Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Review and What Will 2011 Bring?

Left TurnImage by Thomas Hawk via FlickrWith 2010 quickly approaching the rear view mirror, it is time to take a few minutes and reflect on the past year - but also focus on the upcoming year and what it promises to bring.

Top 3 2010 Education Technology Trends

  • The iPad makes a splash in K-12. While the first gen version of Apple's tablet device made a splash both in the consumer market and the education arena, many educators were left wanting more (typical Apple strategy) from the device (camera, usb, etc.). Many school districts are still in the process of determining the best fit for the iPads and the role they will play in one-to-one learning initiatives moving forward. Are they the 'game changer' devices? Too early to tell in my opinion.

  • Social Media / Social Networking enters K-12. Many school districts grappled with how to effectively integrate the safe and secure use of Social Media (YouTube) and Social Networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) into their culture. While some were quick to be reactive and limit access to these resources for faculty, staff and students - other school districts took the time to research, discuss and determine how these tools could enhance learning opportunities for students and teachers. Those districts that took the time and energy to be proactive will reap the benefits of these tools.

  • Increase in one-to-one initiatives. More districts are reviewing how 1:1 initiatives can impact their curriculum and learning environment. Most districts are taking the standard approach of procuring a similar device for students and working with vendor partner to ensure effective professional development for teachers and appropriate integration for students. (See below for how this will shift beginning in 2011.)

Top 3 2011 Education Technology Predictions

  • Increased use of web-based instruction. Online courses will continue to gain momentum as school districts look at ways not only to save dollars, but to provide new and unique learning opportunities to their students. Many school districts have the technology in place to accomplish this, it is simply a matter of the cultural change that comes with an online learning platform.

  • Shift from 1:1 Initiatives to One-to-One Learning Initiatives. Instead of a technology driven initiative that has the appearance of being about putting laptops/tablets/devices in the hands of students, the focus will become on shifting the learning environment to that of a collaborative, problem-based learning classroom where the technology is simply a tool that enables students to better accomplish and reach their goals.

  • One-to-One Learning Initiatives will become more personalized. With the increased demand for school districts to provide tools to students for curricular goals / objectives, many school districts will explore the more cost effective and personalized avenue of allowing personal devices (all shapes and forms) onto their network. The technology has been there for school districts to safely and securely allow users to bring their devices onto the network and also have access to certain resources. These devices will come in all shape and forms from laptops, tablets to mobile devices. Students have the flexibility to utilize a device that meets their needs and their learning style. Big game changer.

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