It looks like this will be an exciting year for the integration and advancement of technology. According to an article written by Bridget McCrea in THE Journal, here are the top five technology trends and tools to keep an eye on:
eBooks Will Continue to Proliferate
Although it will be some time before math and English textbooks are replaced by eBooks due to needed advancements in color, graphics and animation, Gerry Purdy, chief analyst for the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, says eBooks “will gain traction in the K-12 arena this year.”
Netbook Functionality Will Grow
Netbooks will become more and more popular as they become more affordable and will also help streamline technology by eliminating the need for multiple devices.
More Teachers Will Use Interactive Whiteboards
Federal economic stimulus funds are helping to advance the use of whiteboards. These tools promote “engaged learning,” says Sheryl Abshire, chief technology officer for Calcasieu Parish Public Schools in Lake Charles, LA, and they “serve as a catalyst for getting students out of their seats and up to the board to learn.”
Personal Devices Will Infiltrate
Once thought of only as a distraction, the use of smart phones and iPods in education is beginning to gain the approval of educators. “We used to think this was a ‘teen’ phenomenon,” said Purdy. “But it’s now culturally acceptable for someone as young as seven or eight years old to have a cell phone. It won’t be long before every student will have access to one or more wireless, portable devices in the classroom.”
Technology Will Enable Tailored Curricula
New student assessment tools are being developed that will create an easier way for teachers and administrators “to assess, record and track individual student performance in the classroom.”
“Historically, schools have given specialized attention to students who ‘fall out of the system,’ but not when it comes to applying individual curriculum to a broader population,” said David Stienes, principal with private equity fund LLR Partners in Philadelphia. “Look for technology to change that in the near future.”
What do you think?
Do you agree with these predictions?
What, if any, challenges need to be overcome before any of these technology trends can be appropriately and successfully integrated into the classroom?
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Photo by Thales Barreto