After 35 years of publishing monthly print issues of Tech & Learning, one might think some topics we cover have become a bit old and stale: “Ugh, projectors AGAIN?” Well, one would be wrong. (Okay—finding a fresh angle on asset management software can be tough!) The fact is that edtech has been one of the most dynamic worlds to follow this past decade. The changes have been so swift, almost violent; I sometimes think we still don’t fully know what has hit us.
This month’s issue stands out as a glaring example. I don’t know about you, but 3D printers continue to blow my mind. If you had asked me in 2008 if such a thing were possible, I would have scoffed. Now? For a few hundred dollars, you can have one in the classroom “makerspace.” STEM? You won’t find anything in those old issues about students collaborating over Java code on Edmodo in real time, developing socially relevant apps, and creating robots with Legos (“STEM is Alive and Well,”). Google Classroom and Chromebooks? Common Core? STEAM? All new buzzwords found in this month’s Big Ideas section that didn’t exist last decade.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the inspiration and dedication of innovative educators to best use new technology to improve the way they teach and learn. So no matter how negative and worrisome new issues like automated teacher assessment, social media mishaps, and big data privacy concerns become, the promise of edtech will continue to outpace them all!
— Kevin Hogan