In addition to the six technologies named above, the K-12 Horizon Advisory Board also researched, identified, and ranked key trends affecting the practice of teaching, learning, and creative expression in K-12 schools. Through a review of current articles, interviews, papers, and research, the Board captured emerging or continuing trends they considered important, and in the end, nearly 30 such trends were identified. Each was ranked according to how significant an impact they were likely to have on K-12 education in the next five years; the top five are presented below.
- Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed. Information technologies impact how people work, play, learn, socialize, and collaborate. Increasingly, technology skills are also critical to success in almost every arena, and those who are more facile with technology will advance while those without access or skills will not. The digital divide, once seen as a factor of wealth, is now seen as a factor of education: those who have the opportunity to learn technology skills are in a better position to obtain and make use of technology than those who do not. Evolving occupations, multiple careers, and an increasingly mobile workforce contribute to this trend.
- Technology is increasingly a means for empowering students, a method for communication and socializing, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of their lives. Technology is impacting our lives, and the lives of students, in new and expanding ways. Once seen as an isolating influence, technology is now recognized as a primary way to stay in touch and take control of one’s own learning. Multisensory, ubiquitous, and interdisciplinary, technology is integrated into nearly everything we do. It gives students a public voice and a means to reach beyond the classroom for interaction and exploration.
- The web is an increasingly personal experience. We have an unprecedented level of control over online content, not only in terms of the information and activities that we select, but also in the way they are represented to us. Students are very familiar with the idea of “skinning” — customizing the look and feel of — their virtual experiences. They expect and experience personalized content in games and websites that is at odds with what they find in the classroom.
- The way we think of learning environments is changing. Traditionally, a learning environment has been a physical space, but the idea of what constitutes a learning environment is changing. The “spaces” where students learn are becoming more community-driven, interdisciplinary, and supported by technologies that engage virtual communication and collaboration. This changing concept of the learning environment has clear implications for schools, where learning is the key focus of the space.
- The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing. Innovation is valued at the highest levels of business and must be embraced in schools if students are to succeed beyond their formal education. The ways we design learning experiences must reflect the growing importance of innovation and creativity as professional skills.
Posted by NMC on March 17, 2009