Play #EdTechJargon Bingo With Us From ISTE 2015

Associate Editor


Personalized learning. Gamification. Flipped classroom.

OK, class: What exactly do these (and dozens of other commonly used but often-poorly understood) ed-tech terms mean?

With 18,000 educators and ed-tech businesses converging in Philadelphia for ISTE 2015, one thing is clear: confusing jargon will be everywhere. 

Join our crowdsourced “Bingo Board” project to help us learn the latest ed-tech terminology that’s driving you batty. Just follow these easy steps:

#1 – Start a tweet with the jargony term.

#2 – Add a quick reason you’re nominating it for our bingo board.

#3 – Add #edtechjargon to your tweet.

After ISTE, check back on this blog for the results of our social media game. We’ll let you know which terms were the “winners” for the board. If you’re lucky, we’ll take the most “disruptive” suggestions and “reinvent” so they can never be [mis-]used again.

Ed-Tech Jargon and ISTE

The jargon issue resonates with Brian Lewis, the CEO of the conference’s host organization, the Washington-based International Society for Technology in Education. 

“My wife just finished 34 years of teaching,” he told my colleague Benjamin Herold in an interview. “It’s so hard to keep up.”

The use of jargon makes it a challenge for parents and the community outside of school to understand educational technology, he pointed out. But it also can be difficult for educators themselves, who may feel “intimidated to acknowledge that we don’t know what we think we should,” he said.

Others have turned to the bingo board approach to have fun with the confusion.

“The day before ISTE 2012, I went through the program and made a list of the most common buzzwords,” wrote Jac de Haan, in an emailed interview. He posted “Buzzword Bingo” on his Technology With Intention blog, and got a big response. The next year, Adam Bellow—the founder and CEO of eduClipper—worked the game into his 2013 ISTE keynote.

Now, he gets requests every year for a new board. (This year, de Haan, a former K-8 classroom teacher and technology integration coordinator is too busy working as an instructional designer for Google to make a new board, or to attend ISTE.)

“Buzzword bingo is seen as tongue-in-cheek by people who have seen the ed-tech hype cycle churn over time, but it also has value for new generations of educators looking to expand their digital literacy,” wrote de Haan, who focuses on providing Google engineers and “the world” with relevant technical content, learning resources, and tools. (By the way, his comments for this blog post are his own, and do not reflect the opinions of his employer.)

We plan to use the results from our #EdTechJargon Bingo project to inform our writing for Marketplace K-12, where many of our readers want to understand what educators want.

What do you think? #EdTechJargon is the way to tell them, and us.

Let the jargon-a-thon begin!

Graphic: Created by Laura Baker for Education Week

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