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Top 8 Takeaways from the

Inaugural AIR Show

April 18, 2024

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to present at the inaugural AIR Show, a conference dedicated to exploring the role of AI in Education. It was an enlightening experience, packed with learning, networking, and, of course, a fair share of AI-driven excitement. Here are my 8 takeaways from the event:

1. Keep It Real: The Power of Authenticity

My biggest takeaway? The amount of times, I was told to keep being me and don’t allow others to change me. You won’t be seeing me in a suit or a polo, you’ll being seeing me in my overalls and my cowboy hat!

2. The People Behind the Scenes

Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on your presentations before presenting. A huge shoutout to my wife, the Original EduGuardians, Maureen Young, and the teachers who attended my Lunch and Learn session for their invaluable insights. Remember, constructive criticism is the key to improvement.

3. Build Your Network

Conferences are the perfect ground for making new mentors, colleagues, and friends. These connections can be your support system, sounding boards, and sometimes, your inspirations.

4. Remember Your Roots

No matter how successful you become, always think about the educators still in the trenches. Conferences are expensive and I want to get to a point where scholorships and opportunities are presented to those who don’t know these conferences even exist, because in the end...educators are the ones that need to be present!

5. Relationships Over Tools

Technology can transform education, but the relationships you build along the way are what truly matter. Tools are just that—tools. The human connection is irreplaceable.

6. Prioritize People, Not Just Products

It’s astonishing how much money is spent on educational products compared to what’s invested in the educators themselves. Let’s advocate for balancing this scale more towards those who teach our children.

7. Try Before You Buy

Just like trying on multiple pairs of boots before you buy, make sure to test various EdTech tools before making a purchase. Allow teachers and students to pilot them—get your hands dirty first!

8. Utilization Matters

Interestingly, only about 18% of EdTech tools purchased are actively used in classrooms. We need to focus on technologies that teachers and students will actually use effectively. I attended a panel, so don’t quote me on who said it, I believe it was Darryl Adams.

Wrapping Up

The AIR Show showcased the exciting possibilities of AI in education and the importance of real human connections and practical applications. Let’s keep pushing boundaries in education, remembering who we do it for—our students and teachers.