Tag Archives: Trends


Why Do Students Really Take Selfies?

You may currently be entrenched in back-to-school craziness, but if you find the time to pick your head up out of your piles of (hopefully paperless) paperwork and organization tasks, you’ll see your students taking selfies left and right. If you’re not clear on the selfie trend yet, you can do a little bit of reading here (or better yet, do an Image search for ‘duck face selfie’ or ‘selfie gone wrong’. Do it at home, you may find some NSFW images hiding in there)

So what’s up with selfies? Whether this is a totally new concept to you and you wonder what all those whippersnappers are doing taking copious photos of themselves from weird angles or if you’re a selfie-taker yourself, the handy infographic below offers some interesting stats on this trend that is so popular with students of all ages these days. Do you take selfies? Do people taking them drive you nuts? Share your thoughts with the Edudemic community by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

What’s Up With Students and Selfies?

  • 74% of phone users are annoyed by people taking selfies
  • Most of these cite the way people pose in their photos
  • 34% take selfies to document their personal appearance
  • 23% do it to capture a special moment
  • 19% do it to capture their location
  • 16% do it to capture the people they are with
  • 69% of 18-29 year olds have taken a selfie
  • While only 37% of 45-60 year olds have (what happened to the rest of us in between?)
  • The younger group mentioned above was most likely to take the selfie to capture their personal appearance, while the older group did it to capture a special moment with someone special
  • Women are 19% more likely to take a ‘personal appearance’ selfie than men
  • Women are 22% more likely to take 4 or more photos before posting to social media
  • Women are also 8% more likely to be using social media than men
  • 6% of selfie takers take over 9 photos before posting



What Are The Biggest Online Learning Trends And Challenges?

Online learning takes many forms these days. From all-online degree programs to taking one class online as part of a more traditional, in person degree program, to blended and flipped classrooms, more and more teachers and students have some type of online component to their teaching and learning. 

Since learning online can take many different forms, it is interesting to look at some of the trends and challenges that moving from an in-person to a virtual environment can pose. The handy infographic below (from the awesome folks over at Education Dive), takes a gander at some of the trends in online learning (and a few fun statistics) and some of the challenges that online learning poses. Do you teach online? What challenges do you face? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Online Learning Trends and Challenges

  • Decision making for online programs is increasingly being centralized to the provost level
  • This ensures better risk management, efficiency, and quality
  • 2.6 million students are currently enrolled in fully-online degree programs
  • 5.5 million students are taking at least one online course
  • 54% of online students are enrolled at an institution within 100 miles from home
  • 80% of online students want to bring credit with them from another program
  • 66% did not choose the least expensive program
  • 50% would need financial aid
  • 20% wouldn’t attend if they did not receive aid
  • The vast majority of students preferred “90% job placement” when shown 18 different marketing messages

Tips For Success (For Schools)

  • Start small and scale up as needed
  • All stakeholders should be involved from the beginning
  • Change skeptics minds with results instead of butting heads
  • If programs are already in place, leverage the experience of those that have already been involved
  • Fine tune programs before attempting to scale up
  • Don’t forget to collect and analyze data!
  • Don’t forget that online students are different than traditional students – but different doesn’t mean they need any less support!

online learning trends



How Open Badges Could Really Work In Education

Higher education institutions are abuzz with the concept of Open Badges. Defined as a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest, Open Badges are not only a hot topic as of late, but are also debated by some critics as the latest threat to higher education.

A closer look at this emerging trend reveals benefits for traditional institutions and alternative learning programs alike. Some advocates have suggested that badges representing learning and skills acquired outside the classroom, or even in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will soon supplant diplomas and course credits.


Badges in Higher Education

For higher education institutions interested in keeping pace, establishing a digital ecosystem around badges to recognize college learning, skill development and achievement is less a threat and more an opportunity. Used properly, Open Badge systems help motivate, connect, articulate and make transparent the learning that happens inside and outside classrooms during a student’s college years.

Badge-based channels must solve issues of identity, verification, validation and ongoing management to enable a secure and trusted ecosystem to emerge around credentials. College-issued badges can respond to the challenges:

Accredited higher education institutions already possess significant advantages. Colleges and universities are in an ideal position to define for the rest of the labor market the difference between serious college achievements and unsubstantiated claims, peer endorsements or gamer achievements acquired elsewhere. Most institutions will use what they already know about accreditation requirements, development and delivery of effective learning design and assessments to establish credibility behind their achievements and build their value to learners and employers.

Learning By Design

Learning by design is the first step. Institutions can begin by applying best practices in learning and assessment design principles to their college courses, or by leveraging the design already present in their curricula. Students, parents and employers can easily connect defined outcomes to job requirements, and institutions can more readily demonstrate the ROI and economic impact of their programs.

Success in College to Careers

Implementing achievement-related badge systems can also present new opportunities for colleges and employers to build new partnerships and streamline communications around higher education outcomes. Students can improve their employment prospects while still in school, and employers can benefit from greater transparency around skills and knowledge acquired from higher education.

Articulating benefits from general education and extracurricular activities. For general education courses, colleges can use learning design principles to define “soft skill” outcomes and then measure competency against these objectives. Students who demonstrate they have acquired these critical job-ready soft skills will earn job-relevant badges in areas like critical thinking, research, oral and written communication, collaboration, leadership and teamwork.

Credit Recognition

Alignment with education reform movements around credit recognition. Educational programs that use learning design to attach badges to educational experiences according to defined outcomes can streamline credit recognition. At the minimum, badged-curricula is transparent in terms of defined learning objectives and outcomes, facilitating easier comparisons between programs.

Putting Learners in Charge

The badge ecosystem isn’t just a web-enabled transcript, CV, and work portfolio rolled together. It’s also a way to structure the process of education itself. Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world.

In the larger context of higher education, it will take a concerted effort to create and implement well-designed college learning experiences that are linked to workplace competencies and skills. Many colleges and universities are already taking steps to increase accountability and demonstrate the value of their learning experiences to students, parents, alumni, employers and others.

By Peter Janzow, Pearson Open Badge Lead


4 Technology Trends Changing Higher Education


Technology has had a huge impact on the education system worldwide, transforming how students learn, share and gather information.

The adoption of technologies like mobile apps, cloud computing and game-based learning has helped students be more productive. From being consumers, students are now becoming creators and innovators, thanks to technology’s ubiquity.
As universities continue to adopt new technology for higher education, here are some of the future learning trends to expect in the next few years:

Learning Analytics

The New Media Consortium (NMC) defines learning analytics as a “field associated with analysing patterns and trends from big data”. Its primary goal is to help educators develop educational programs to address a student’s needs. Tailor-fit lessons make it easier for teachers to teach effectively and students can now cope with their lessons.

The University of New England developed the Automated Wellness Engine or AWE. It was designed to identify students who were experiencing difficulty with their study programs. This enables the faculty to intervene and refer their students to the proper department.

Ms Rhonda Leece, the university’s Assistant Director for Student Services, said that “with AWE, we are fundamentally renewing our commitment to students”. It’s about creating personal connections with students to encourage them to learn.

3D Printing

Developed in the mid-1980s, 3D printing is the process of making products and parts using a computer. It’s a faster and more cost-effective way of building parts from computer-aided designs (CAD). Aside from the manufacturing sector, this technology is also being used in the classroom as well. Since it produces less noise and is clean, it fits right inside the classroom. No intensive maintenance required.

Together with Autodesk and Quantum Victoria, the University of Melbourne presented the 3D Printing Showcase last November, 2013. One of the objects displayed was a 3D printed replica of Ned Kelly’s death mask. It also gave students and teachers a glimpse of what they can do with this technology.

Soula Bennett of Quantum Victoria believes that it will give teachers and students “access to tomorrow’s technology today”. 3D printing will definitely enrich a student’s learning experience.

Mobile Apps

During the past year alone, students are now turning to their mobile devices to access academic resources. Due to the flexibility of these devices, as well as their interactivity and convenience, the devices have made learning mobile and more attractive. Now, universities are adopting these technologies for their students to use.

Apps, or applications, have become indispensable tools for learning. In fact, many courses, such as Information Technology courses, have integrated them into their curriculum. Mobile apps help foster creativity through content creation. Students learn to utilise a device’s camera, microphone and other sensors to express their ideas.

James Eunson, a former student at Monash University, developed an app to help his fellow students find their way through the campus. They can also check the latest news, locate staff and see the other six Monash Universities around the world. It’s like having the entire university in your pocket.

Game-Based Learning

For the past decade, games have proved to be effective tools for learning. They are helping students learn soft skills like critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and communication. Now, ARGs (alternate reality games) and MMOGs (massive multiplayer online games) are teaching them how to be more sociable and collaborative. These can also be used to teach cross-curricular concepts to engage students to learn more.

The “Open Orchestra” simulation game at McGill University uses high-definition cameras to give music students a feel of playing with a full orchestra. This also familiarises them with the different musical disciplines to expand their skills.

Game-based learning can provide students with the right skills and knowledge for their future. CNN’s Education Writer, Justin Marquis Ph.D., believes that gaming shouldn’t be used “as an area of inquiry in higher education”. Rather, it should be used to reinvent the university experience and push students to be innovators.

Technology will always play an important role in higher education. As it evolves, educators will continue to integrate these to make learning more engaging and productive.


Apps vs Web Tools: Key Factoids To Know About Both Options

Using smartphones and tablets in the classroom isn’t necessarily innovative anymore. For some schools it is the norm, still others are just jumping on the bandwagon of using mobile devices (both in BYOD environments and in scenarios where schools supply the technology).

That isn’t to say that a lot of classrooms aren’t using desktop and laptop computers anymore, but a lot of data is pointing to the fact that apps are the future, not the web. The handy infographic below takes a look at some interesting statistics on apps vs. web tools.

What do you think – do you tend to use more web tools or apps? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Apps vs. Web Tools: Who Wins?

  • There are about 7.3 billion mobile devices worldwide – for 7 billion people
  • About 1.5 billion of these are smartphones
  • It took 2 years to sell 1 million iPods
  • 1 million iPhones were sold in 74 days (at the release in 2007)
  • 90% of US workers use their personal mobile devices for/at work
  • Nearly 40% of internet time is spent on mobile devices
  • 50 billion Apple apps have been downloaded
  • 48 billion Google apps have been downloaded
  • 1 in 4 apps are downloaded and never used again
  • There are over 2 million apps in the Google play and Apple apps store
  • GetJar claims to be the largest independent app store
  • Kik, What’sApp, WeChat, Line, Tango, Message Me, Viber, Hike, Nimbuzz, and Kakao Talk are all free messaging apps, many with well over 100 million users (plus)
  • The most popular free, paid and highest grossing app categories are dominated by games
  • Other popular apps are YouTube, Vine, Pandora, and Google Maps
  • 86% of mobile time is spent on apps, 14% on browser
  • It is expected there will be 4.4 billion mobile app users by 2017
  • By 2016, more than 50% of apps will be hybrid (for different types of devices)



adult ed

The Current State of Adult Education

So often when we talk about education, we’re talking about school aged children. Realistically, that is what is most relevant to Edudemic readers based on who we hear from (lesson here: speak up if you want us to share things more geared towards other types of teachers!). In reality, there are many, many adults participating in the educational landscape – from the student end. With the job market moving towards being more technologically based than ever before, more adults than ever are heading back to school – or going for the first time. With so many jobs becoming STEM based and many requiring postsecondary education, this should come as no surprise. The handy infographic below takes a look at the current state of adult education – showing just how large a chunk of education is dedicated to adult learners. Keep reading to learn more!

The Current State of Adult Education

  • In the US adult education is a $104 billion industry
  • 38% of all postsecondary learners are adult students
  • Adults represent the fastest growing population  in higher education
  • The average tuition for community college is $3,131, for public college $8,893, and for private college, $29,056
  • 85% of employers offer some type of reimbursement for tuition
  • The student financial aid and scholarships office awards $320 million in scholarships annually, and 78% of applicants receive some sort of financial aid from them
  • Personal growth, learning something new, and keeping up with the job market are the main reasons adults say they go back to school
  • 80% of baby boomers intent to keep working past retirement
  • 62% of baby boomers think they need to attain new skills to continue working
  • Adult students who go back to school show a 22% return on their investment, as opposed to a 12% return for traditional students


adult education

blended learning trends

10 Blended Learning Trends

Blended learning can tick a lot of boxes for a lot of different teachers who teach in potentially quite different scenarios. From 1:1 classrooms and schools with plenty of iPads to BYOD classes filled with different types (and amounts) of technology, blended learning can help nearly every teacher make learning more personalized and more interesting for their students.  Implementing a blended learning program in your classroom can be a great way to put the technology tools you have – whatever they may be – to use. The handy infographic below takes a look at 10 blended learning trends that are showing up in today’s classrooms. Keep reading to learn more!

10 Blended Learning Trends

  1. The student-centered learning experience – focus on the students rather than on the teacher offers a more inquiry driven and experiential learning experience
  2. Soaring numbers of digital learners – the number of students participating in classroom-only education is shrinking (albeit slowly) while the number of students participating in some type of online learning is steadily growing (despite making up a much smaller percentage of students)
  3. Building higher order thinking skills – students are required to look at information more critically rather than just trying to memorize what is presented to them in class
  4. Realizing benefits for both teachers and students – this approach benefits not only the students, but teachers too!
  5. A framework for data-driven decision making in education – a blended approach offers more data and information for teachers, administrators, and parents to make more informed decisions
  6. A personalized learning approach – by a lean, blended and interactive approach
  7. Productive gamification – bringing students to deeper learning
  8. The mobile world is where learners live now – more so for personal than school use
  9. Students have personal access to mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and digital reading devices trump desktops
  10. The need for more broadband – 72% of schools in the US lack the broadband access they need to support digital learning

10 blended learning trends

BETT small

4 Big EdTech Trends Spotted At BETT 2014

This years’ BETT show (British Education and Training Technology - the UK equivalent of ISTE or TCEA) presented a dizzying range speakers and exhibitors, and it was set against some interesting changes in UK education…

BETT logo

To name a few, the national curriculum now includes coding, schools should now be teaching character, or ‘grit’ alongside subjects, and we still have have an achievement gap to narrow despite an ever-widening income gap.

However, there is also more scope for innovation than ever before. Increased availability of online mobile devices, and more autonomy for staff in free schools and academies (state funded but free from local government control) mean that we have more freedom to come up with ways to face these challenges.

Edtech Trends for 2014:

Coding, Social Learning, Video, and Smartphones in The Classroom

Edtech trends at the Bett show this year included the increasing use of smartphones and tablets in schools, teaching code and social learning - the use of peer review through social-media like sites where students can learn from and help each other through peer-review.

Travis Allen from ischool initiative presented a campaign to promote the use of digital technologies in lessons – not to tell students to turn their smartphones off but how to use them to learn. He has a new pedagogy for the digital age: Find, Filter, Apply – Students no longer need to know everything, just how to find it, how to filter to get the most relevant info, and to apply it.

Much has been made of the new coding curriculum for schools – a problem with a lack of qualified teachers means that many classes will have to rely on ‘coding apps’ etc to teach it. However, a different approach came from an East London Computer Science teacher, Carrie Anne Philbin. She was at Bett to demonstrate the Sonic Pi project, a programming environment for the Raspberry Pi. Devised with software architect, Dr Sam Aaron, the Sonic Pi teaches coding through music. Students basically build a synthesiser, thus accidentally learn concepts such as logic, sequencing, iteration and conditionals while doing something creative and imaginative.

Philbin is also the author of Geek Gurl Diaries, a YouTube series with over 1000 viewers – created when she realised there were so few girls taking Computer Science. Not only does the content encourage student access to the subject – but the comments provide a platform for teachers and students to ask questions and share ideas.

The social learning element of video sharing has also been used elsewhere. One UK college has collaboration projects with colleges in New Zealand, Columbia and Ireland. The students use YouTube to submit a video about their work on the project. The videos are evaluated as part of their assessment, but what the students really like is getting video feedback (1-5 minutes) from say 4-6 students in other countries. Once collated provides say 30 minutes of feedback. They take a real pride in creating something to be seen by others, not just the teacher – and they are eager to hear the feedback.

David Mitchell has also been using published web content to engage students. When he got pupils aged 10-11 to write an online blog, English results for that group soared from 9% getting into the top-tier of scores in national tests to 60%. One pupil explained that “You’re not real sir, you are just a teacher” – writing something online that anyone could see made their work part of the real world, not just something for the teacher to look at. And when they found other people commenting on the blogs, they were even more engaged.

These social learning activities do not just aid learning through student motivation, they can also help to build the social skills or ‘grit’ that UK schools are now compelled to teach. When interacting online students learn that it is important to emphasise positives, celebrate success, to be constructive and also learn how to take criticism thus they learn conscientiousness, teamwork and resilience.

google in education

How Google Has Changed Student Research

You know how some days, you feel older than others? I always tend to feel old when I look at education trends and examine just how far technology has come since I was in graduate school (which really doesn’t feel that long ago).  Even though I was in graduate school during the late 2000′s,  many things still had not made the jump to being technology based. Many things were tech based, but some of the big stuff – like research- had only come about halfway.

While I certainly wasn’t sifting through paper records to find out what library had the books I needed for a lit review, I still had to call the library to order them (they didn’t let you request interlibrary loan online at that time), wait for the physical books to arrive, and then schlep them home to sift through them. I’m sure many of you have the same reaction to this as I do – blech. 

The handy infographic below takes a look at how Google has changed student research with a special focus on graduate students. Google is not only the most widely used search engine, but they’ve developed a lot of education specific research tools to help students out. Keep reading to learn more.

How Google Has Changed Research For Grad Students

  • 94% of US students equate research with using Google
  • 75% of students use Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias
  • 87%  of US adults use search engines
  • About 30% of all humans use the internet
  • Between 75 and 92% of people go online and use a search engine (varies by age group)
  • 66.7% of users use Google as their search engine
  • 12.3 billion searches per year are done with Google

Google offers many different research tools:

  • Google Scholar
  • Google App Engine
  • Chrome Flash Cards
  • Google Books
  • Google Earth
  • Google Play
  • YouTube Edu



Visual Design Trends Teachers (And Everyone) Should Know About


The web, and technology devices in general, are constantly changing, and it’s hard (even if you’re a seasoned “Googler” like me) to keep up with all the latest developments.

It is wearable devices like Google Glass and Pebble which are set to be all the rage this year, and who’d have thought just a few years ago, that we’d now be considering walking around with a computer on our head. However, a recent white paper from Merge, a Digital Strategy Agency (Merge White Paper: Web Design Trends for 2014 and Beyond) came up with two interesting observations for web design trends in 2014. Keep these trends in mind as you use technology in your classrooms: Simple is good. Interactive is good.

Simple, Simple, Simple


The first is simplified design. The white paper mentions that “we will see design continue to be simplified with single page websites, flat design, fixed headers and minimalism overall, powered partly by the necessity of mobile requirements and partly by what the consumers want (as evidenced by the simple elegance of the iPhone and Windows 8 UI design)”.

In a world where new technology is forever pushing the boundaries of design, it seems that actually, what we’re now doing is stripping back the complicated elements, and following the golden rule of simplicity.

Some of the advantages of simple web design, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality, include: the website is easier to navigate; important content can take centre stage (and isn’t lost in the background); simple code is easier to debug; and the website will load faster.

So what does this mean for students, and how we teach web design in the classroom? It means that students should consider less complex web designs and instead of asking themselves what’s missing in a design, they should perhaps ask themselves what could in fact be taken away.

They can play around with the concept of a single page website, where all the content lives on a single web page. An example of an accomplished single page website is Milk and Pixels, a designer of web applications: http://milkandpixels.com.

They can have a go at flat design, where there are no shadows, reflections or beveled edges. They could consider why some pages have fixed headers, where the user can scroll through a page and its content, yet still see the header even if they are at the bottom of the page.

In this way, post web design project, students can consider whether each and every element on their own web pages are really needed. A simple design can (arguably) leave more time for creative thinking in regards to each and every one of the elements on each page.

Interactive Graphics

The second interesting observation for web design trends in 2014 according to Merge’s white paper was “Interactive Infographics”. Infographics have taken the digital world by storm and have become a popular way to take data and present it in a visual, colorful and clear way.

There are a number of tools out there that allow you to make your graphics interactive. You can use them to create scrolling effects, mouseover effects, or allow users to enter some of their own information to make the data more personalized and useful to them! These types of features do take a little more time and effort than static images, but the end result can be much more exciting and motivating for the student!


ipads in education shot

4 Popular Classroom Creation Tools (And Why They Matter)

ipads in education shot

Yesterday, we talked about six edtech trends in higher education that were highlighted by the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition One of the trends identified for the second horizon (a mid-range trend, driving changes in higher education within three to five years) is a shift from students being consumers to being creators.

“A  shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice on university campuses all over the world as students across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content. Creativity, as illustrated by the growth of user-generated videos, maker communities, and crowdfunded projects in the past couple years, is increasingly the means for active, hands-on learning. University departments in areas that have not traditionally had lab or hands-on components are shifting to incorporate hands-on learning experiences as an integral part of the curriculum. Courses and degree plans across all disciplines at institutions are in the process of changing to reflect the importance of media creation, design, and entrepreneurship.” – from the NMC Horizon Report

When students are creating, they’re not just seeing and memorizing material, they’re seeing it, internalizing it, and using it to create something. Applying the knowledge you’re gaining is one of the best ways to retain it and better understand it, so creating as a part of education is becoming a common theme. Makerspaces (or hackerspaces) are becoming more common, and many teachers are integrating that concept into their classrooms. There are a lot of different resources out there to give students a much more “hands-on” experience. Take a look at a few of our favorites below!

Creating in the Classroom


DIY.org is a website and app based tool that lets students choose from a very wide range of skills they’d like to acquire, and easily get started learning them. From building insect habitats to creating a solar cooker to making your own guitar, there is a huge array of choices. Users have a choice of different activities they want to practice for each skill, so there is a level of personalization available.


Seemingly basic, perhaps, but making music with Garage Band is a fun digital creation tool. You can use it in app form or on your desktop or laptop, there are built in lessons for piano and guitar, and users can easily get started composing. Lots of learning tools are wrapped into a really fun package! The downside is that it is not available for Windows based users.


iMovie is another semi-ubiquitous program that can serve classrooms well. Available for your desktop/laptop or in app form, this is creation at its finest. Audio, video, and other elements come together to create any type of movie you’d like. You can even make trailers for your longer films, which could serve as an excellent smaller project or a piece of a larger (mid-term or final) project.


Codeacademy makes learning to code easy and fun. That sounds pretty cheesy, doesn’t it? That said, it is true – it turns something that can seem daunting and/or complicated into a fun and visual activity. The site offers a lot of different learn to code options and great step by step instructions with associated tasks to get you on your way to building fun digital creations (like games and animated stuff!).


gesf trends

4 Global Education Questions Being Answered At #GESF

gesf trendsIt’ll take a global effort to create any lasting or substantial change in the world of education. As we all know all too well, change in education comes slowly, if at all. It typically happens in a bottom-up manner where the largest group of people identify a trend, try it out, incorporate it into the classroom, and then tell their colleagues about it. Thanks to professional learning networks and social media (Twitter hashtags like #edchat, for example), this process has become faster and more efficient. Trends are discovered, tested, and either adopted or forgotten.

So that’s how education trends work in a very short nutshell. Got it?

What happens when global education leaders get together and leverage the power of social media, digital discussion, and in-person forums? Hopefully some positive and effective change that helps the millions of people who would benefit from all the new trends and tools being used in many countries.

The Global Education and Skills Forum

social media report in schoolThat’s what I’m going to check out first-hand at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF aka the ‘Davos of Education’) in Dubai this weekend. In the interest of full disclosure, my flight and hotel is paid for so I can attend this event. I wasn’t paid in any other way, though. I’ll be spending my time moderating a panel, meeting with teachers (like Vicki @coolcatteacher Davis!) and other global education leaders. We’ll be looking at education technology trends, what’s happening in non-Western markets, and who should be making the decisions about where education should go in the coming years. Big questions. Big names. Hopefully some big changes can get underway.

Global Education Questions I’ll Be Asking

Here are some of the key global education trends that will likely be discussed and evolve at GESF. I’d definitely welcome your input on what other trends you think should be discussed. I’ll be able to ask any question you may have to any of the invited guests and speakers so feel free to leave your questions down in the comments of this post or by mentioning @edudemic on Twitter.

1) What is the role of private companies in education? Is the onus on private or public (or both) organizations to enact real and lasting change?

2) How can governments nurture an effective educational change without overstepping?

3) How do we bring education to ALL countries? Is online education the answer or just a tool for the more ‘connected’ countries?

4) What role should education technology play in the modern classroom? How can it most effectively be used? How do teachers not familiar with edtech leverage it?

How To Hear About The Answers

gesf-logoThose are just a few of my questions I have come up with for both my panel and the conference in general. I’ll report back on the answers I get and also be sharing some thoughts / insight / observations on the Edudemic social media accounts. Be sure to follow @edudemic on Twitter, like Edudemic on Facebook, and introduce yourself if you’re going to be attending GESF! I’ll be the dorky guy wandering the hallways looking to make new friends. All opinions expressed are my own – while I had my flight and hotel paid for, I can of course say whatever I want about my findings and experience.

Want to keep up with the conference directly? Check out their Twitter @GESForum and GESForum on Facebook too. Like watching YouTube videos? Me too. Here’s one about the conference:


How Education Innovation Has Evolved From The Horn Book

Advances in education have always stemmed from innovation. From chalkboards, to pencils, to computers and online based activities, education has come a long way. The handy infographic below outlines a few of the technological innovations that have come to education over the years, and it highlights some current trends in education as well. And hidden down waaayyyy at the bottom are some suggestions for five ways on how to be more innovative. It can be an important reminder that innovation isn’t just for young people. Keep reading to learn more!

Current Trends in Education

5 Ways To Be More Innovative

  • Embrace change
  • Experiment more often
  • Never stop learning
  • Be an early adopter
  • Take a chance



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10 Big Education Stories You Should Know About

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The world of education moves quickly when it comes to news, trends, tools, and conferences. For example, SXSWEdu is happening as I write this and a lot of innovative ideas and buzzwords are spilling out of it. If you’re like me, you’re up to your neck in buzzwords and could use a break but that’s life.

In terms of buzzwords you should know about, keep an eye out for the word ‘teacherpreneur‘ as perhaps the biggest buzzword being bandied about SXSWEdu this week. It’s not a new term but seems to have gained some steam at the conference.

But there are a lot of other terms, trends, and stories being discussed. In an effort to try and capture and comment on the biggest stories, we’ve enlisted the help of Learn Egg who is a new way to keep on top of all the must-know education trends, tools, and more. Plus there’s a bit of sass thrown in for good measure. Learn Egg is educational but that doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring, right?

Here are our picks for the must-read education stories of the past few days. You can see all these stories, some witty remarks, and more over at Learn Egg. Enjoy!

Where are Educators in the Edtech Revolution?

Why veteran teachers are every bit as ‘lean’ and ‘agile’ as the whippersnappers.

Digital Badges Need Mass to Matter

The next iteration of badges will need to be more than just pretty buttons.

No More MOOCs: Pay Attention to Beyonce

The beauty of personalized, passion-based learning.

What Does The Google Investment in Renaissance Learning Mean?

Personalized learning paths are rapidly becoming a reality – and the big guys will play a key role in innovation.

Despite Low Completion Rates, Harvard And MIT Say MOOCs Work

Did you walk away before it was over?

Writing a digital school strategy

Don’t throw money at EdTech. Plan it.

Ten reasons why handheld devices should be banned for children under the age of 12

There’s research and everything.

Eliminate Tech from the Education Discussion

When will we reach a point where we will discuss Education, teaching and learning without having to debate technology?

Snooping professor or friendly don? The ethics of university learning analytics

Could education data be used in ways undesirable to students?

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The 6 Education Technology Trends You Should Know About

Not too long ago, the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition was released, with the aim of examining emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching and learning within higher education settings.

This is the eleventh time the New Media Consortium has put out this report, and it is interesting to look back and see what they had to say last year, as compared with their findings this year. In the report, the NMC teams with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative to identify six trends that are accelerating the adoption of technology in higher education.

The report identifies the technologies, and then separates them into three timeframes (called Horizons) that they think will match when each technology will enter mainstream use. Just for reference, last year’s identified trends were MOOCs (Horizon 1),  tablet computing (Horizon 1), games/gamification (Horizon 2),  learning analytics (Horizon 2),  3-D printing (Horizon 3), and wearable technologies (Horizon 3).

This year, the group has identified social media (Horizon 1), integration of hybrid, online and collaborative learning (Horizon 1), the rise of data driven learning and assessment (Horizon 2), students as creators instead of consumers (Horizon 2), agile approaches to change (Horizon 3), and the evolution of online learning (Horizon 3).

While you’re welcome to download and peruse the whole report from the NMC website, we’ve decided just to highlight the key trends that they’ve identified to get you thinking.

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2014′s Key Trends

(all quotations from the NMC Horizon Report)

Social Media -  “Educators, students, alumni, and the general public routinely use social media to share news about scientific and other developments. The impact of these changes in scholarly communication and on the credibility of information remains to be seen, but it is clear that social media has found significant traction in almost every education sector.”

Hybrid, Online, and Collaborative Learning - “An increasing number of universities are incorporating online environments into courses of all kinds, which is making the content more dynamic, flexible, and accessible to a larger number of students,”

Data Driven Learning and Assessment - “As learners participate in online activities, they leave an increasingly clear trail of analytics data that can be mined for insights.”

Students Shifting From Consumers to Creators - “University departments in areas that have not traditionally had lab or hands-on components are shifting to incorporate hands-on learning experiences as an integral part of the curriculum.”

Agile Approaches to Change - “When educators are able to experiment with new technologies and approaches before implementing them in courses, they have the opportunity to evaluate them and make improvements to teaching models.”

The Evolution of Online Learning - “The value that online learning offers is now well understood, with flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies chief among the list of appeals.”


10 EdTech Stories We’re Reading This Week

newsipadLet’s face it. Busy teachers can’t monitor the edtech and overall education world 24-7. We may try … but you gotta sleep sometime. There’s just so much happening! From how a major school district just implemented a 1:1 iPad solution to a look at what the big names in education are saying … most teachers are lucky if they catch a glimpse of any of these bits of info.

Lucky for you, we’re starting up a regular ‘news digest’ on Edudemic that’s powered by Learn Egg. What is that, you may ask? It’s an education news dashboard that has a curated list of the biggest and most interesting stories happening in the world of education. You can check out the site and scan it to see if any stories interest you and then jump off to that story. I’m proud to be offering at least some help curating Learn Egg by adding a few of my favorite stories. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to try and bring Edudemic readers a sort of ‘top 10′ list of articles that I like. Feel free to add your own stories over at Learn Egg anytime and they’ll check them out!

  • What Will It Take for iPads to Upend Teaching and Learning?
    How does the tablet become transformative?
  • Overcoming Faculty fear of EdTech
    Hint: It takes a long time
  • 3 things to include in your digital learning strategic plan
    The shared vision educators rally around to guide effective technology implementation.
  • Lots of EdTech, not many signs of success
    In the last five years UK schools have spent more than £1 billion on digital technology.
  • How to Jumpstart Tech Use In Low-Income Schools
    “Every child deserves an amazing education no matter who they are, no matter where they come from.”
  • A new antidote for snow days: ‘e-learning days’
    Some schools in at least five snow-bound states — Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania — are allowing “e-learning days.”
  • Five Elements that Promote Learner Collaboration and Group Work in Online Courses
    Strategies and skill development for instructors wanting to create, facilitate and encourage collaboration among students working in groups.
  • Forget Coding, Let’s Change Up How We Teach Math!
    The math classroom is the perfect place to introduce programming basics.
  • 10 questions to ask when choosing education technology
    Choosing the right EdTech is about pedagogy and creativity.
  • Are Google help outs any use in education?
    Will Google’s big plans amount to anything?