February 28, 2017
So here we are! 2016 is past - with all of its ups and downs. From El Chapo getting arrested to a new president that will undoubtedly shake up politics as usual. From a 1.5 billion dollar Powerball to the deaths of many many media figures, police officers, and civilians alike. We saw the effects of cyber hacking as well as the proliferation of autonomous vehicles and other scientific breakthroughs.
And what about education? Edutopia recently curated a list of research on education topics for 2016 that included topics such as laptops to improve student scores and that the majority of parents believe that computer science is just as important as math, science, and English. We learned that students (and adults) have a difficult time telling real new from fake news. We also learned that kindergarten students (and probably all grade levels) are not spending enough time on art, music and play.
And so a new year is upon us. While we won’t leave all these topics behind, there are a few EdTech topics that will continue to drive our classrooms as well as new topics that will undoubtedly play a role in shaping new thoughts, experiences, and student engagement and learning as we move into 2017.
According to EdTech district leaders sharing their thoughts with Education Drive, the topics that will be driving us into the future include Personalized/Blended Learning, Flexible Learning Spaces, Makerspaces, Cybersecurity, Digital Citizenship, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Critical Thinking Skills (as it pertains to fake news and other online “media”), Personalized Personal Development for Teachers, and open content or the #GoOpen initiative.
This dovetails nicely with the K-12 Edition of the Horizon Report which predicts what will be on the horizon for the next 5 years. They include some of the same topics but those that I find intriguing are redesigning learning spaces, coding as a literacy, students as creators, authentic learning experiences, personalized/blended learning, makerspaces, robotics, and virtual reality.
At ESU 10, we are on track with most of these as we share with schools and make sure the topics are on their radar. We may not have the resources necessary to provide timely support in all of these areas but we are definitely hitting on the major priorities and providing the core infrastructure and frameworks our districts will need to succeed as we move into the future. I’m excited for the opportunities students have to not only learn new exciting things but shape the world they live in. They are the masters of their future! There is no limit to the creativity and innovation in education we’ll see in 2017 and the coming years.
1 “Education Research Highlights From 2016 | Edutopia.” 8 Dec. 2016,
https://www.edutopia.org/article/research-highlights-2016-youki-terada. Accessed 3 Jan. 2017.
2 “What’s on the horizon for K-12 ed tech in 2017? | Education Dive.” 26 Dec. 2016,
http://www.educationdive.com/news/whats-on-the-horizon-for-k-12-ed-tech-in-2017/431999/. Accessed 3 Jan. 2017.
3 “NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition | The New Media ....”
https://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-cosn-horizon-report-2016-k-12-edition/. Accessed 3 Jan. 2017.
-by Jason Everett, Systems Engineer