What I appreciated about the ASU+GSV conference was their purposeful engagement with global technology movements. As technology leaders in our schools and districts, it can be easy to look exclusively at the students and families we directly serve. We have the staffing to invest in, new projects on the horizon, students with special needs, and… “What are we going to do about A.I.?!?!” While these considerations are important and necessary, we must not also lose sight of the fact that we affect and are affected by a much wider population: the whole world. nasa q1p7bh3shj8 unsplash

The ASU+GSV Summit had workshops representing every continent:

  • “Designing Scalable Education Systems for Africa”
  • “Rising from the Ashes: What’s Next for Chinese EdTech”
  • “European EdTech Seeking The Global Stage”
  • “How Do You Build a Global EdTech Company From Latin America?”

And it wasn’t just informational topics, but EdTech leaders and entrepreneurs from across the world came together to learn from each other. I had a table discussion with an author and professor from Australia. I listened to the daily educational burdens a Mexican university president faces. I met a young CEO from Denmark teaching middle school girls how to code. And I got to shake hands with a Kenyan teaching electrical engineering to youth in the Nairobi slums. Over and over again, I was struck by how small our world is, and I came away thinking, “We really are all in this together…”

I spent almost 15 years serving as a K-12 I.T. support staff member, a middle school teacher, a campus Technology Director, and ultimately a high school principal. I know how narrowly focused the days can feel, and that there’s never enough time to take care of your own – let alone other schools, districts, or even countries! But after some time, I decided my career needed to be shaken up, and my family and I moved to rural Kenya, where I taught digital literacy to high school students coming out of extreme poverty. The experience opened my eyes even more to how important education is and how much positive change technology can bring.

Kudos to ASU+GSV for not neglecting the global perspective.

So, yes, bring your great new ideas back to your schools and districts. Put into motion fantastic projects that will serve your learners well. But perhaps – in the back of your mind – also consider how you are just a small part of a much bigger movement that crosses oceans and connects communities around the globe. Who might you inspire? Who in your community might become a part of bringing powerful change to our world?  You know what they say, “A butterfly flaps its wings…”

Author: Ben Eastvold, Founder/Executive Director, GLAD Technology

ASU GSV 2023 Blog Series
Blog 1: What EdTech Leaders Learned from ASU GSV 2023 
Blog 2: AI is Poised to Change the Future of Education: Data Interoperability and Privacy Need to be the Foundation
Blog 3: A Reminder of the Global Perspective
Blog 4: The AI Revolution: How Artificial Intelligence is Shaping Our Future
Blog 5: AI Observations from EdTech Innovators

Published on: June 6th, 2023

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