Future Directions of Education - Part 1

Current Trends in Education.

Each year the Horizon Report releases a summary of current and future trends in education. Many of the topics that feature in the report are discussed frequently by educators on Twitter and Google Plus.

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in K-12 Education 

Long-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for five or more years

  • Rethinking How Schools Work:How do we reinvent the traditional classroom and the school experience? Pedagogy such as project based learning are already implemented in many schools. How do we take these pedagogies and remove restrictions such as timetables and bells. Schools like Delaney College in Granville, NSW, Australia have begun to implement a new approach to school using project based learning across year 7.
  • Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches:The report includes examples of how schools are implementing different methods to achieve deep learning. A practical approach would be for students to brainstorming and researching solutions to pressing local and global issues and implementing them in their community.

Mid-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for three to five years 

  • Increasing Use of Collaborative Learning Approaches:The advent of programs like Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Microsoft 365 (MS365) enable students to work together and create in the space work space. These programs remove the need to email files back and forth. It empowers students to work together and not be in the same room. Group projects just took on an entirely new form. Add to this collaborative gaming with tools like Minecraft and you cater for students on a new level. MineClass.org is a Minecraft server created by students for students. Students from different schools have worked together to develop challenges in a virtual world for fellow students. The world is moderated by +Matt Richards in Wellington NZ. 
  • Shift from Students as Consumers to Creators:Shifting the focus of student learning from one of consumerism to creation is a huge shift in many schools. The educators focus is to maintain learning outcomes using different pedagogical methods. This main difference is the role of the teacher. Rather than content delivery the teacher focuses on delivery of skills, and students use those skills to locate information and create projects that showcase their learning. This movie, by one of my students, is a parody of Bear Grylls and is called Bear Cub. It is the product of a research project on national parks and achieves literacy and drama outcomes. The two students who created this movie wrote the script and produced the movie themselves with minimal assistance.

Short-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for one to two years 

Year 3 GoldiBlocks
and Structure
+Meridith Ebbs (iMerinet) 
  • Increasing Use of Blended Learning:Blended learning is when a course uses a combination of face to face time and online self paced time for students. Schools are now looking at offering courses using a blended format. Blended learning allows schools to offer courses and over come the problem of timetabling clashes and low student interest. I recently blogged about a course I have been facilitating for a group of students. This style of course also allows schools to extend their enrolments to off site students, such as this online dance class offered by St Columba Anglican School, NSW, Australia.
  • Rise of STEAM Learning:STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. STEAM is a recent movement to include the arts in the STEM curriculum. While a relatively new concept in Australia the USA has used the term STEM for several years. The STEAM movement looks at integrating a more applied approach to teaching this area of study. An example of this would be investigating the:
    • physics of dance
    • maths of music
    • applied problem solving in maths
    • construction of bridges for strength
    • Read here for some ideas

Year 3 - Build a structure
to support a book
+Meridith Ebbs (iMerinet) 
Year 3 investigating the
structure of 3D shapes.
+Meridith Ebbs (iMerinet)