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So A Rabbi Walks Into iPadpalooza... And It Was Awesome.

Educated By Design Blog

So A Rabbi Walks Into iPadpalooza... And It Was Awesome.



A few months ago I got a message from Carl Hooker inviting me to come to iPadpalooza. Thinking he wanted me to come experience first hand all the awesome things I had heard about the Austin based Educational Technology conference, I regretfully decline due to lack of funds. When he clarified that he wanted me to be a featured speaker it still wasn't registering.

What kind of educational vision can a Chassidic Orthodox Rabbi, albeit an educator share?

Now I am no stranger to conferences or presenting, but this was the first time that it wasn't me submitting a presentation proposal but instead being asked to come share my ideas. I have to admit, that while it was exhilarating and humbling, it was all together nerve racking as well.

Now, I have a vision, I have an approach, and I think that both are concrete and practical outlooks on how we use technology to support our learning.

This Invisible iPad approach is something worth sharing I thought to myself, and thank G-d I am getting a chance to share it with the world besides my colleagues and my wife.

So off to Austin! Plane ride, Lyft ride, Sheraton Downtown, Uber ride, Check in, and I am sitting in Adam Bellows keynote.

Now I am not one to "celebritize" educators. I think it does a disservice to education and to educators to put these type of visionaries and their approaches on an unreachable pedestal. With that said, there are some seriously awesome innovative educators in our global learning community. I have been actively following the work of Adam for almost four years now (ever since that ISTE closing keynote) and he is without question a huge inspiration. So as I am sitting through his awesome opening keynote, I am inspired, excited, and at the same time I am thinking...

How can we all speak this language and focus on learning with technology and not learning technology

In the end I think I made an impact. I hope my ideas were food for thought for more than just an inspiring hour conversation but something that will help those educators present think differently about why and how we use technology. It didn't hurt that the tap on my shoulder on the shuttle to day two of the conference was Adam Bellow himself introducing himself and starting up a conversation with me.

Outside of presenting, I was anticipating connecting with some awesome educators. Connecting on Twitter is great, but its really fulfilling to have those types of conversations face to face not limited by 140 characters. It was great to meet the educators below and have real conversations about how we as educators can truly change the world. Really.

Cathy Hunt

Richard Wells

Reshan Richards

Kyle Pearce

Felix Jacomino

George Couros

Dean Shareski

Adam Bellow

the list goes on. I should simply list every presenter but the above group was something special for me. There are those who simply inspired me, got me thinking, questioning how we define innovation, or even harder, to question if our outlook is really all that innovative. Then there was the Green Room where the connection was on a more informal level. 


On Day Two, I was honored with being part of an amazing group of educators for one of the conference keynotes. Michelle Cordy has created an amazing SketchNote + ThingLink mashup that captures the awesomeness of everyones presentation.

I have been to many conferences, and they all have something amazing about them. Still, there was something unique, personal, and energizing about iPadpalooza. It is without question the most meaningful conference I have been part of to date. Cant wait for iPadpalooza 2016 and the opportunity to be apart of it again.