Trends in Education Technology

Enterasys Secure Networks recently compiled surveys from educators on the adoption of education technology and their corresponding styles of teaching in K-12  classrooms. The result is an informative infographic which can be viewed here as well as an intriguing look at this transition. To summarize, the most common technologies being adopted in classrooms today include digital textbooks, online assessments, and social media. However, many schools still lack the infrastructure to make these transitions easily or at all. So, what does this all mean?

Well, we live in an increasingly technology-driven world and education in this country will with all likelihood continue to adjust in order to prepare students for the new world which they will eventually plunge into. The adoption of new technologies in order to do this is both inevitable and incredibly interesting. Most of these technologies were not specifically engineered for the classroom, and thus must be adapted by either companies or educators in order to be incorporated effectively. Even technologies which had no foreseeable academic purpose are beginning to be used, and according to this forward-looking research will be used with more frequency in the future.

What are the benefits of these technologies? Let’s look at digital curriculum content in the form of digital textbooks, for instance. Digital textbooks give students instant access to curriculum material, not to mention saving kids from a lot of future back pain. At 37%, the portion of teachers planning to transition to using solely digital textbooks in the next few years is relatively high. This seems to speak to the increase in quality of learning that this technology provides, or at least that there are a lot of forward-thinking teachers out there.

But, also fairly high is the percentage of teachers who don’t believe their current network infrastructures could easily support such a transition. Herein lies the problem. In order to adopt the majority of new education technology, schools need to have a capable infrastructure in place. The schools that don’t, or don’t plan to improve upon theirs at least, will likely be left behind when it comes to the implementation of newer teaching methods. Is this a bad thing? Well, its certainly not positive, but its not the end of the world either. These teaching methods, being new, haven’t had much time to be tested for practicality or efficiency. Coming late to the game when technology and the implementation of it will have made progress, might be an alright way to go.

Moving on, the use of social media in the classrooms results in what are perhaps the most surprising statistics. The use of platforms like Moodle make logical sense, but that teachers are in increasing numbers using websites like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook shows a willingness to adapt to the world as it is today. What better way to reach kids on their level than using platforms which have recently become part of their daily lives?

We may not know what the future will hold, but it seems clear that education is transforming and technology is on the rise.

What do you think?

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