Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

9 Important EdTech Predictions from School Leaders

9 Important EdTech Predictions from School Leaders

By Learn2Earn Blog Team

A lot of people talk about edtech, but many of the voices heard come from companies and not the people who are in the trenches, assessing technology and making purchasing decisions on a regular basis.

We wanted to see where school leaders feel the future of edtech going and got some very important and exciting insights. See what these experts have to say—do you agree?

whole child - Amber

How can we not be excited about the possibilities that are ahead for our students? Instructional technology opportunities are everywhere; teachers and students have access to so many resources that can not only change what a student learns about but how.

Classroom dynamics are changing, and a shift toward teacher-facilitated instruction is happening, albeit slowly. The Alliance for Excellent Education has done an amazing job preparing districts to be “Digital Ready” and that focus on all children, and the whole child, will just continue to expand.

Educators no longer feel the need to buy shiny new devices and instead are choosing to focus on the pedagogy that can truly impact a students’ learning.

– Amber Teamann, Pincipal – Whitt Elementary, TX –

teache training - John

One of my predictions about EdTech is that we’re going to see more and more use of learning management systems such as Canvas. The reason? States like mine are getting stingier by the day about what they’re willing to spend on education, for good or bad. Textbooks are going to be history, (not history books mind you), but fewer and fewer states and schools are going to purchase class sets or even texts for each of their students. My school has not purchased a set of textbooks in 6 years.

Training for teachers, then, needs to be on maximizing the learning management system environment for student engagement, and for helping teachers find unconventional instructional resources. We need to focus, of course, on training how to use the learning management technology, but even more important, we need training on how to make learning in that environment most effective.

Just taking what we do in our classrooms and “posting it online” is not going to cut it. We need to transform the teaching and learning so that it better takes advantage of what a learning management system can do.

John Robinson, Principal – Discovery Highschool, GA – The21stCenturyPrincipal

consumers of knowledge - Michael

The future of technology in schools is a great and quite a relevant topic! My prediction is that edtech will become ubiquitous and will become “education” in the short term.

In the short term, teachers will be freed up to design meaningful standards aligned learning opportunities for their students. Their use of technology tools will join with their eyes on creativity as opposed to the recent obsession with standardized tests.

My prediction is that the power of technology tools will allow for greater creative deployment of activities and projects. I believe that there will be greater access to technology tools and infrastructure thanks to government and corporate interventions like the Future Ready Initiatives.

I believe that the future trends toward project-based-learning and curation of content and creation of learning will overtake the “fill in the bubble” culture so pervasive in many school systems due to previous laws. As a wenation will move from consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge in our schools thanks in part to the technology tools at our fingertips.

Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent of Schools – Deerfield Public Schools, IL – Michael’s Blog

could be present - Brad

Where is EdTech going in the distant and not so distant future? Nowhere fast unless school stakeholders come together and support digital learning environments that provide students with the autonomy to learn in ways once thought unimaginable.

Think of the possibilities that wearable technology such as Google Cardboard and Apple Watches could have on student learning experiences. How spectacular would it be if every child had access to a device and Wi-Fi? What about professional growth opportunities for educators in the virtual world?

Tools like Twitter, Google Hangouts, and Voxer could be utilized to learn, reflect, share, and collaborate. This is the future of education. In fact, it could be the present of education if we act fast and begin to understand and support what teaching and learning should be rather than what it once was. 

Brad Currie, Dean of Students and Supervisor of Instruction – Chester School District, NJ –

social - Kathy

I think the future of technology in schools has a very bright future! I do believe social networks have had a big role to play in the success of technology being used to support teaching and learning in schools.

The constant online support among educators who freely share their stories, best practices, their successes and their failures, has supported other teachers as they took a risk and tried something new with technology in their classrooms. The number of teachers using Twitter and Google+ and posting their findings and thoughts to Instagram and Pinterest, has created a global community of professionals who are willing to share.

I predict this informal global community will continue to grow as more teachers start to share their stories.

Kathy Schrock, Independent Educational Technologist –

all learners - Chris

What we called digital learning a couple of years ago is now really just learning.  In all of our classrooms we are seeing the thoughtful use of technology to improve students engagement, understanding and results.

We still need to push on the issue of equity. We know that student access is making a difference for many learners, so we need to ensure this access is available for all learners.

We also need to continue to support our teachers to embrace new ways in the classroom. The biggest shifts with technology are not about the gizmos in the classroom, but how teachers and students work together—it’s this change in pedagogy that is so exciting.

Schools and the power of face-to-face learning are not going anyway, but more and more we’ll find ways for technology to enhance and support these experiences.

Chris Kennedy, Superintendent of Schools – West Vancouver Schools, BC –

same level - Patricia

The future of edtech will be all about innovation. How can educators create learning experiences that foster collaboration, and problem solving, but also nurture imagination and curiosity during the school day?

Creative learning spaces (makerspaces), classrooms without walls (social media), and problem-based learning (STEM Design Thinking), are all ways to develop student innovators.

We will need innovative teaching pedagogy, which will require innovative approaches to professional development, by creating authentic personalized professional learning opportunities for teachers. Teachers need the same level of engagement, collaboration, and choice as students in order to facilitate innovative experiences in the classroom.

Patricia Brown, Technology Integration Coach – Ladue School District, MO – MsEdTechie

flatten our walls - Erin

Technology will play a key role in our classrooms moving forward. More importantly, it will be how that technology is used by students and educators which will make the largest impact.

Being able to flatten our walls and connect with our global community is imperative for students as they learn to network, problem solve, and build their digital footprint. Not only are devices and gadgets important to support such interactions to transpire, but also having high-quality access for all is instrumental for these sorts of connections to take place.

Erin Klein, Michigan Reading Association Technology Chairperson – Kleinspiration

brick and mortar - Erin

Education, as we know it, is changing at a rapid pace. We are already seeing schools move further and further away from standards-based and grades-based learning and closer and closer to individualized student learning progressions and competency based learning.

Traditional brick and mortar schools are giving way to more blended and online learning environments. Teachers are becoming less content experts and more facilitators of learning. Technology is the strand that weaves all of these ideas together and makes them a reality for our schools and our students.

The changing of educational structure and new technology can bring about tremendous anxiety for many of our teachers. One thing we can do to help lessen that anxiety and help teachers feel more comfortable about this rapid change and increase in technology is to remind them that they themselves do not have to be the experts of all things technology.

Their job is to expose students to different types of technology, give them choices in how they use it, encourage students to use technology for collaboration and presentation, and allow them to explore a multitude of technology tools and find those that best fit their needs.

At the end of the day, it is important for all of us to ask:

Are we preparing our students for THE future or for THEIR future?

It is our job to prepare them for THEIR future; a future we can’t predict, but one that will certainly require them to be proficient users of technology, critical thinkers, and independent seekers of knowledge.

Jennifer Crawford, Instructional Technology Specialist – Oconee County School District, SC – District Website

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9 Important EdTech Predictions

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