New Year’s Simple EdTech List

1/3/2013 12:00:00 AM

KRAbout 10 years ago my principal and friend talked about a day when we wouldn’t warehouse students beyond a certain age, because tiny, embedded chips would be all they needed for continued learning. He was talking well beyond carrying any device, and although he said it with a wry smile, I knew he meant every word.

Along about the same time, I was writing about wearable technologies, where a room or library/data center would recognize students automatically. That idea of being one with a learning environment and with the knowledge intrigued me, and still does.

In my childhood days, we dreamed of flying cars and never thought of the number of awful drivers piloting them. Today, cars driving and parking themselves, for me is just long overdue and expected. Shouldn’t that be happening after 60 years of dreaming? It’s certainly not as scary as wearing glasses to view data and movies while walking city sidewalks. Now, that’s an accident waiting to happen! I know all of this would make the late Isaac Asimov smile.

“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” –Isaac Asimov

That leaves me thinking… and thinking… and still thinking.

I’ve been looking more, these days, at the applications of new and existing technologies and software, rather than the device or solution alone. It’s amazing how often their full educational uses haven’t been thought through, written or talked about—and for me, that seems to be where the real discoveries can be found—and need to be shared. I think that at times we get too close to the chalkboard, which makes seeing what’s really there more difficult. I have this fear of looking into that crystal ball this time of year, and getting a narrow, nearsighted future-look. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s better to see a new view, if you can.

The obvious stuff, for this year’s close, is saying tablets are in, smartphones are the answer, and individualized instruction is new, if we don’t call it 1:1. While we can make a case for most any technology or solution, I’m sure that all of us, including the researchers who claim better student achievement using technology, will agree that teachers still make the biggest difference—and those teachers who know how to take advantage of the newest technologies—when and where appropriate—have the best engaged students—and together, students and teachers, have the most learning fun.

There, I’ve said it—Fun—the most learning fun. Years ago I had a very interesting argument about that word fun connected to learning. Learning should be fun, and most often fun learning is exciting.

While I could write about some amazing new technology entries for education in the previous year, or my guess for the next best entries for the New Year, I’d rather make my list simple.

1. Good teachers getting better, knowing more and sharing more, using technology where and when appropriate—looking to the Common Core Standards for backup. Those necessary technology suggestions are there—throughout.

2. Looking at existing and new technologies beyond the surface view of what we’re told they can do—to looking at the possibilities of what they really can do in the hands of educators and students. Be creative.

3. Advance the creation of new learning spaces or “concept rooms” to experiment with changing where students learn and teachers teach. Start with existing computer labs and media centers to make creative changes. Again, be educationally creative.

4. Call for more summits of educators, technology and education marketplace experts, education thinkers, and students—getting together to go beyond talking… to begin taking actions for change. And have them all—every one—drop and check their agenda baggage at the door before sitting at the thinking/action table.

Yeah, a list of gadgets may be a lot easier, but I’d rather have longer discussions about my simple list, and what you’ve added to it, in the New Year.

Ken Royal is a teacher/education and education technology blogger/reporter, video interviewer, podcaster, education event news commentator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology experience. His teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, and Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. Read more of Ken’s work at Royal Reports.

comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...