The Gigabit City Summit was an experience, both social and technical, that laid out Kansas City’s bi-state Playbook for all to see, poke at, learn from and, when it’s all said and done – take back to their blooming broadband communities. It didn’t hurt that on Wednesday, there was a hearty boost from the White House when President Obama supported municipal broadband with spunk, from Cedar Falls, IA, not leaving out a mention to the trailblazers of Kansas City, Chattanooga and a solid shout out to our friends at Next Century Cities.
You can’t bring 34 cities together to talk about how to build a connected city without addressing the issue of Education. It is the economic development agenda. How can we develop talent, and a workforce, without good schools? How can we ensure equity and access to all citizens? We wanted to feature education leaders’ voices amongst city delegates to ensure education’s voice was heard in the broader context of smart and connected cities.
We succeeded. And it was catalytic. People are talking, and we aim to keep them talking. And doing things. With us. Mozilla sponsored the Edu Track that opened on Tuesday afternoon with a rush of energy from Tom Vander Ark (@tvanderark), CEO at Getting Smart. He presented an engaging and interactive session on next generation learning for smart cities based his latest book – the headline and inspiration for the Edu content – Smart Cities That Work For Everyone – 7 Keys to Education and Employment. It was standing room-only, and in case you missed the event, or if you just want to recollect and review what to do now, Tom’s presentation is shared here, and you can check out his blog on the Summit, too.
Krishna Vedati (@kvedati) was on deck to showcase STEM learning from the perspective of his edutainment company, Tynker (@gotynker), and he delivered a high-energy look inside Tynker’s games and the education principles they support.
A local panel of experts, led by Dr. Ray Daniels, former Superintendent of Kansas City, Kansas Public schools (see Vander Ark’s blog on Daniels’ dramatic improvement efforts), talked about the road to connectivity, digital inclusion and lessons learned with Lee’s Summit EdTech leader Kyle Pace (@KylePace), Joe Fives, CTO of KCK Public Schools, and Susan Wally, President of PrepKC (@PrepKC).
A national panel stocked with three EdTech super stars, including Richard Culatta (@rec54), Director of Office of Education Technology (@usedgov), Erin Mote (@erinmote), founder of Brooklyn Lab (@BklynLabSchool) and Lev Gonick (@levgonick), CEO OneCommunity created a lightening rod for next gen learning with a spotlight on Equity, Human Capital and Collaboration.
The event capped with a Fireside Chat with Richard Culatta which provided local educators and conference goers a chance to ask questions in an informal setting. Culatta was honest and inspiring as he shared his work and vision for Future Ready Schools and ConnectED.
Education in gigabit cities is here. Let’s talk.