Why making, coding, and online learning are the real trends to watch

Take a casual flip through this year’s trend-predicting Horizon Report, released today, and you’ll find plenty to get excited about.

The end of the report is stuffed with tantalizing promise about how future learners will engage with robots, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and wearable tech (think data-collecting headbands and skill-tracking sensors) that could explode into classrooms in as little as four to five years. By contrast, the report’s short-term developments, online learning and makerspaces, have a distinct yesterday’s news vibe about them. But make no mistake, they still hold some of the biggest long-term promise in the report.

Evaluating the accuracy of a report as sprawling and far-reaching as this one is notoriously difficult. Each year, a panel of education experts, convened by the New Media Consortium and CoSN, takes a deep dive into the trends driving ed-tech in every quarter, from Silicon Valley testing grounds to policy circles to actual classroom use. Panelists then narrow them down to just 18 in various stages of gestation: six trends, six challenges, and six so-called important developments.…Read More

How to fix education: Flip it upside down?

Nearly everyone agrees the online education is going to be huge, but ask what exactly that means in practice and how that will impact students, and the bickering begins, Forbes reports. Except about one thing. As Pulitzer Prize winner Tina Rosenberg recently wrote in the New York Times, “online education is highly controversial. But the flipped classroom is a strategy that nearly everyone agrees on.” What is it? A model where “students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call ‘homework’ in class,” Rosenberg explains, before going on to report that though research is still in its early stages, “many people are holding it up as a potential model of how to use technology to humanize the classroom.”

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