Since 2013, I’ve set out to make a series of predictions, mostly in the edtech world. Some of these predictions are crazy, others actually just make sense, and some I just wish would happen. So, with that in mind and stressing that this is a “no judgment” zone, let’s proceed:
A dual-language school will open with coding as the second language. The immersive dual-language movement has been going on for decades. Why not treat coding as a foreign language? If we really believe that we are preparing kids for a global society, then why not teach them a language many of them will find useful later in life? This does not mean that learning an actual foreign language is any less important, it’s just that we should probably start to value coding and programming on that same level in schools.
The POTUS will use SnapChat to give the State of the Union address. I’m not even touching the political side of this, but instead, let’s focus on the medium which our new president will use to communicate the State of the Union to the masses. I get the feeling that Twitter will not be enough for him in the future. I mean, either they’ll have to change their limit of 140 characters (not likely) or he’ll choose a different way of communicating. Enter SnapChat! What a great way to make a bold statement and then have it disappear (sort of ) just a few seconds later. Does this sound all that crazy, considering where we are today with social media, politics, and the recent election?
The learning “movement” will take center stage at this year’s iPadpalooza. Every year, iPadpalooza tries to center attention around a certain theme. This year, we take the PokemonGo phenomenon and flip it on its head with our “Learning on the GO” theme. During this year’s event on June 5-8, there will be a whole lotta shakin’ going on, with sessions centered around the theme and even a new type of session called a “Walk ’n’ Talk,” where attendees will actually walk around the campus with a presenter sharing an idea.
Mixed reality makes its way into the mainstream classroom. For the past couple of years, there have been several one-off ideas of using some sort of mixed reality in the classroom. Maybe it’s virtual through programs like Google Expeditions or Nearpod VR, or maybe it’s augmented like using the Aurasma app to see hidden things (something I attempted to do with my book series). Either way, mixing realities can provide a powerful way to engage students in certain content areas and, up until now, it’s largely been seen as a niche or fun side activity. As witnessed by this recent Kickstarter, called the ZapBox, it’s not too hard to see a future where the holograms actually do pop up on the desk so you can interact with them. Now, if only they can invent a way to create virtual versions of those paper footballs that I used to flick across the classroom.
The classroom becomes “smart” with “Frank.” With devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa really taking off in the consumer market, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched that we would soon see an educational version of these tools. I think it should be called something like “Frank.” Frank would be like a fact-checking teacher’s assistant that all the students could also use. “Frank, when was the battle of 1812?” or “What is Bohr’s law?” or maybe “What is my teacher’s favorite treat?” All of these could be useful for saving time in the classroom and helping to dive into even deeper learning and higher Bloom’s level thinking. However, I imagine it might also come with a lot of new classroom management issues. But hey, for every challenge comes an opportunity, right, Frank?
There you have it: a few bold and bolder predictions that may happen this year. Maybe, together, we can make the future a better place for learning, too!
Carl Hooker is the Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes I.S.D., and the author of the Mobile Mindset series (ISTE ©2016).