Predictions for the future of education technology

Posted on Friday, 1/3/2014 5:29 PM

Education technology, such as student software, has changed significantly since 2004. It's a given that classroom technology will only continue to evolve over the next 10 years. In a post on his blog, Larry Cuban, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, made a few predictions for the state of education technology in 2024.

Digital replaces paper
Many schools have already embraced digital textbooks over the traditional ones with which most people are familiar. In the blog, titled Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice, the educator predicts that more school districts around the country will adopt digital texts.

Cuban's prediction is based on the fact that some states, such as California, allow districts to use state money to purchase digital textbooks. Meanwhile, new companies are offering digital texts at low prices, which make them easier to buy in bulk.

K-12 education goes online
While it's not uncommon to see higher education courses available on the Web, not as many K-12 institutions have been as quick to embrace online learning. Cuban believes that change is coming.

"K-12 online learning will also spread slowly, very slowly, as blended learning and 'flipped' classrooms gain traction, especially in low-income, largely minority districts," Cuban wrote. "Both of these innovative twists on traditional classroom teaching, however, will reinforce the age-graded school, not destroy it."

A total of 25 states are currently operating virtual schools, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. During the 2009-2010 academic year, there were an estimated 1,816,400 enrollments in K-12 distance-education courses. Based on this data, it's a given that the number of students stepping into a virtual classroom in the next few years will increase.

More options
Those who fear that using too much technology will spell the end of traditional education strategies need not worry. While the way instruction is delivered is changing, technology is meant to enhance learning - when used correctly. With more technological classroom resources, K-12 students will also be better equipped to thrive in an increasingly high-tech world.

"None of these incremental changes herald the disappearance of K-12 age-graded public schools or the dominant patterns of teacher-centered instruction," Cuban wrote. "What these gradual changes will translate into is an array of options for teaching and learning available to both teachers and students."

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