This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Charlotte Pope
Educators, meet Philly’s technologists. Technologists, meet Philly’s educators.
TechCamp Philadelphia: Education, a two-day conference taking place at Drexel University this weekend, offers the education community a chance to learn how the means of technology might help in solving some of the classroom’s more intractable problems. Partnering with the School District of Philadelphia, this TechCamp focuses on tackling issues faced by the District.
Leading the conference is Brian James Kirk, a co-founder of Technically Media, a Philadelphia-based online publishing and strategy firm. Kirk worked to pull the city’s educators into participation with civic-minded leaders in technology.
“To me, success is bringing together these communities in a way that hasn’t been done in Philly before, in a big way like this, and then to see what projects or initiatives come out of the solutions that are created to make some change,” said Kirk.
Through brainstorming, training sessions and case studies, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how tech-based tools — mapping, gaming, and data visualization, for instance — can lead to problem-solving innovations in subjects ranging from truancy and parent/student disengagement to professional development, resource scarcity, and even text messaging.
Kirk added that the conference will not be the end of the road. “Going forward, we will continue the momentum of the ideas that are discussed during the weekend and try to keep the conversation going.”
TechCamps began under former Secretary of State Clinton’s "Civil Society 2.0" initiative, which seeks to raise digital literacy by connecting grassroots organizations with technologists.
Charlotte Pope is an intern at the Notebook.