Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best Is Yet To Come: Ed Tech 2014 Predictions

Gotta love old blue eyes, the song has a catchy tune. As I think about the next best thing regarding technology while holding true to the traditional teaching methods which we know work, I'm hopeful.  I do believe the best is yet to come. I feel we are reaching an understanding when it comes to using technology-the balance of the old and new.

These predictions play into the point I am trying to make:

1. Microsoft Gets It's Mojo Back- Thanks to the "Surface", Microsoft is resurfacing into the mainstream ed tech arena. As much as we all like to admit that we are all saving to the "Cloud" these days, many are not. Since when did flash drives have to go away or Micorsoft for that matter? Who says the iPad has to rule? I'll be the first to admit (and my parents will back me up), I'm picky.  Picky when it comes to technology and all areas of my life, so when iPads came into the horizon back in 2010, I was skeptical. I stayed true to my Microsoft Windows programs and my PC laptop device (RU doesn't support Macs on campus anyways). But then I saw the amazing opportunities the iPad could give all students and teachers in the classroom. I jumped ship and haven't looked back until now.  Thanks to the Microsoft Surface (2nd generation), you really can have it all. An iPadish tablet including flashdrive capabilities with the Windows 8 version we all love.

2. Tron Reinvents Itself- Remember that 80's movie, Tron,  when coding a program seemed out of this world futuristic? Well now, we all can learn. Kudos to and "Hour of Code".  People use to think only those who were highly intelligent and socially inept could code.   We now live in a society where Computer Science and keeping up with programming/coding is as important as the three R's. Students of all ages can learn how to program and code AND have fun doing so. Why is this future? We need coders and programmers of all different interests and background to move our 21st century learning forward and captivate our digital natives.

3. Four Eyes are IN.  Google Glass. It's the final frontier. The future of learning, engaging and communicating with our friends, family and society. If you have been living under a rock and do not know what Google Glass is, click on the link above. In my opinion, it raises two imperative issues: 1. Policies and laws cannot keep current with technology. 2. Educators need to have these devices in their hands months prior to implementing. Time must be given for teachers to practice and facilitate the usage with their students before meaningful integration can occur.

4. Students and Educators Teaching Each Other- Let's face it, we are teaching Digital NATIVES, we are Digital IMMIGRANTS.  Great teachers know to embrace and empower their students. Great teachers know the content and understand how to teach the content in a multitude of ways to engage students. However, with the incredibly advanced integration of technology, great teachers need to rely on their students to brainstorm ways to infuse technology into assignments and products which reflect learning.  Remembering that technology is A tool, it doesn't haven to be THE tool.

5.  Hands free revolution- enough with drama already. Put your phone down and live!  A Forbes article, recently nailed it.  Checking your phone consistently shows, lack of respect, lack of attention and lack of power. Live in the moment of those you are with and show them who is really in charge...YOU, not your phone. I predict in 2014, more people (of all ages!) will take control of their lives and enjoy what this real world has to offer rather than the virtual world pinging them. I think this quote is brilliant: "One of my clients took a chapter from... the Old West, he put a wicker basket at the front of his conference room, along with a sign of Smartphone that read, Leave your guns at the door."

Best wishes to you and the New Year!

Enjoy a little Sinatra- he never goes out of style. 

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