According to the 2014 K-12 edition of the NMC Horizon Report, fast and mid-range trends that will accelerate educational technology adoption in schools consist of
- a rethinking of the roles of teachers,
- a shift to deeper learning approaches,
- an increasing focus on open educational resources, and
- an increasing use of hybrid learning designs.
Some of these trends are increasingly reflected in the way technology is used in innovators’, early adopters’ and early majority classrooms today.
The Flipped Classroom
In traditional classrooms, content is delivered to the learner by the teacher during class time. Applying the content and skill building are then assigned as homework. The Flipped Classroom reverses this traditional model by delivering content via online resources often assigned for homework while using class time for skill building, application, and problem solving. “Why switch?” you might ask. When the content is delivered in a digital format, the teacher is freed up to work with students individually, to observe students, to assist them, to probe for deeper understand, and to coach. Content delivery can originate from different sources: A teacher-made video, an open educational resource, or a paid subscription/resource. Many teachers choose to make there own videos. The proliferation of apps that support easy content creation support this trend.
The Flipped Classroom speaks to several key trends of the Horizon Report.
- By reversing the traditional classroom model, the role of the teacher in the classroom is redefined. The teacher no longer serves as the lecturing vessel of knowledge, but as a facilitator and coach in a truly student-centered classroom.
- Digital content can be reviewed as often as necessary. It can be stopped, restarted, rewound, and fast forwarded. Students experience deeper learning when they have an opportunity to learn at their own pace and apply well-prepared content under the tutelage of a classroom teacher.
- One of the newer models of education is Hybrid or Blended Learning. While there are many different approaches to this model, they all have one thing in common, and that is the dual use of online and face-to-face instruction. The Flipped Classroom model also is a form of Hybrid Learning.
- The Horizon Report predicts an increased focus on open educational resources. Teacher-made content for the Flipped Classroom adds to the OER availability, and teachers using OER offerings to flip their classrooms, lower the cost of education for their school/district.
In order to keep up with this trend, it will be beneficial to follow trends in Hybrid and Blended Learning.
- Jon Bergman and Aaron Sam’s (the original ‘flippers’) video on overcoming common hurdles is a great resource for teachers contemplating the switch to the Flipped Classroom.
- Edutopia has a wonderful selection of Flipped Classroom resources. I love the cross-reference to other educational innovations, like Blended Learning.
- Edudemic’s Teacher’s Guide to Flipped Classrooms is a practical tool for all that have made the decision to flip. Great infographic!
Do you remember grammar lessons in your foreign language class? Yes, I knew it. You just rolled your eyes. Here is a new idea! The teacher makes her own instructional videos with animation, color, examples, and practice exercises. Students go through the video at home. The next day, the teacher has an authentic application activity in which students get opportunities to apply the concept.
Learning Analytics aim at improving the educational experience and success of students by gathering and analyzing student data from multiple sources, including social media. In addition to progress, Learning Analytics also track behaviors and attitudes. Taking into account how long a student spent on an assignment and simultaneously analyzing frustrated language on social media may be cause for intervention. Thus, Learning Analytics have two main beneficiaries, the teacher and the learner. They allow the teacher to closely monitor a student and intervene early if necessary, and they provide a truly personalized learning experience for the students. Learning Analytics should not be confused with Academic Analytics which are used on institutional, regional, national and international levels to determine the educational value of systems.
Learning Analytics will become increasingly important with the rise of more hybrid and online learning environments. Teachers in these types of environments have many more students than in a brick-and-mortar environment. Learning Analytics will help them to keep up with students’ success, allowing for early intervention, and personalizing the learning experience overall. The NMC Horizon Report projects Learning Analytics to be an important development in technology for schools within two to three years.
The Journal of Learning Analytics provides peer-reviewed and open-access research in the field.
- The UNESCO Policy Brief is very thorough and details the impact of Learning Analytics at different levels.
- Educause provides a nice website with links to different articles of interest regarding Learning Analytics.
- Erik Duval’s provides a visionary view of what is on the horizon for Learning Analytics in his TedX talk.
Having worked for an employer that used Learning Analytics, I know first-hand how the behind-the-scene data can be used to help students. In daily morning reports, I could see how my students were performing and how much time they spent on each activity. While this is a very limited use of Learning Analytics, it did allow me to focus on those students that the system marked as ‘underperforming’.
Mobile Learning refers to the use of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) in educational settings. The ubiquitous use of mobile devices by today’s learners has lead to the conversation on how to leverage these devices in the classroom. Not only do they provide to be a valuable resource in BYOD programs for fiscally challenged schools, they are also great tools for learning taking place anywhere at any time. Most mobile devices have a front and back camera, allowing students to take pictures and use virtual reality apps. An important consideration for educators using mobile learning is the use of apps that can be accessed across many different devices (Apple, Android, Google, Windows).
The NMC Horizon report predicts the adoption of BYOD to be one year or less. Mobile Learning will likely play a big part in this adoption.
The International Conference on Mobile Learning has been taking place since 2005.
Biographies coming to life! Students research historical persons of a chosen topic. They write reports about the person using the first person singular and video tape each other in historically authentic clothing introducing themselves as the historical person. Students print out a 8 x 11 picture of the person. The picture is taped to the classroom wall. Then students attach their video as an overlay to the picture using Aurasma. Ready for a blast in the past: Students walk around with their mobile devices and listen to the video recordings while taking notes on key points on a piece of paper.
3D printing in education provides an opportunity to incorporate and to raise awareness and interest in STEAM subjects. Learning to design a 3D model requires skills in math, design, engineering, and architecture. Concepts within these subjects may be abstract, difficult to understand, "boring." These obstacles are easier to overcome when students are motivated to design a 3D model for a printer.
3D printers are also useful for the production of manipulatives and replicas of real life objects (pyramids, Eiffel Tower, famous sculptures...).
The future of 3D Printing in Education is filled with opportunities. For now, it is likely to be a tool used to raise interest in STEAM subjects. However, within four to five years, the NMC Horizon report predicts the adoption of the internet of things and wearable technology in schools, which will likely lead to an increased use of 3D printing.
3D Printing Industry has an education section to help keep abreast of the newest developments.
As part of a geography project, students collaboratively create a map of their school’s neighborhood. In pairs, they design and 3D print the houses in their maps.
Games in EducationDefinition
The value of using games in education is not a novel notion. Teachers have been using games to spark interest, motivate, and sustain attention all along. With the dawn of digital games, new opportunities for the classroom arose. While there still exists some controversy over the educational value and the often violent nature of video games, the positive impact of digital gaming on the intent to spark interest, motivate, and sustain attention cannot be denied. An increased interest from the education community calls for games that are created for educational purposes with sound pedagogy and methodology. While games can be quite simple and help with memorization tasks, the larger benefit of gaming comes from more complex games that empower learners, sharpen higher-order thinking skills, and develop design thinking.Future Impact
The NMC Horizon report predicts the adoption of games and gaming in education within the next two to three years.
This early adopter website is a great resource to stay on top of gaming.
- The pros and cons of games in education are addressed in this article in The Journal. Great read if you are still a little on the fence.
- The Games in Education wiki is a curation of games organized by subject, purpose, and device. It provides a good starting point for teachers investigating the kinds of games available to them and their students.
- A new not-for-profit aims at teachers and students interested in gaming. If you are an innovator or early adopter, you might find your PLN here.
- Arne Duncan on games in education. Love it when policy makers get it!