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EdTech Update




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Tony's brave tech prognostications 

Minnesota teacher and tech guru Tony VonBank on his Cloudcation blog offers these very specific predictions about educational technology for the next three years. (My reactions are in bold.)
  1. A growing backlash against Khan academy. Watch instead for teacher-created materials to be organized and become popular. (Easy to use tools like Jing, personal YouTube channels, and personal teaching styles are already resulting in teachers jumping over Kahn videos and simply making their own. Or using others videos as supplementary materials.)
  2. Nexus 7 tablet to take market share as the first generation of 1:1 iPad models are replaced with lighter, cheaper and powerful small tablets. (I keep hoping for that $200 miracle machine. But I've been hoping for a looooong time.)
  3. School conversations moving from PLC to PLN as more educators see the power of the global information commons. (I am not as confident about this one. The opportunity has been there for 10 years and I don't think 5% of our staff have a true PLN.)
  4. Facebook for education, and Twitter for education accounts. (May be wishful thinking but it would be great.)
  5. Edmodo will continue to replace Moodle as the preferred classroom connection site. (Especially at middle school and primary levels.)
  6. Mobile interactive learning solutions will begin to replace expensive Interactive Smart Boards. (Absolutely. It'll be cheaper to get an iPad than a new IWB. What will we do about all those lessons in Notebook, though?)
  7. eTextbooks will become cheaper and more widely used. (I doubt it since publishers have their fearful little heads way up their .... I have greater hope for teacher-created sources of classroom support materials, organized with Moodle or other tools.)
  8. Several objective research studies will be published to cast doubt on the success of 1:1 initiatives in schools. (I believe these already exist. The debate will continue about how "success" is measured - test scores only?)
  9. The number of educators connected with Twitter and other PLN’s will double. (See number 3.)
  10. Congress will introduce at least three bills relating to increasing bandwidth in schools, particularly those in low socioeconomic districts. (Isn't this what e-rate is all about? Introduce maybe; pass, unlikely.)

I love brave lists like these - thanks, Tony. While some of his predictions may be more wishful thinking that analysis, I am good with them.

A few predictions of my own:

  1. iPads and similar devices will bring teachers using technology with kids who were previously reluctant. See Probablity of Large Scale Adoption.
  2. BYOD will pick up steam and bans on personal devices will evaporate in all but the most backward schools.
  3. E-book adoption will focus on reference and non-fiction, not fiction. Overdrive is doomed; Mackin Via and FollettShelf are the models to watch.
  4. Control/selection of educational applications will shift from the technology department to curriculum departments and individual teachers.
  5. Schools will use Chrome-like OS systems but ones hat don't have the ongoing service costs of Chrome. 
  6. GoogleApps for Education will just keep getting better and better - and more widely adopted. Knee-jerk fears over privacy and security will subside.
  7. There will be a growing public backlash against standardized testing in public schools and a renewed empahsis on performance-based assessments and alternate means of defining successful schools.
  8. Online reputation managment will start to focus on building the good instead of avoiding the bad - for both adults and kids.
  9. For-profit entreprenuers will focus on combining testing data and technology to poop out "personalized" learning plans for every child. I don't expect them to be very good.
  10. The gap in services, philosophy, and effectiveness between schools serving the poor, the middle class and the rich will continue to widen. 

So there is probably a little wishful thinking clouding my crystal ball too.

Readers, your brave predictions?

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Reader Comments (4)

Doug, interesting article. Always fun to see how these predictions play out. As for your prediction #5, I wanted to clarify that the Chromebooks no longer have the annual service fee they once did (Thanks Google!). It is now part of the initial purchase (one-time fee) and you can then manage those devices going forward at no additional cost for at least 3 years after a specific device is declared end-of-life. The older Series 5 is $429 and the new Series 5 550 is $479. One of our high schools has opted to purchase two labs of Chromebooks Series 5 in leiu of iPads or notebooks. It will be interesting to see how they will meet the needs of the teacher/students.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd Heier

Thanks, Ed. Good to know. I can't keep up!


August 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

If #6 from the first list comes true, my school will be very disappointed -

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenn Gorman

Hi Kenn,

Same in our district. Had we had iPads when we first started the Smartboard project, I don't think we would have put any in at all. But they are well-used now! I suspect there are still those who mourn the passing of 16mm film projectors.


August 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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