Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, held a webinar hosted by Blackboard where she revealed the trends that have increased this year across K-12 education. As Evans states, organizations, even the older and farther-reaching, are becoming more open to trying new ideas, including new educational models, frameworks, and settings that include digital access to content.
Evans groups them in three groups: Rising, Just Emerging, and Waning Trends.
The “rising trends” identified are:
- New classroom models: blended, flipped, virtual
- Determining ROI on technology investments
- Consideration of parental expectations
- A more critical position about connectivity
- District-level vetting of EdTech (in the U.S.)
While the “just emerging” trends are:
- Moving beyond teacher skill development
- Students as “tinkerers”
- OER quality and vetting
- Online safety: Global digital citizenship
- “Seamlessness” in digital instruction
- AR and VR
- Data-driven instruction
Finally, the “waning” trends, or ideas whose moment seem to have past, are:
- Bring your own device
- Decision on digital procurement on teachers, as opposed to higher-level officials
- Gamification for gamification’s sake (classroom games without sound pedagogy to back them)
- Standalone technological experiences
- “One size fits all” teacher professional development
As a transversal issue, Evan suggests some concern about the “binarity” of the conversation, where discussions begin with only two possible outcomes, possibly due to a “sense of urgency” among schools and districts. Not only this is an unnecessarily confrontational stance, it might overlook game-changing breakthroughs that might satisfy all parts on the table.
Project Tomorrow is a nonprofit focused on K-12 education as a means for future preparedness. It produces research and feedback programs for its private and government partners.