Looking back and forward at my New Year predictions for education

Looking back and forward at my New Year predictions for education

Last January I shared my predictions with Tech & Learning about what I thought would be big in hardware and software in 2013.

Here they are:

-->School districts will begin embracing social media as they realize the importance of empowering students to responsibly use these resources for academic, career, and citizenship success

-->Lifting the ban on use of cell phones and other student-owned digital devices in school; providing home Internet access by working with Internet providers to offer special rates and packages to students who qualify for subsidies; going paperless as districts reallocate resources toward digital solutions; customizing learning with digital lectures and learning resources that are available anytime, anywhere.

This year Tech & Learning is running a follow-up article in their January 2014 issue and asked, me to share what I thought about my predictions.

Here is what I shared.

Reflecting on my 2013 predictions:

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 the media in general and education publications like Ed Week and Ed Horizons in particular about the importance of social media for student success. New York City has embraced this fully putting out guidelines for both staff and more recently students to support the effective use of social media for academic, career and citizenship success.

Finally, just Google “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.

My predictions for 2014?

1) Technology replacing traditional teacher roles.

We will hear more conversations about technology replacing traditional teacher tasks such as information delivery, assessment, student feedback. This will cause discomfort for traditional teachers requiring them to re-evaluate and update the work they do. Those that do re-imagine their role, will thrive. Those that do not, risk becoming irrelevant.Computers will be doing tasks traditionally done by teachers such as information delivery, assessment, and student feedback

2) Social media for social action.

The work parents and students are doing to have more in a say in the education of their family will be heard louder than ever via social media. We will begin to see a shift away from corporate-driven agendas and toward agendas driven by citizens who will use social media as a pulpit to demand their voices be heard.

3) Increase in those pursuing alternatives to public education

As testing continues to proliferate our schools despite community dissent, more families who have the will, will find a way to explore alternatives to public education. This will include not only private school options, but also an increase in homeschooling as well as out-of-the-box thinking that includes replacing high school with community college, pursuing online learning options, community learning centers, and part-time school.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.