What is EAST?
EAST is an educational initiative — we’re trying to make learning better. Better for students, better for teachers, and better for society.
Students in EAST programs perform service learning projects. They see needs in their communities, and they work to meet those needs. EAST students are unique, however, in that they apply the latest in technology to these problems.
Giving students access to this technology has had an amazing effect: students take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can because they care about the outcome. There is no lecture; there are no tests. The students are in control, and they begin to enjoy learning.
The skills and experiences students gain while working in this environment are countless: teamwork, leadership, self-motivation, public speaking and more, not to mention what they learn while working with industry-standard software and hardware.
How does EAST work?
EAST works because it inspires students, educators and members of the local and business communities to expect more from education.
Students are motivated by the challenge of taking control of their own learning to deliver tangible results using the latest technology. The problems they face aren’t listed on the blackboard, and the answers aren’t in the back of the book. EAST students tackle real problems facing their communities. The solutions don’t come from memorized facts or lecture notes, but through creatively applying knowledge obtained from life and other classes, problem solving, team work, and diligence.
The drive for educators is realizing the dream that lead them to the classroom in the first place- unleashing the potential of every student who walks through the door.
EAST provides students with the technical training and teachers and school administrators with the pedagogical training and continuous support to exceed even the highest expectations. The EAST model is proven successful and is backed by sound educational research.
Annually, thousands of EAST students from across the country attend the National EAST Conference to share their stories, celebrate their work over the past year and experience a formal banquet and a trade show-like environment. The conference is also the EAST Initiative’s largest training venue of the year. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to meet other students from around the country and share ideas.
The EAST Conference is an annual gathering of over 2,000 EAST students, teachers, parents, and community and business leaders from more than 100 communities across America. The Conference spanned 3 days and includes an exhibition hall showcasing student service projects, breakout sessions on the latest in technology, an awards banquet, and much more! This year’s EAST conference was absolutely amazing with a large, turnout, amazing student presentation, excellent sponsor exhibitions and demonstrations.
How do you get involved in EAST?
The EAST Conference provides many opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors to get involved. If you would like to promote your organization and get your message out to thousands of students, educators, and technology industry professionals, there are three ways for you to participate.
The EAST® vision is to create an educational environment where students own the skills to escape ordinary expectations and achieve extraordinary success. One way this is accomplished is through the Annual EAST Conference. This three-day exhibition style event celebrates and challenges EAST students to learn and perform at the highest levels.
Sponsors can elect to participate at varying levels and have the opportunity to support and celebrate with over two thousand students and hundreds of facilitators. This is an opportunity to build awareness of your organization or business with some of the best and brightest students in the nation.
Exhibitors have the additional advantage of face-to-face interaction at the heart of the conference on the exhibit room floor. Here in the nexus of creativity and service, our students network with each other and schools, businesses, and vendors to continue the creative service process.
How is Digital Tech Frontier involved with EAST?
Digital Tech Frontier (DTF) founder Scott Jochim was approached by the Arkansas Department of Education to test the integration of virtual reality in the classroom and its effect on the student learning curve. Thus the Virtual Reality Development Lab (VRDL) was born that seamlessly integrated VR technology that allowed students and teachers to not only develop their own VR environments, but share them with anybody they wanted.
With the immense success of the VRDL throughout the entire EAST program, and Digital Tech Frontier’s passion for innovative technology, the Augmented Reality Development Lab (ARDL) was created and released in 2010. The ARDL is the fusion of cutting edge technology with the commitment to thought provoking and interactive education. It allows students to virtually put curriculum in the palm of their hand. They can separate a molecule, launch a space shuttle, or pull apart the solar system. The ARDL uses standard boring curriculum and makes it immersive and engaging that allows the students, specifically visual learners the opportunity to fully grasp the material.
Digital Tech Frontier played a large role in this year’s EAST conference. Their highly engaging demonstration and presentation really got the students and faculty involved. They showcased and awarded students whose projects utilizing the technology went above and beyond the expected. DTF’s technology has provided students with a creative outlet that lets them dive in head first to immersive technology that keeps them interested and drives them to excel and the want to succeed. The first place prize went to Valley View High School in Arkansas whose team was made of: Brooke Turner, Ania Welman, Alexas Curtis, Luke Burks, and Bianca Burges for their VR State Park Tour . The second place prize was awarded to Chris Kiernan for his VR tour of West Point. Congratulations to both tours for being absolutely amazing and consistently exceeding our expectations. Keep up the amazing work.
Click here to view a virtual tour of the 2011 East Conference: http://www2.wecantakeyouthere.com/eastproject/east3/2402026/