Barbara Landsberg, AsiaPac Education Manager

EduTech 2019 - Inspiration from the depths of a Thai cave

The Texthelp team really enjoyed the EduTech Conference in Sydney last week! It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet others who are every bit as keen as we are on the power of technology, to personalise learning and to support independent achievement by all students. Of all ages and abilities.

The back-to-back schedule of presentations in our Teaching Theatre, hosted jointly with the energetic EdTechTeam, kept us busy, attracting hundreds of visitors over the two days of the conference!

Most popular were our sessions themed around Personalising Learning for ALL Students; Enhancing Teacher Productivity; and Making Maths Digital and Accessible. So, the AsiaPac Texthelp team’s Learning and Teaching Specialists, Greg O’Connor and Fiona Thomas, have shared their resources here with you.

A real buzz of excitement

As expected, the EduTech Expo Hall was busy and buzzing. Check it out in our wrap up video!

The program featured presentations around robotics, coding, artificial intelligence and computational thinking, emphasising the importance of STEM education today to meet future workforce needs. Noting that by the year 2030, more than 90% of Australia’s workforce will be either using, configuring or building digital technology at work.

A keynote with a difference

But in amongst all the bright lights and “shiny objects” on display, by far the most talked about presentation was one very humbly delivered. Simply titled, “Thinking Outside the Box: Leadership and Pressure”, it was presented by Dr. Richard Harris, Australian of the Year 2019. He told the story of the dramatic rescue in 2018 of 12 boys and their junior football team coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave in Thailand - a mile and a half underground.

Dr Harris giving Keynote at EduTECH Sydney 2019

Dr. Harris is an Anaesthetist with 30 years of deep cave-diving and rescue experience. Both pursuits focused intensively on building these skills over many years. Expertise that came together to head up a never-before-attempted rescue strategy which ended, against all odds, with no loss of life for the trapped boys and their coach.

He closed his EduTech session with this tweet shared at the time of the rescue.

I love how these guys aren't square-jawed, young hunks with bronze skin and Baywatch bodies. Real life heroes can be middle-aged men with a touch of the trainspotter about them. Well done, lads. #Thailand #ThamLuang #Thailandcave


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