Reflection on 5 K-12 Technology Trends for 2010

found this THE Journal article via TuckSoon’s blog, and thought perhaps i can write some thoughts as well. haven been able to post much meaningful things to this space for a long while … the five (5) trends:

1. eBooks Will Continue to Proliferate
i’m not sure how popular eBooks are with our youth or in our classrooms. personally i dont own one, nor like to own one at this point in time. staring at a monitor/screen whole day long a work is enough for me, no more screen per se; plus an eBook is still not built for quick browsing; reliant on power source is always an issue for any electronic device. if u’re like me who likes to use a pen/pencil/highlighters to draw/scribble in a (text)book, or even to fold pages of a book as bookmarks, an eBook doesnt seem to be able to meet my needs. last but not least, i’m worried for our world-class myopia rate among youth.

improving presentation aside, as mentioned in the article, i think an eBook will really be of value and not just electronic paper, if any content in the book will seamlessly link me to the larger community, as large as the internet, as close as my study mates. ideas can be exchanged, explored and clarified while one reads from an eBook. perhaps the eBook techonology has reached this stage and i’m totally unaware of it? utterly possible. if so, i would like to play with one and explore its capabilities for learning and teaching in the classroom.

2. Netbook Functionality Will Grow
we juz gotten ourselves an acer aspireone recently, as the price was too attractive to be missed on a purchase-with-purchase deal. after using so many different laptops all these years, i only like three things abt a netbook (1) lightweight (2) long battery life (3) relatively cheap full-capability computing device (not suitable for CPU or graphics intensive application though). i’m not quite sure what other functionality the author hopes to see, but personally if a netbook can be turned into a TabletPC with stylus input (not touchscreen type, e.g. kohjinsha, asus t91; but TC1100 for e.g.). if the true tabletPC stylus input capability is extended to the netbook, it would allow for an additional way for students to interact with the device.

3. More Teachers Will Use Interactive Whiteboards
anyone who’s been into a classroom can testify the importance of a black/whiteboard. however, the ‘light speed’ development of ICT doesnt seem to quite catch up with this one single piece of ‘educational technology’ in our classroom. personally, i would be most happy if more teachers have the chance to access and use an IWB in his/her classroom. though some may argue that an IWB promotes mostly frontal teaching, well, i would say frontal teaching wont go away even if there isnt the IWB. it’s a change in the pedagogy of the teacher that should be looked into, and i believe an IWB will be able to find it’s place for any methodology/pedagogy a teacher chooses to adopt. here’s a lesson i had cooked while imagining i had an IWB in the classroom. yes, the sad fact is i have never had the chance to teach in a classroom with IWB.

4. Personal Devices Will Infiltrate the Classroom
this would be true if it’s not already been so. once again, the key question here is how a school and/or a teacher would harness the positive impact of such a trend. if i recall, most, if not all telcos, are allowing unlimited smses for their student plans. if only i can cheaply and easily acquire a device attached to my laptop that can receive sms responses from students, assessment for learning would be made an instantaneous reality. how nice (:

5. Technology Will Enable Tailored Curricula
reading from the article, i do not doubt the capability of our LMS vendors to further enhance their capabilities to track students’ performances. i think the difficulty for a teacher would be how can i manage these wealth of data (that’s a nice way to say data OVERLOADING). our teacher to student ratio is still far from the day (if this day will ever come) when a teacher can comfortably tailor his/her instructions to recognise the diverse capabilities and learning needs of individual students. it’s not a technological issue here, but a human plus a larger systemic and reality issue that we’re looking at over here.

…. it’s getting late … time to sleep … (:

3 Replies to “Reflection on 5 K-12 Technology Trends for 2010”

  1. Tailored curricula, yes, but the spread of technology in the classroom so often seems like a way to cope with trying to cut costs, rather than a true positive step. Cut the number of hours teaching, increase the number of students to lecturers, so you need to find a way to cut costs …

  2. mark: i agree with u that using more technology in hope that students can learn more on their own and teachers can teach less does not happen all too often in reality. it’ll probably results in cost cutting, or perhaps more income (from more students intake, less lecturers employed?) in the long run. but the quality of teaching and learning would be compromised, wouldnt it? (:

  3. YH, Merry Christmas and thanks for linking up 😀

    As mentioned in my blog, technology should be an enabler to customized curriculum. However, very often teachers design lessons trying to ‘bundle in’ technology instead of integrating into curriculum. Which is why to some educators, using technology in classroom seemed to be doing for the sake of doing.

    Trends aside, it is always good to remind ourselves no matter how advanced ebooks, netbooks, IWB and personal devices are, the most important lesson is to use these technologies appropriately and effectively in teaching and learning 🙂

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