Some technology coming to classrooms sooner than later

Posted on Monday, 9/23/2013 5:55 PM

The years ahead are expected to be ones of great change for the nation's education sector. Not only are the Common Core State Standards being implemented, but new forms of technology are constantly being introduced to classrooms.

Recently, the New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking and the International Society for Technology in Education contributed research to the "NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition." Inside the pages of the report, parents and educators can gain an idea of the types of technology that are expected to be introduced in schools within the next five years.

Here's a look at what students can expect to see during that time frame, according to the report's findings:

Within 12 months
Over the next 12 months, or the period the report referred to as the near-term horizon, cloud computing and mobile learning are expected to become common in classrooms.

Thanks to cloud computing, teachers and students are able to store information online and access it whenever they need to, so long as they are connected to the Internet. Such technology has made it possible for educators to share student data with one another via faculty software.

Meanwhile, mobile learning has only grown in popularity as pupils use smartphones and tablet computers at their desks to run student software. According to the report, mobile devices' presence in the classroom has also provided educators with an opportunity to teach app development and programming.

Within 2-3 years
During the next two to three years, or the period of time the report calls the mid-term horizon, learning analytics and open content are expected to play a greater role in instruction.

Learning analytics refers to student-related data that can be used to help parents and educators learn about pupils' academic progress. Using this information, teachers can work toward improving the instruction they provide.

Meanwhile, open content consists of educational materials, such as curricula and classroom resources, that schools share over the Internet.

Within 4-5 years
The next four to five years, or what the report calls the far-term horizon, could see more schools embrace 3D printing and virtual and remote laboratories.

According to the report, 3D printing will allow students to turn ideas into 3D images, while virtual and remote laboratories build on the concept of the virtual classroom and provide learners with an opportunity to conduct experiments over the Internet.


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