5 Tech Trends that Could Supercharge Education in 2016

[In this EdTech article five trends are highlighted that may make a major impact on both K-12 and higher education in 2016. I’m teaching an Osher course for senior adults at Carnegie Mellon University that will look at six trends that are making a difference – coding, personalized learning, flipped learning, game-based learning, virtual reality, and robotics. It’s interesting to see how the two merge.]

The technologies of tomorrow are already making headway into education, and others are poised for mass distribution in 2016.

Science-fiction author William Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

The technologies of tomorrow are already being tested in select classrooms today, laying the seeds for the future of how students could learn. With 2016 fast approaching, technology analysts have been busy prognosticating the top technology trends. A few of these technologies have already made headway into education, and others are poised for mass distribution, with the promise of ground-shaking change in their wake.

We’ve reviewed a few of these trends through the lens of how they could affect classrooms in both K–12 and higher education.

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Connecting the Classroom with the Internet of Things


Small thumb max meyers 1427322615Max Meyers
Mar 28, 2015

Line up to enter the classroom, then pick up your materials from the table at the front.” “SLANT in your seat—sit up, listen, answer questions, nod, and track the speaker.” “Pass papers to the end of the row.”

These directions serve as the soundtrack to the 1025 hours the average American student spends in classroom instruction each year. More than 308 of these hours are likely lost to interruptions, based on estimates by instructional design textbooks such asTeaching Strategies. In fact, this text suggests that 1 out of every 5 minutes spent in American classrooms is consumed by “anticipated interruptions”—transitions, materials distribution, and starting or ending class.

What if new tools could help teachers get these hours back? Each minute teachers spend managing large group procedures takes away from time they could spend on the hard work of teaching, such as differentiating instruction or developing students’ socio-emotional skills.

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