Trends

Below is a list of emerging Ed Tech related trends. This list will continue to evolve over time as new methods of tech integration are introduced while others fall out of relevance (or “trail behind”). Feel free to comment or provide suggestions using the form at the bottom of the page.

Trending Ahead

  • The Maker Movement: DIY – do-it-yourself in place of using prefabricated kits and toys. Innovative teachers are using this approach to teach engineering, design, programming, and entrepreneurship around hands-on, project-based activities and classes.  The goal of the Maker Movement is to inspire students to be self-started inventors that can identify problems and create solutions within a collaborative team. For more information: Maker Movement 
  • Augmented Reality: Augmented reality translates into an additional layer of interaction with technology. With the use of various applications, students can interact with 3D overlays projected on top of real-time camera feeds. One example might consist of using a tablet or mobile phone to explore the body’s internal organ systems or interact with various molecules to produce new compounds. Augmented Reality in action:  TED Talks video.
  • 3D Printing: 3D Printing is often considered an essential component of the Maker Movement. Teachers across the country (and here in our district) are using 3D printing concepts and procedures to create models and prototypes of different objects that utilize engineering and design applications. Both STEM and STEAM programs can be greatly enhanced from the use of 3D Printing.
  • Gamification: Games have been used in classrooms since there have been classrooms.  However, games today can be easily integrated into lessons and customized to compliment different aspects of learning, including content review and reinforcement, checking for understanding (and other assessments), classroom management, and even inquiry and discovery. The fundamental ingredients to all educational games are the “Three C’s” of engagement: Challenge (or Competition), Choice, and Consequence.
  • Google Classroom: Google Classroom is becoming increasingly popular in schools that are already using “G-Suite” for Education. The main advantage of Google Classroom in comparison to other online learning systems (e.g. Edmodo, Haiku, Moodle, Blackboard, etc.) is that it is elegantly integrated with Google Drive. This means that it seamlessly organizes files in logical folder structures with the Drive. Although Classroom may not have all the “bells and whistles” of other commercially available learning systems, it is free, it is single sign-on, and it evolves to include more functionality over time based on user feedback.
  • The Flipped Classroom: The “Flipped Classroom” instructional model has been around for a while and the premise is as follows: students are introduced to subject matter concepts outside of class or at home (usually via digital content; video tutorial, instructional text, or audio clips). Then, once back in the classroom with the teacher, the core concepts (along with the knowledge and skills) are reviewed, reinforced, and applied in a meaningful and novel way.
  • 1:1 Classroom Model: The explosion of the Chromebook has resulted in opportunities to create 1:1 learning classrooms in many school that could not have done so in the recent past. Other devices can achieve the same outcome – each student has their own device from which to access content, interact electronically with their peers and teacher, take assessments, and contribute to class discussions electronically.

Trailing Behind

  • BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. This format is falling out of favor due to the challenges that schools face trying to support and secure a vast array of device types. Furthermore, as the price point of newer devices (e.g. Chromebooks and certain tablets) continues to fall, more schools are able to purchase greater numbers of devices and support consistency of access to technology for students.
  • SMART-Boards and the like: SMART-Boards are losing their share of the tech trend market to other interactive display configurations including AppleTV, Chromecasting, and mirroring apps. The ability to display and interact with content from anywhere in the classroom trumps the restrictive nature of front-of-the-room-only technology. SMART-Boards can, however, continue serve the learning environment by being re-purposed for use as more of a “center-based” interactive technology used by small groups of students during cooperative learning activities.
  • Laptops and Netbooks: With the arrival of the Chromebook, the choice became instantly clear: $700 laptop or a $250 Chromebook? From a budgetary and device management standpoint, along with the rapidly expanding role of cloud-based curriculum and learning management systems, the purchase of full OS laptops and similar devices for student use in schools appears to be slowing.
Disclaimer: The listing of one item in one category or another does not necessarily indicate that it has produced measured educational value. After all, just because one form of technology is popular does not automatically equate to its effectiveness as a viable teaching and learning tool.