iPads have certainly become a highly desired commodity in education. Apple is reporting that schools are purchasing iPads by a ratio of 2:1 over MacBooks. However, that rush to purchase the latest technologies often precedes the careful planning and preparation that’s crucial to their success as educational tools.
Stated simply, technology alone doesn’t have the capacity to improve education. It needs to be woven into a holistic approach to education that encompasses thorough planning and ongoing review of the skills and competencies required by the rapidly changing society that characterizes life in the 21st century.
The Horizon Project Advisory Board voted for the top 12 emerging technologies as well as the top ten trends and challenges that they believe will have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in global K-12 education over the next five years. These initial results will be compiled into an interim report, known as the "Short List," and described in further detail.
Skeptics — and at this stage they far outnumber enthusiasts — fear introducing backchannels into classrooms will distract students and teachers, and lead to off-topic, inappropriate or even bullying remarks. A national survey released last month found that 2 percent of college faculty members had used Twitter in class, and nearly half thought that doing so would negatively affect learning.
The problem is that the decision makers often don’t have the marketing skills to differentiate between different addressable audiences. External adult learners may not want a long-winded, over-engineered, six to ten week course on anything. Life’s too short. Yet academics are used to producing courses of this semester length. What many may want are mini MOOCs. They may want them to be asynchronous starting and ending when convenient for them. This, of course, is exactly what’s happening. All in all, however, the good news is that MOOCs are forcing HE institutions to change. MOOCs may very well be the force that makes them more open, transparent and relevant. There will, of course, be a backlash, but the digital genie is out of the bottle - MOOCs are here to stay.
A survey of teachers shows that digital tools are widely used in their classrooms and professional lives. Yet, many of these middle and high school teachers are hampered by disparities in student access to digital technologies.
Mark Pegrum's insight:
This new report from Pew Internet has some interesting insights about the use of mobile technologies in US classrooms.