This article, from the Tech and Learning Online Magazine, prognosticates developments n the educational technology field for the year to come. The article is proposes a number of developments based on current trends. Overall, it’s a good article and makes one think while reading. However, their suggestions are quite lofty and would be very difficult for most Districts here in financially-strapped Illinois to pull off. Their predictions (in bold), along with my take on them (in italics), include:
- Textbooks are dead! For real this time! Many suggest that the good old hardback textbook filled with pages of sage wisdom for our students’ learning pleasure will soon be replaced by electronic books accessed via laptop, e-reader, cell phone, etc. Will it happen? Probably. Next year? I doubt it.
- Assessment will be comprehensive & constant. Shouldn’t that be happening already?
- 1:1 becomes BYOT: There is a rapidly growing trend toward allowing BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) in classrooms across the nation and worldwide. The idea is that kids can bring their own laptops, cell phones, etc., into the classroom to help them engage more deeply in 21st Century learning activities. I see lots of problems with this: Nice for the “have’s” but what do schools do to level the playing field for the “have-not’s”; This would require that teachers become experts in the technology their kids bring to class and how to troubleshoot when things don’t work; etc., etc. Not likely, IMHO.
- Facebook will be encouraged: There are lots of ways to use social networking sites like Facebook in the classroom, I’m sure, like sharing photos related to a lesson, conducting online polls to gather data, conducting an online discussion about relevant topics, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget: it’s also a very high-tech way to tune out the teacher… certainly won't be happening in this District.
- Students will surf away (sort of): Um… no. The law (CIPA) is the law. ‘Nuff said.
- The end of testing is nigh: Plausible in a few years, but not in 2011. When politicians stop running education and treat educators as professionals, and when teachers view assessment as a formative tool to help kids grow, then we’ll talk…
- Students forced to use cell phones in class: Not likely. Again, let’s talk about equity amongst the “have’s” and “have-not’s” first.
- Content will be free for all, all the time: Yes! Information and education can & should be shared for the benefit of all. The current availability of free online content (what kids learn), coupled with the growth of open-source software, declining costs of physical technology resources (how they learn it), etc., could make this a reality very soon! 2011? hmmm…
- Students will learn outside of school: Yes, this is happening now. But what are they learning, and how are the learning? Classroom management software and open-source content is available now and will help achieve this goal, but teachers will have to be vigilant in learning and developing appropriate activities that are both rigorous and relevant, kids will need to learn about & apply electronic media ethics at every turn, and again – what about the “have-not’s”?
- All data will become compatible – globally: Very likely.
Top 10 Predictions for 2011 (with proof!)