Editor's note: Leading up to ISTE, one of the largest education technology conferences in the world, we asked educators and administrators to reflect on the past school year and look ahead to 2015-16. Today we hear from Adam Bellow, teacher turned entrepreneur, founder and CEO of social learning platforms EduClipper and WeLearnedIt.
If you’re coming to Philadelphia for ISTE, stop by and see us in the Expo Hall at #1808. You can check out any of over 50 short sessions that will share more ways to engage and inspire students. Read on for Adam’s take on the future of trends in education and technology.
It’s an empowering time to be in education. Technology enables meaningful learning opportunities and helps us create and share great work and ideas. Many things are changing, but these are the three trends I see shaping education over the next year:
- Personalized learning. “Personalization” has been a buzzword for several years and is now coming into its own. More than ever before, educators can give students runway and resources to focus on projects that relate to their genuine passions, and potentially their future careers. The result is passion-based learning rather than recipe-based learning. This means students have the ability to do real work, share it, then get feedback from peers, outside educators and professionals in relevant industries. In doing so, they understand that their learning matters.
- Coding goes mainstream. The rise of maker-based projects is changing the perception of coding. Kids now have opportunities to learn how to code as young as first and second grade, giving them early exposure to what used to be considered a subject reserved for students in the computer science club. By introducing coding to students earlier and more frequently, we’re seeing a diversification of the the skill to a much broader set of kids.
- Sharing outside the classroom. The definition of community continues to evolve, both online and off. Students can now share their work in new and powerful ways, such as developing and publishing an app and getting reviews or sharing an art project on Google+. Educators are also more involved and finding their communities through social media, forums, and other tools and events. They’re sharing their ideas and best practices far beyond the walls of their classrooms.
These trends are inspiring curiosity, bold risk-taking and richer collaboration. They’re spreading good pedagogy farther and faster and changing the very way we think about education. It’s easy to forget that we’re living and teaching in amazing times. I encourage you to embrace the changes that are happening and remember the power of technology to help you shape the future.