On the horizon for K-12 | 2013

This year’s Horizon Report K-12 is out now…Check out the introductory video below:

It’s always useful to look up beyond the parapet at international shifts and trends and consider what the implications might be for educators and students. And then we ask ourselves,’ so what?’ What does this mean for me, my school, my students?

So, here’s my take on the ‘so what?’

No surprises

Cloud computing and mobile devices are one year or less away in terms of the 20% integration considered as the benchmark for adoption. Those of us in schools can see the trends toward BYOD, storage and use of cloud-based software and the proliferation of apps. Anyone with a smartphone will already recognise the opportunities to place user-experience in the driver’s seat for learning.

The questions for schools relate to how to best harness this type of technology in ways that put all learners’ strengths and needs first, rather than worry about the school down the road. A clear vision for the curriculum, for pedagogy and a PD plan for teachers, as well as giving consideration to digital citizenship should all be front and centre. Working hand-in-hand with the school community on this is vital.

Check out the BYOD in Schools group in the VLN Groups network to talk about this with colleagues across NZ and beyond.

Points to ponder

The prediction that big data related to learning analytics and open content are only a couple of years out from penetration are of interest.

The ability to analyse data gathered in student management systems and LMSs presents the opportunity to tailor the learning experiences of young people more precisely and responsively. How schools ensure they gather the information that is of most use in this kind of decision making will be a key question for schools. The open source movement offers exciting possibilities for the sharing of resources, of practice, of knowledge development as well as access to international information and data sets that can inform learning and inquiry.

On the far horizon sit the maker culture, with 3D printers and virtual laboratories that offer opportunities to prototype, test, trial and develop scientific thinking in ways that would have been beyond the cost of schools a few years ago. The large of number of 3D printers at this year’s Makerspace in Wellington (check out the Makertorium) was a reflection of what might be possible in schools  in terms of creation, design and construction.

 Social trends

Driving these trends are 6 movements which, in some ways, are of more interest than the technologies themselves:

  1. “Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and  collaborative models.

  2. Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and  communicate.

  3. Openness — concepts like open content, open  data, and open resources, along with notions  of transparency and easy access to data and  information — is becoming a value.

  4. As the cost of technology drops and school  districts revise and open up their access policies,  it is becoming more common for students to bring their own mobile devices

  5. The abundance of resources and relationships  made easily accessible via the Internet  is challenging us to revisit our roles as  educators. “

How can we turn the challenges into opportunities?

How might we…

  • redesign professional learning so it is sustainable and a valued part of the school’s culture?
  • look at the new pathways that are opening up for schools, and see past the more traditional modes that may not always have the individual learner at the heart?
  • integrate blended practices into learning, particularly assessment practices?
  • harness technologies so students are working from positions of strength?

Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated:-)

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