What Education Might Look Like in the Next 5 Years

[Each year the New Media Group with CoSN publishes the Horizon Report for K-12. The report gathers information from a variety of experts across the globe to look at trends and emerging technologies. Here’s a summary from Mindshift.]

In a fast-moving field like education technology, it’s worth taking a moment to take stock of new developments, persistent trends and the challenges to effective tech implementation in real classrooms. The NMC Horizon 2015 K-12 report offers a snapshot of where ed tech stands now and where it is likely to go in the next five years, according to 56 education and technology experts from 22 countries.

TRENDS

Deeper Learning: The expert panel identified several long-term trends that will greatly influence the adoption of technology in classrooms over the next five years and beyond. They see worldwide educators focusing on “deeper learning” outcomes that try to connect what happens in the classroom to experts and experiences beyond school as an important trend.

Teachers at the cutting edge of this work are asking students to use technology to access and synthesize information in the service of finding solutions to multifaceted, complex problems they might encounter in the real world. The popularity of project-based learning, global collaboration and integrated learning experiences is driving this trend and powerful tech use as an extension of it.

Rethinking Traditions: Educators are also rethinking how school has traditionally worked, questioning everything from school schedules, to how individual disciplines are taught and how success and creativity are measured. This macro trend to shake up typical ways of schooling is opening new opportunities for technology to play an even bigger role in education. Finland took a big step toward reimagining school when it did away with many traditional subjects in favor of interdisciplinary classes that more accurately reflect a world in which disciplines influence one another. Some U.S districts have also tried to reimagine how school would look with movements toward competency-based models that don’t rely on time in class as the constant variable.

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A Personal Concierge

[In this article Edsurge explains how its trying to find the intersection between administrative needs and available products and companies. Edsurge has been a leader in this domain through its series of Edsurge Summits. I’m working with Edsurge to produce a Summit as part of the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference on November 3-4 in Pittsburgh. (www.tretc.org) ]

by Betsy Corcoran
Jun 23, 2015

ConciergeFor the past six months, EdSurge has been experimenting with developing a product. Our efforts are still at an exploratory stage. Even so, we want to share what we’ve been doing, what we’ve learned and our next steps.

Since we began, EdSurge has aimed to bridge the gap between the users and creators of education technology. We’ve done this through reporting and writing news, sharing your stories and hosting events across the country. We’ve also tried to make sense of this growing, intricate industry through our Edtech Index.

Even so, the challenge and cost of getting the most appropriate tools into the hands of the people who need them is still really high. Educators say that they spend hours sifting through research, emails and demos to find tools that meet their needs. Companies underwrite big sales and marketing pushes without being sure they’re reaching customers in the right time or manner.

Reports from Digital Promise and the John Hopkins School of Education have chronicled these inefficiencies, as have the Center for Reinventing Public Education. Or ask an educator or an edtech entrepreneur. Chances are, you’ll hear the same frustrations.

Whether measured by time or money, it’s still too hard to find the right tool for the right need.

After watching thousands of users find each other through our Index and at our Summits, we wanted to do more. We wanted to make it easier for educators to find the most appropriate products for their needs and for companies to find the customers who need them most.

What if finding the right tools and customers was more personalized? What would it be like if both companies and educators had their own personal advisor? Someone like a hotel concierge, who was knowledgeable about the territory? And yes, someone who was truly neutral about whether you wanted front-row symphony tickets or a late-night slice of pizza?

That’s how the idea for our Edtech Concierge was born.

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Next Generation LMS

[For a number of years users of LMS software have struggled with the limitations of most packages. Educause with a grant from the Gates Foundation has outlined what should be the five key elements for any next generation system.]

New EDUCAUSE report explored the gaps between current LMS functionality and what’s needed for the next-gen digital learning environment.

LMS-digital-learningAccording to over 70 education IT specialists, current LMS functionality is great for administrative tasks, but doesn’t provide support for the new learning approaches in today’s schools.

The next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE), says a newEDUCAUSE report, will need a “Lego” approach, where components are built that allow individuals and institutions the opportunity to construct learning environments tailored to their requirement and goals.

“What is clear is that the LMS has been highly successful in enabling the administration of learning, but less so in enabling the learning itself,” wrote the report’s authors. “The challenge is to build on the value of an LMS as an administrative tool by retaining what works, but not be bound to an outgoing model of teaching and learning. [This] NGDLE is what should come after the LMS era.”

And according to the report’s authors, there are five core components of the post-LMS, as well as new architectures to consider.

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