Monday, 8 July 2013

Trends and challenges in K-12 education

One of the sessions that I attended at ISTE 2013 was the release of the NMC Horizon Report 2013 K-12 Edition. Although I had, up until now, been ignorant of the NMC Horizon Report series, I found it to be one of the most interesting sessions that I achieved. Nearly everything I learned in that session is available on the website linked above and it doesn't take long to read, so I commend it to you.

The NMC Horizon Reports attempt to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. Before summarising the six technologies that are identified in the 2013 report, I will list the key trends and challenges identified in the report that form the backdrop to the emerging technologies.

The key trends are:

  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models - our school is yet to make much progress in this area, but my post-graduate studies are now conducted exclusively online
  • Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and communicate - think Facebook, Twitter et al. Twitter in particular presents me with new ideas every day. You just need to make sure you are following interesting people (not just celebs!)
  • Openness - concepts like open content, open data, and open resouces, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information - is becoming a value - in education at least, we are much less focussed on protecting intellectual property. It is in the free exchange of ideas that innovation and progress arises. Creative commons and the sharing of ideas just make good sense. See my previous post about Steven Johnson and the associated links for more on this.
  • As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming more common for students to bring their own mobile devices - BYOT is the way of the future! See Inaburra's approach outlined here
  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the internet is challenging us to revisit our roles as educators - schools, libraries, teachers are no longer the custodians and repositories of knowledge. What now?
The significant challenges are:
  • Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated into the culture of the schools - absolutely! The challenge is making the time. If something is important enough, we will make the time. If not, we will make an excuse.
  • Too often it is education's own practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies - we default to teaching the way we were taught
  • New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to traditional models of schooling - we are not seeing this much yet in Australia, but it will come! See NBCS distance education arm
  • K-12 must address the increased blending of fomal and informal learning - ?
  • The demand for personalised learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices - we are still too tied to the factory/industrialised model whereby one size fits all.
  • We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should - ?
Next post - the emerging technologies

No comments:

Post a Comment