Last January, we asked some of our advisors to share their predictions for 2013. How did they do? We checked back with them one year later for their answers.
Chief Information Officer, Worcester Academy, MA
As I predicted last year, I did see tablets make a steady rise in use in varying levels of education and it’s still climbing. 3D printing has skyrocketed and is growing exponentially as it becomes more affordable. E-textbooks are also continuing to grow in popularity and functionality in the past year, but I was surprised, with the rise in tablets, that augmented reality has not yet been widely embraced by schools.
Director of Technology, Apache Junction USD, AZ
I did see tablets continue to stay at the front of conversation for implementation; however, as 2013 draws to a close, the publicity that the LAUSD iPad initiative created has raised a number of questions for districts. I have seen the number of blogs grow in our educational community in 2013 and the number [of students] participating in the Edublog Student Blogging Challenge increased to a wider global presence. The amount of inquiry we have received about using Google Apps has also increased in 2013 and with the addition of Chromebooks in schools. I do not see this slowing for 2014. Although I have read many posts on the maker movement, I haven’t seen as many 3D-printing implementations in 2013 as I had hoped.
Director of Faculty Development, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, IN
In reviewing my 2013 predictions, I can say that Google Apps for Education has improved and been incorporated at the pace expected. Student groups particularly embrace the GAFE environment. Teacher curation tools are improving (e.g., ginkotree and Google Sites) and becoming more of a productive option— particularly in light of 1:1 program growth and publishers dragging their feet on making digital content available in cross-platform formats. I have been disappointed at the rate of developing multi-source data collection and analysis systems. For the number of emails I receive promising number crunching, we are still years away from collecting, processing, and creating systems that can produce useful information (without unacceptable standard deviations).
Technology Coordinator, Linwood Public Schools, NJ
I did see a broader adoption of desktop virtualization and cloud computing platforms in the past year. Schools need to find a way to stretch the life out of old hardware, as well as their finite budgets, and these technologies help a great deal. Also, schools are not as afraid of social media and are starting to see the real value in it as a professional development and teaching resource. But I was surprised that convertible ultrabook computers have not yet been widely embraced by schools. They are a good combination of power and flexibility, but the price points on them are still way too high.
Gordon K. Dahlby
Project Manager, CoSN Online Communities of Practice
In reviewing my 2013 predictions, I have seen the clear growth of touch screen-based devices and STEM/vocational-funded 3D printing happen in the past year, but was surprised that smartbooks have not yet been widely embraced by publishers and schools, most likely because of a lack of standards and interoperability among datasets.
T&L blogger, writer, and speaker
In reviewing my 2013 predictions, I have been pleasantly surprised to see that I was on target this past year. As reported in Crains New York Business, elected officials in the largest school district in the nation have vowed to make the school cellphone ban history and will indeed be pushing Internet providers to offer special rates and packages to students qualifying for subsidies. Additionally, stories are proliferating in the media about the importance of social media for student success. New York City has embraced this fully by putting out guidelines for both staff and students to support the effective use of social media for academic, career, and citizenship success. Finally, just Google the words “School district going paperless” and you’ll see districts across the nation in celebration of savings, efficiency, and enhanced learning as they ditch pounds of paper in exchange for a digital diet.
Darren E. Draper
Director, Canyons School District, UT
In reviewing my 2013 predictions, I have seen each of the things I predicted happen in the past year, but was surprised that the technology behind learning analytics has not advanced well enough yet to be more widely embraced by schools.
Director of Media and Technology, Manka to Area Public Schools, MN
I realize I wasn’t particularly prescient or daring in making my predictions for 2013. [Increasing the use of ] iPads and beginning a 1:1 pilot [program] have been creeping in under the fence through grants and special programs all year. An increasing number of teachers are using Airplay (a Reflection-like product) to mirror their iPads on their computer screens, but not as rapidly as I had guessed. Moodle is now used by over 50% of our K-12 staff. I did not predict how much our elementary teachers would be using it rather than Edmodo.
Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes ISD, TX
I did see a shift in mobile learning being a “nice to have” [option] to an “on our roadmap” [option] for most districts. There is seemingly an exponential increase in districts going to a 1:1 or BYOD [program]. I have been surprised, however, that there hasn’t been a single platform for workflow and content management that has won out yet.