Well here we are at the end of another fun-filled and dynamic year in Educational Technology….let’s take a quick look back at some of the buzz and trends…… are they already getting stale on the shelf, or are they the pathway to new and innovative trends?
In 2014 we really started to see the 1:1 vs BYOD discussion be “waxed” eloquently…”on and off.”
Both 1:1 and BYOD, whether implemented, or simply “talked about” required significant investment in wireless. Wireless coverage, saturation, management and ultimately core infrastructure upgrades.
Remember more wireless needs more wires. If your district invested and implemented wisely, you should be able to grow into your curriculum and testing requirements smoothly. If not, get ready for a bumpy year ahead.
Many 1:1 projects drew scrutiny and criticism due to inappropriate use of long-term debt, and massive deployment of technology resources without the ability to manage and control the inventory. Many projects have been rolled back, halted, and some, such as LAUSD, have drawn investigations into misappropriation of funds and non-compliance with Public Contracting and Procurement laws.
Lessons learned? Take a technology independent approach to determining device requirements. What does the curriculum require and when is it required?
For some schools SBAC testing was a big reactive focus. What did we learn? We can throw a lot of money at something, but if the assessment methodology, infrastructure, device deployment, and professional development wasn’t well planned, and in-place, you probably had a couple of major fire-drills occur in 2014. Stay ahead of the game on this one.
Many school districts are moving forward in classroom technology projects. Even though these are not the most earth-shattering new technologies, projection and audio/speech enhancement are still sound investments and have shown objective results.
Implementing these technologies school-wide can have REAL impact with teaching and learning. At least most have stopped purchasing Interactive White Boards (IWBs). Although interaction is still embraced, primarily at elementary levels, the day of the dedicated board that you can’t write on is gone. Interactive projectors (that can project on dry-erase boards), video sharing and SmartTVs have seemed to become the classroom display topic of 2014.
2014 has definitely been the year of the LMS. For some anyway. I was consulting with a not-so-advanced district recently who said, “What’s an LMS?” Sorry to be so presumptive, adoption of an LMS really comes after significant infrastructure, device deployment and curricular professional development has already taken place. The Ed Tech needs to take the lead on curriculum definition and applications management: secure user login, single-sign-on, collaboration tools, weblockers, and electronic portfolio.
It takes VISION to take your district there. Take the lead, assign the lead, support the leader, or get out of the way….
I’m sure that 2015 will yield many new innovations and trends for our field….can’t wait to see our VISIONS take shape.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!