CoSN’s crystal ball: Get ready for mobile learning, cloud computing

“Cloud computing is here already, but it has so many facets and evolutions that many haven’t been fully realized yet in K-12,” explained Johnson. “We expect large-scale movements to the cloud in 2011 for K-12, including eMail and resources like virtual labs.”

Johnson said that while mobile devices also are being used in many school districts across the country, full-scale adoption still has a way to go, owing to complications regarding privacy and policy practices, as well as having networks to support high-speed data.

Other educational technologies on the horizon include:

Two to three years: Game-based learning and open content.

Four to five years: Learning analytics and personal learning environments.

“Learning analytics is promising because it can measure learning in real time, but there are still many questions on how we can actually measure true learning,” said Johnson. “Personal learning environments, at this point, are still in a conceptual phase.”

The preview also listed many key trends, the most prominent being that people expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.

Other trends include:

• The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the internet is increasingly challenging educators to revisit roles;

• As IT support becomes more decentralized, the technologies used are increasingly based not on school servers, but in the cloud;

• The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing; and

• Technology continues to profoundly affect the way educators and students work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed.

Although these technologies continue to improve K-12 achievement and productivity, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still challenges to be considered.

Meris Stansbury

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