Navigate: Trend Impact Quest

posted May 18, 2016, 8:26 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated May 19, 2016, 8:02 AM ]
The following infographic discusses trends in education:

There are a few of these trends that I'm particularly curious about: web-based tools, mobile learning, and gamification of learning.  I find gamification so interesting, but I do not know if it will have the most impact on education out of all of these trends.  Therefore, I'm going to have to choose web-based tools as something that will make the most impact.  Especially, free web-based tools.  During my short teaching career, I've seen students evolve from using Microsoft Word for everything to cloud-based productivity software, such as Google Drive and iCloud.  Google Drive especially has really changed the way our kids have been able to interact online and create their work.  Google Drive is free and a google account is free.  Students who previously couldn't afford computers or the Microsoft suite can now make documents that are just as professional-looking for free.  Students (and teachers) can also collaborate on documents and share files like never before.  For example, I have probably mentioned that I'm a member of a large (over 1000 educators) Facebook for AP Environmental Science educators.  The night the FRQs were released this year, someone on the page created a Google Doc that had each FRQ and we got together and created a possible rubric for the FRQs.  This was an awesome experience - watching people from around the world collaborate, offer suggestions, and create a document like this so quickly.  By the next day, there were answers and point values for each question.  People are still adding to this document.  When they have something to add, they often comment and provide a link to the research backing up their statement.  It's truly incredible!

I think these web-based tools will continue to evolve and really even the playing field for students.  Five years ago, I never would have guessed that a cheap chromebook and free Google Drive would allow a student to create everything from a "Word" document to a "PowerPoint" document.  These files can be stored for free on Google Drive and students can also upload additional files.  They no longer need an expensive computer, a paid service like Dropbox (I know you can get a small amount of storage for free), and expensive word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software.

I cannot even imagine how these tools will evolve over the next 5 years, but I can expect that they will completely change the face of education again and in ways that I can't even imagine!