In the modern EdTech landscape, navigating the sea of AI-integrated tech tools can feel overwhelming. How can educators separate the genuinely valuable innovations from the companies just trying to ride the AI buzz?
In this blog post, we've teamed up with an EdTech expert to highlight his perspective on the ever-evolving industry and explore his personal journey with Rask AI.
Meet Alex Isaacs. Alex is an Educational Technology Coach at Long Branch Public Schools with nine years of full-time teaching experience.
Alex, to begin with, could you tell us what does an EdTech coach do?
As an EdTech Coach, I wear many hats: I’m a mentor, trainer, collaborator, and a staunch advocate for integrating technology in education. At the end of the day, my work leads to the emergence of effective learning resources, engaging activities, and helpful materials for learners, teachers, and administrators alike.
And what kind of path brought you into the profession?
Early in my teaching career, my use of EdTech was limited. I would use Flipgrid to have my students explain their answers to challenging math problems, and I also liked using GoFormative for real-time assessments and feedback.
My journey into EdTech really took off during the pandemic, in March 2020. Shifting to fully remote learning was a challenge for us all, but I also saw it as an opportunity to develop outside-the-box materials for my students and their families. I started diving into EdTech platforms and strategies, earning EdTech certifications, and even created an episodic video series. The response was fantastic, and it inspired me to continue on this path, striving to be as well-rounded and innovative with EdTech as possible.
Looks like video played a significant role in your teaching career.
Without a doubt. From my days of being a 1st to 8th grade STEM teacher to my middle school math years, I have created video resources for my students. Those videos served two primary purposes for me as a classroom teacher - providing math walkthroughs and celebrating student achievement.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I also used video content as comic relief, to provide a momentary escape from the struggles we were all experiencing.
Would you say there are any advantages to video lessons that traditional lessons don’t have?
You see, video lessons offer a lot more flexibility and accessibility. They let students learn at their own pace, which can be a game-changer for many. Videos have a far greater reach and - when done right - can be more engaging than a traditional lecture or direct instruction.
In today's world, where young minds consume so much information through social media, using videos as part of our teaching toolkit just makes sense. It opens up exciting possibilities for creative projects and interactive learning experiences that can truly resonate with our students.
Do you think it's important for all educators to be tech-savvy?
Absolutely, I can't stress this enough. Being tech-savvy is crucial for educators at all levels, from elementary to college. Innovative use of instructional technology empowers educators to enhance their teaching methods, engage students, and prepare them for a future where 21st-century learning skills are necessary to succeed.
As educators, we have a responsibility to immerse our students in tech-based learning opportunities that promote the four C's - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
You make a strong case for EdTech! From your perspective, what are the most exciting innovations in the industry in recent years?
There have been some amazing innovations in EdTech lately. Just off the top of my head: adaptive learning platforms, virtual and augmented reality, gamification, flipped classroom models, and app integrations between platforms.
AI is also on my list as it continues to transform education by generating ideas, automating tasks, personalizing learning experiences, and providing insights into student performance. It's a game-changer.
One of my main goals this school year is to promote ethical and different use cases of AI tools to help teachers and students best achieve academic outcomes.
Can you remember how you first learned about Rask AI? What motivated you to try it out?
As an EdTech Coach, I'm always on the lookout for websites and tools that can benefit my school district's teachers, administrators, and diverse learners. I first heard about Rask AI on LinkedIn, where I messaged Maria Chmir, CEO and founder of the platform. After hearing about what Rask AI could do, I did some more research and uploaded my first video for translation.
How would you describe your experience with Rask AI to a fellow educator?
To round things off, let's dive into the real value of Rask AI for educators working with multilingual students and parents.
Let me share a little story: After using Rask to translate a video I created to celebrate the diverse learners at my previous school, I showed it to my former colleague who's fluent in Spanish. He was very impressed that Rask didn't just translate my English audio into Spanish flawlessly; it even nailed the right tones for the video. This made me realize how helpful Rask AI would have been during my teaching career.
You know, my favorite thing about being a middle school math teacher was building relationships with my students and their families—prioritizing care before content and creating meaningful connections. Can you imagine the bridges that Rask AI could have helped me build?
At Rask AI, we're in constant dialogue with teachers, professors, and our EdTech partners. This interview is just a glimpse into a series of posts and case studies where we'll explore the incredible potential of AI technology in education.
If you share our passion for educational tech, localization, and harnessing the power of AI, don't hesitate to drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your thoughts on the interview or ideas for collaboration, and we'll be sure to reply!