Six Big Tech Trends in Education to Follow
Summary from the NMC K-12 Horizons Report
The presence of the Internet in students’ lives outside of school, and especially on mobile devices, is allowing for more online and blended learning models in classrooms. That trend is supported by an increasing tolerance and even excitement among teachers for mobile devices as learning tools. As the cost of devices continues to come down, they proliferate in classrooms and can be powerful learning tools.
Print and digital textbooks are getting some serious competition from open-source content, which has captured the imagination of educators who are finding valuable content outside the prescribed realm of textbooks.
The big challenges for better using education technology are similar to ones that have long existed. There isn’t enough professional development to help educators feel comfortable using new strategies and it often isn’t part of a school’s culture. Resistance to trying new approaches remains prevalent and the status quo continues to exert a powerful inertia on the system, preventing a broader use of good ideas.
Traditional models of schooling are experiencing more competition than ever before with charter schools, for-profit operators, online learning and MOOCs pushing for change. Similarly, traditional teaching that relies on lectures and tests is being challenged by blended models of instruction.
There’s a large demand for personalized learning, but the technology tools don’t yet support the goals of those who want to use it — a big gap still exists between overall vision and available tools. Meanwhile, even as teachers are shifting to more formative assessments taken continually throughout the school year, assessment policies have not always shifted to match this change. But educators think there’s potential for digital tools to help collect formative assessment data unobtrusively.”
- Cloud-based computing.
- Mobile learning and the educational app market for mobile devices
- The power and increasing prevalence of learning analytics and the practice of analyzing real time data from digital learning platforms and using that information to shape teaching strategies for individual students. The MOOCs that challenge the higher education paradigm rely heavily on learning analytics to direct, grade, and guide learners.
- The rise in high-quality open content available to students around the world.
- 3D printing has captured the imagination of people at all ages, especially as movements towards design learning take off in K-12 schools.
- Virtual and remote labs to provide students access to scientific experiences even as school districts cut back on physical lab spaces in schools.