technology trends

5 technology trends for the new school year

Education is reaching a tipping point when it comes to using tech in the classroom.

It’s fair to say technology is ubiquitous in many classrooms, but because it changes constantly, educators are challenged to keep pace with what’s new and next in the classroom.

Sometimes, it’s difficult for educators to filter through the hype and identify the most pertinent technology changes to track.

To help educators stay on top of changes in technology, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has compiled 5 of the most important trends likely to impact education in the 2017-2018 school year.

Trends such as a larger focus on computer science and coding, along with real-time data access and learning feedback, will prove invaluable to educators, said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta.

(Next page: 5 tech trends to keep tabs on this year)

ISTE outlined the following top five trends to watch this school year:

1. Coding for All Students
Coding is the international language of problem-solving. Young people need to learn the basics of computer science in order to be the effective problem-solvers of tomorrow. Teachers are helping students attain problem-solving skills by infusing coding and computational thinking into courses across the curriculum and encouraging students to become digital content creators.

2. Real-Time Learning Feedback

For too long, educators have had to rely on end-of-unit or end-of-year tests to know if their teaching had really reached students and increased their knowledge. If tests revealed that a student needed more help to master the concepts, it was often too late to intervene, and the student could fall further behind. In an era when we have electronic devices that can measure everything from heart rates to calories burned, education is catching up with real-time learning feedback.

“Tools that can visualize student progress in real time and recommend learning activities based on individual student progress are just becoming available. This will allow teachers to intervene and adjust more quickly when students are struggling to comprehend difficult subjects,” Culatta said.

3. VR is Coming to Town

This school year will likely be the year virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) make a real impact in the classroom. At ISTE 2017, teachers and education leaders experienced how these platforms can put students in places they would otherwise not be able to experience, such as the Roman Colosseum or inside a water molecule. The key will be ensuring teachers continue to first consider what their learning goals are for students, and then design a learning experience that uses the unique capabilities of these tools to serve that goal, as laid out in the ISTE Standards.

4. Media Literacy to Combat Fake News

This year more than ever, there’s a great need to build our muscle around deciphering between accurate and false information online. As more and more information is consumed online, we hope to see an increased focus on media literacy, particularly around recognizing credible sources and valid interpretations of data.

5. Redefining Digital Citizenship

Traditionally, digital citizenship has been about the don’ts of online activities, with a lot of hazard signs thrown up in front of students and a focus on online safety. While online safety is critical, it’s only a small subset of digital citizenship. This school year we think we’ll see a shift in the conversation around digital citizenship to focus on encouraging students to harness tech tools to do good in the world and incite change, Culatta said.

When students take a positive view of using online tools, they become more active citizens and community members. The ISTE Standards define digital citizenship as recognizing both the responsibilities and opportunities of an interconnected digital world.

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Laura Ascione

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