techweek_chicago10This year, GEMS World Academy-Chicago will be exhibiting, sponsoring, and leading programs at Techweek Chicago. Our Director of Technology and Innovation, Thomas Steele-Maley, discusses this year's involvement and what Tech Week attendees can look forward to this Thursday and Friday:

Why is participation in Techweek important for the GEMS mission?

As thought leaders in the field of educational technology it's natural for us to share the visionary work we are doing in the technology sector with the city and the world. Techweek represents the best in small and large technology initiatives and we feel at home in this environment. As we map a new landscape of how tech is used in education, we are proud that Chicago is our inaugural school location. Participating in events like Techweek bring us closer to the city and its most entrepreneurial elements.

Our students frequently go on Field Studies, and this year, we're bringing those Field Studies to Techweek attendees. What do you hope participants will learn and gain from these field studies? How will these field studies differ from the ones we conduct with our students?

Understanding and leveraging the power of mobile technology is essential for business and global citizenship. At GEMS World Academy we understand this and have designed our school around the belief that students need to experience the full potential of mobile technologies to be creative members of the business community and world. Our students make sense of the world by learning directly from it and in it. As they map and collect data throughout the city they become aware of the world around them, contribute meaningful solutions to real problems and blend the lines of school and the real world. Likewise, it is our hope that Techweek participants will benefit from seeing the power of mobile learning anew by asking good questions and collecting multimedia data. In the process they will operate much as our students do on Field Studies and use an industry leading geospatial application for iOS and gain new perspectives on the conference and the world.

You'll also take part in the Education & Technology panel. GEMS World Academy-Chicago continues to be a leader in e-learning and blended learning among independent schools, but how do we compare to other companies when it comes to the integration of technology?

In many ways our technology infrastructure, tool use and cloud-based systems rival the most advanced workplaces. Our faculty, students and administration have technology at their fingertips anywhere and anytime just like an Apple, Google or Amazon employee does. At GEMS, technology is used for organization, communication, creation and collaboration not just reference and consumption. This is a big difference from most schools and illuminates our belief in cultivating entrepreneurial learners who see the world differently and understand that technology enables them to fundamentally expand their role in the world.

For more information on GEMS World Academy-Chicago programming at Techweek, click here.

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