for you as well–how the areas that you work on also encompass corporate settings, something that I have a little bit more firsthand experience with myself. And it’s amazing. I’ve really gotten, with all the tools that have been developed over the past couple of years, super comfortable with remote work. I mean the quality of the experience is very, very, very close now to that in-person setting, but it’s definitely lagging in the educational sector.

So I’m wondering what you folks see as the trends that might help change that and bring a better educational experience. And I think it’s interesting that you point out it’s not just for the students that matters, but also for the teachers. Do you see things shifting now in ways that will finally address some of those things? Chris, I’ll toss that to you first.

Chris O’Malley: If I could go back to what I referenced earlier, which is children today, they’re used to video, they’re used to interactivity, they’re used to every screen being a touchscreen. That’s where I think companies like ViewSonic that happen to make 75-, 85-inch 4K screens with full interactivity and full audio and video capabilities on that where they could pull in YouTube videos. ViewSonic actually provides you access to 2 million vetted educational videos that you could pull into the teacher’s course content very easily to make it exciting and dynamic.

It also has a capability where you could be a remote student, you could be an in-class student, you could actually share the screen of your device on it. Instead of going up to the chalkboard, you could actually use it like a visualizer to look at homework that was handed in and flash it up and annotate over the top of it.

So I think that’s a simple technology that has been around for a while, but I think that its utilization now is dramatically increasing because of COVID. Because all of this course content has been digitized. The importance of dynamic digital content is being seen everywhere. And it’s unleashing the value of what you would see in a collaboration board, whereas maybe five years ago that wasn’t the case. And that’s just one simple thing.

Kenton Williston: Yeah, I totally agree with what you’re saying here. And I think one of the things that’s great about that is in the old-fashioned model, you have one student who is just very uncomfortable, and some students just going up in front of a classroom is a terrible experience for them. And then you have the kids who are not at the blackboard, are they actually getting anything out of that engagement? Probably not. So, being able to actually engage the whole classroom simultaneously, it’s amazing.

And I think there’s a real opportunity here to not just create an educational experience that’s more modern, but even go beyond that and help students with different abilities and different learning styles and all the rest.

Manuel Edghill: Yeah. Usually the students that are not being engaged are sometimes just a little shy or they have some learning difficulties or who knows what’s going on. So there’s some assistive technologies that we are working on that would assist the teacher, pinpoint and figure out these types of behaviors in their audience, in their students, so that Jamie doesn’t get all the attention when people like I would be a little bit more hands-on with.

Another thing that I think is very cool is that a lot of these features that are assistive are available by default. So that particular student who needs the help, they don’t need to raise their hand and feel the stigma of like, “Oh, man, I need a little extra help from the teacher. I don’t want to do that.” Because before that used to be the case, “Oh, I got to stay after.” But now, since everybody has the same technology in that particular classroom, they will be able to get help without having to draw attention to themselves.

Kenton Williston: That’s amazing. And what I love is that there’s just so much potential. You can even go a step beyond this, and I know ViewSonic’s got some really cool technology to gauge how much attention is being paid and what kind of reaction people are having. Are they attentive? Are they unhappy? Are they excited? You can really get real-time feedback on what kind of impact the lesson is having and take that back and not only respond in real time, but better tailor the experience for the next semester. And I think that’s really fantastic.

Chris O’Malley: That technology excites me as well. We often will call it analytics or video analytics. But what’s important about that is I don’t need to know, for example, if I was sitting in the class that it’s Chris, or if it’s Manuel sitting in a class or if it’s you sitting in a class. That technology that ViewSonic has, it could identify for the teacher and say you had 30 students in class, and 25 of them were really engaged and super happy for, say, the first 15 minutes. But in the second 15 minutes of class, for whatever reason, their attention just dropped dramatically. It’s either that’s just the natural attention span of children or is that the fact that your course content may need to be improved for the second half, or maybe you need to be interactive there or something.

It can improve the teacher’s content to make it more dynamic, to make it more interesting, and it’s going to improve the students’ engagement. So I think that technology is super exciting, and it’s 100% anonymous. You don’t have to know who’s engaged, who’s not. You just have to know is, are most people engaged? Are some people engaged? I think that’s super exciting.

Manuel Edghill: I just want to clarify real quick, that type of technology is teacher first, teacher focused, which means we’re doing our very best to help the teacher better assess their classes and their students. It’s not a rating system. It’s more to gauge the collaboration and who within your student pool is being distant. Who has been engaging. You could see patterns.

What we’re trying to do here is make it absolutely anonymous and not to pinpoint a particular student or a teacher. It’s more to get an overview of the class itself and provide assistance and help to the teachers.

Chris O’Malley: So one of the things that Intel does to enable or to help ViewSonic do that is we build a lot of models on analytics that allow you to determine if a student’s happy, sad. But it’s done entirely at the edge. So it can determine happy, sad, engaged student. That analysis is made at the edge, but then any identifying information is entirely deleted. So the only thing that would ever go to the cloud is happy student, sad student. There’s no information attributed to it. So that’s where, we were talking about it, it’s 100% private. It’s designed to be that way. You have no idea who’s happy or sad, but you can get an idea if they’re engaged or not from that. And we design it such that it can be entirely done at the edge.

Kenton Williston: Yeah. So love all these points, and one of the things I wanted to touch on a little bit further was this idea about the teacher’s experience.

So all the folks that I know in education, the teachers and administrators, they’re really passionate about the work they do, but it’s tough. I know a lot of teachers are up late grading papers and sort of thing, and so their workload is already hard. And I think it’s really easy to imagine a scenario where it’s like, okay, in addition to doing all that, now all of a sudden you have to learn all this new technology. And it’s like, where am I going to find the time for that?

So, Manuel, I’ll put this to you first. How do you see technology coming in and supporting teachers better, and allowing them to focus on the core responsibilities of the role, and actually focusing on educating and not on the tools that they need to concern themselves with?

Manuel Edghill: There’s a huge percentage of time that goes into prep and admin. If technology could assist in these areas, that would be a huge benefit. Lesson planning. Being able to share lessons with your peers. So teachers like to share a lot of content, so technology makes this very, very easy.

So, for example, we have solutions that you could save all your lessons, you can embed videos, you can write notes, you could write quizzes, and you could just save it like any file and then you can share it with your fellow math teacher. And you can say, “Okay, I had to teach three different math classes: algebra one, two, and three. So I’ll make the algebra one lessons and then my buddy Chris here will make the algebra two lessons, and then we’ll switch.” So we cut time there.

Chris O’Malley: I mean, technology can ease some of the administrative burden. You’re already seeing some from an online standpoint. Maybe you do your quizzes online and it auto-grades them if it’s a multiple choice. There are some applications where you can do say, for example, a math problem, you can do it online, and you input line by line how you would work through the problem. Now you may get the problem wrong, but rather than saying you got the problem wrong, it might highlight to the teacher and say, “You know what? They understand this, but they didn’t quite get the associative property.” So maybe you need to make that person, give them a little bit more reference on the associative property, because they fully understood the distributive property. Those are types of information that can be gleaned from online.

And then the other thing, too, that Manuel was talking about, the ease of course preparation, digitization of materials. You’re seeing that with all the educational publishers, they’re really, really improving their online digital content, so that’s going to help the teachers. ViewSonic has a suite of tools that makes the videos and they have a bunch of other things that make content preparation really easy.

But the other thing, kind of like students, is that the teachers benefit from collaboration. We actually spoke to a teacher, it was a physics teacher. He was giving a lecture on thermodynamics or something and he’s like, “I’ve never given a lecture on thermodynamics. I know what it is.” He goes, “I was looking into having to put this whole presentation together on thermodynamics. Well, myViewBoard actually had some collaboration and it syncs with a number of other things.” Where he put the question out there is, “Hey, has anybody ever created content on the laws of thermodynamics?” And there were like 20 or 30 different course materials that he could select that were all shared, and he could pick and choose that very quickly.

So he’s like instead of 3-4 hours making this material, it took him 20 minutes to pull material from various different teachers, add his own edits on it and, boom, it was done. I think that’s the huge thing.

Collaboration for teachers is super important as well.

Kenton Williston: That’s absolutely a fantastic point. And something that we haven’t really talked about, but I think it’s kind of implicit in this conversation is this also helps teachers extend their reach, right? Like Manuel is describing, when you can share duties, it means you can have teachers sharing their lessons across many classrooms, and this is good for the teacher, right? Because it means you can teach a lot of students without getting into the problem of 50 students in a physical classroom and trying to manage that and make sure everybody gets what they need.

With technology, you can actually give a good-quality experience to students in multiple classrooms, no matter where they are.

Manuel Edghill: Yes. You touched on an interesting point. It’s not only helpful for the teachers because they can alleviate some of the workload, but also what we have seen is the schools benefit a lot, especially in budgeting or resources because there’s this huge deficit or inequalities on economics or education or access to resources. So one cool thing that we have seen is that schools that have tech, they partner up and they collaborate with each other.

So let’s say a university will partner up with a college, and then the professor in the university will teach a physical and a remote. They will teach both. So the schools, let’s say school number one paid for the teacher and then school number two, which is a partner of school number one, will still get access to that. So the budget of school number two, it can be a bit more flexible because the teachers are shared as well.

This doesn’t mean the workload of the teacher is doubled. It just means that the schools have an agreement to share resources. And at the end of the day, it really helps the students because they get access to new teachers, new subjects, do group work with new students that they don’t have access to. So we’ve seen that a lot.

Kenton Williston: Yeah, absolutely. And another thing I wanted to point out about all of this is that I think it can be hugely helpful in leveling the playing field in all sorts of ways, right? We already talked about how different students may have different needs. Maybe you’ve got different neurodivergent students or whatever the case might be. And then just region by region, schools that are urban or in poor communities or whatever, may have a tough time getting access to the same kind of resources as the top schools. But with technology, you can share that best of the best education without taking anything away from anybody, which I think is really great.

But I want to come to the talk about budget, right? Because if I were to mention two big concerns as an educational profession, I think the two I’d be most worried about would be how complicated is this technology going to be? And number two would be how much is it going to cost me and where I’m going to put this? Most schools don’t exactly have a generous budget to begin with, so where am I going to fit this in?

Manuel, how do you see the financial aspect of this? Is this something where the technology can bring so much benefit that actually it’s helping your budget?

Manuel Edghill: What we’ve seen firsthand is once we provide a solution and installment, a lot of the overhead applications that teachers were using, they don’t need to have them anymore. So [bringing] a lot of costs down happens from eliminating additional apps that you actually did not need anymore.

For example, we have a virtual classroom, it’s called myViewBoard Classroom. And we also have a video-assisted learning platform called my myViewBoard Clips. So the classroom version is just, we did our very best to replicate a true physical classroom in a virtual world. So you can manage your groups and discussions and students, and the teacher knows who’s doing what. And then we have the video-assisted learning platform­which is Clips–and in there it’s like YouTube, but a lot better. You have quizzes, you can share lessons, you have videos that are filtered just for education.

When we provide this one solution to the school, the school got rid of two different applications that they had previously for a virtual classroom and then for a video database. So they saved costs in those two additional fees that they had to pay.

One huge way of [bringing] cost down is by eliminating additional overhead applications that you don’t need anymore. The second one is just the time saved. We also have a lot of device management and app management software that saves a lot of time for that IT guy who has to run around and for that teacher who needs to make sure that everybody is on the same page in a particular topic or app.

Chris O’Malley: The thing I would add is the cost that a school district faces for having everything print edition of books and everything else is quite expensive and it has to be replaced on a regular basis. As you move to digital only, you can really start to save money on that cost of just the materials only, and then there’s administrative tasks, which we’ve referenced. All these different things that can start to be done by technology as well that can reduce some of the overhead.

I do think it’s incumbent upon the ViewSonic, it’s incumbent upon the Intel where we’ve taken a role and go into a school district and say, “How do you build your IT infrastructure so that it’s stable, it’s secure?” And then you can add technology piecemeal as you need it and when you have money and make sure it all works together.

So we’re trying to do an active role of what’s the infrastructure you need to manage this? What’s the IT infrastructure you need to manage with students all of a sudden having devices. So we’re trying to do that in an efficient manner where they can remote-manage all these devices and still save time and money, but it does require some education on our part.

Manuel Edghill: The government, especially in the US and in Europe, they have these huge funds that are directly focused on the EdTech segment. So what we’ve done also is we’ve helped out some of our clients and channel partners on how to assess the rollout so that it aligns with funding from the government, and it’s been quite successful.

Don’t be scared of like, “Oh, man, this is going to be costly.” It actually is a lot less costly than you think and you saved a lot more in the long term as far as total cost of ownership.

Kenton Williston: So yeah, just so many good things here. I think back to the college experience I had and how infamously expensive those textbooks were. And then, I’m reflecting on the remote learning experience we had when the pandemic hit. We went out and got my daughter a Chromebook, which was of course Intel based. And I should mention this whole podcast is an Intel production so I’m a little biased there, but this Chromebook was less expensive than some of my university schoolbooks. It was just kind of crazy how much opportunity there is for savings there.

And I really also like, Chris, your point about the infrastructure, right? It’s not like schools can somehow avoid being part of this technological world because even while the in-class experience may have lagged other sectors, everything’s going digital. And to your point, you’ve got to have that solid infrastructure anyway. So why not take a holistic approach and see where you can have these benefits across the board?

Chris O’Malley: Yeah. That’s been a big part, how to integrate your local infrastructure with the cloud infrastructure, with the edge client infrastructure and make sure it all works seamlessly. And there’s education behind all of that.

Kenton Williston: Absolutely. So I’m curious, Manuel, I’ve heard a little bit now about what Intel’s doing to help educate and prepare the educational sector for its next step. And I’ve heard a little bit from you,, too, in terms of how you’re supporting the sector by offering a lot of free tools.

Can you tell me a little bit more about how ViewSonic is enabling EdTech, and by which, I mean helping educate and train your customers or whatever else to facilitate the adoption of these technologies?

Manuel Edghill: Sure. Well, we have a whole team that does professional development. They go right on-site. If not possible, they’ll make sure that you have a webinar set up and they’ll walk you through everything to make sure that the teachers, the IT, even the students are well equipped on how to use our technology.

That’s the basic stuff. But some of the initiatives that we have are, we have fitted some universities and colleges in all the regions that we work in, and we made them into this high-end EdTech classrooms or hybrid classrooms. And we have worked in collaboration with Intel as well in some of these. And the whole purpose of these things is to equip the classroom or a particular learning lab with some technology and use it. It’s a lot of learning on the job type of initiatives. So we have made on-site and distance or hybrid learning equally important.

So what we’ve done is we have partnered with teachers who do both an in-class and hybrid lesson at the same time. And they use the technology, and then they invite other teachers. And this is a classroom that rotates teachers. So we do that in a lot of different places. We fund most of that stuff. And we actually collaborate with Intel like I mentioned in some of these things to sponsor these.

And this is not only to train the teachers and show them that the tech is not as scary as you think. And that it really works, because we have the metrics to see student engagement before and after we implement this stuff. But the main reason why our team, the team that I am in, use these is just to listen and observe and see what needs to be improved. So we use this also as ways to get feedback on how to improve our software and our technology going forward.

Chris O’Malley: This is an area where I think ViewSonic does a really good job. They produce very sophisticated hardware and software to go with it. But it’s not just a bunch of software engineers sitting in a lab creating stuff that then gets handed out to teachers and they’re like, “Yeah, how do I use this?” They work hand in hand with teachers, with graphic user interface people, and figure out what are the use cases that teachers need or are important. And let’s build the software around it so you can unleash what’s valuable in the hardware so that they can be really usable.

Kenton Williston: Yeah, absolutely. All of this leads me to the question of where do you start? And I’m sure the answer can be different for different regions. You were talking about secondary, primary education, all kinds of considerations like that. But broadly speaking, how do you get started down this journey?

Manuel Edghill: Let me jump on that one because I’ve seen this firsthand. If the school does not have a long-term vision for the rollout of EdTech and how it’s going to be used and benefit, not only the teachers but the students, it’s going to be very tough to have a successful EdTech rollout. You need senior support and at least a two- to three-, even five-year vision of what this will be.

And I say this because a lot of the time people and schools will buy the ViewBoard because it’s new. We have the budget. We have the funds. We got to use it somehow. And then, it hangs on the wall and nobody uses it. If you have someone there who becomes an internal evangelist, an evangelist for change within that school or that school district, and you have senior support that has that vision of what this technology is going to do, that will be the first pillar on having a fantastic adoption of EdTech in your school.

Chris O’Malley: The vision is super important. And as I’ve said, I’ve been in multiple industries in technology, and I’ve seen so many new technologies fail because all that they were doing is chasing the latest and greatest cool technology, but they didn’t have a business plan for the school. What does the school need? What do the students need? What do the teachers need? What are the use cases that we need technology to help us with? And then even go further and say, “What are the business processes we’re going to put in place to make sure that this technology utilized properly?” And then go step by step, is it connectivity that we need first? Is it in-classroom technology that we need second? Is it student technology that we need third? Outline every one of those, and then go figure out what’s needed, and then use technology to solve that problem. But if you just throw in cool technology, most of the time you end up creating more problems.

Kenton Williston: So anything that either of you wish I had brought up that we haven’t covered yet? Manuel, I’ll give you a first shot at that.

Manuel Edghill: Sure. I would just like to remind the audience that for technology to be adopted in the classroom, it has to be “teacher first and technology second” mentality. So if it helps the teacher do their job a lot better and it’s invigorating and it’s exciting and it evokes passion, then that is a great way to gauge if this is the right piece of technology to adopt.

The technology should definitely not compete or boggle the teachers or the students. It should be an augmentation and a support, a complement, something that assists the delivery of an exciting lesson.

Chris O’Malley: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Technology is a tool or an aid to the teacher, but the teacher is what’s important.

A great teacher could be a great teacher in the most futuristic school in the world or they’re still going to be a great teacher in an old one-room schoolhouse with chalkboards. If you’re a great teacher, you’re going to be a great teacher. What you can do is take that technology and allow yourself to be a better teacher, or allow yourself to reach more students, or reach students in a different way, or to engage them further. And that’s where it needs to be. It needs to be a tool. The technology cannot drive everything. As Manuel said, it’s got to be teacher first.

And I think if you do that, it’s going to be a great experience. And I think our children need it. We live in a world of technology. Technology is developing or evolving rapidly. If they don’t understand how to use technology, experience technology in school, when they come out into the workforce, they’re going to be behind. So I think we’ve got to incorporate technology into the teaching, but we certainly got to always remember that it’s a tool or an aid to a really good teacher and the whole process of education.

Kenton Williston: Perfect. So with that, Manuel, Chris, I’d just like to thank you again for joining us today. I really enjoyed the conversation.

Manuel Edghill: Oh, you’re welcome. It was great.

Chris O’Malley: No problem. Thank you.

About the Author

Kenton Williston is the Editor-in-Chief of insight.tech and served as the editor of its predecessor publication, the Embedded Innovator magazine. Kenton received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and has been writing about embedded computing and IoT ever since.

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