What’s On the Horizon for Technology and K-12 Education?

 In Mid Atlantic States

Every summer, educators and school district administrators get a breather for the upcoming school year, and ready themselves for the coming year of new students, new learning, and new technologies in the classroom.  

School technology purchasers are busy researching which audio-visual solutions to include in the school’s mix of learning tools. One of the ways these school technologists figure out what’s needed for the classroom is by studying up on education technology trends, which is what’s highlighted in the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report 2013 K-12 Edition.  

This annual report tracks and analyzes emerging technologies for classroom potential and impact. It checks the overall value of technologies in the pre-college education system, for all aspects of teaching and learning.  

The 2013 Horizon Report tries to identify the emerging technologies for the next 1-5 years in key areas for educators. The report also looks at statistics, trends, and challenges. This gives school admins and district leaders a chance to use the report for planning its technology budgeting and future purchases.  

Among the new categories in this year’s edition are Mobile Learning and Cloud Computing, both of which are sure to become a greater force in classroom technologies. But of particular importance to many in the K-12 education system is the growing adoption of BYOD acceptance. BYOD is an acronym for ‘Bring Your Own Device” and it refers to the growing use in the classroom for students to bring their own tablets, laptops or mobile devices into the classroom.  

This trend in K-12 education circles is on the rise for two reasons, according to the report:  
1) Lack of funding to buy something for the students that in fact, many of them already own from their parents; and  
2) Students already have a familiarity with their own device, and early studies are showing that student’s engagement and productivity is growing through using their own devices.   

The Horizon report notes that among all the devices being brought to school for classroom use, tablet computing is the fastest growing, bypassing the use of laptops. Tablets like the iPad, the Nexus, Galaxy and others, with their increasing set of capabilities, options, operating systems and more, makes them a truly unique learning tool for this school-age generation.  

However, teachers, principals and other educators must strive to go beyond just using these new technological advancements for their engagement factor among students. Educators must find successful ways to join teacher and student devices together and utilize available assessment tools to consistently check for understanding. Although one-to-one is the wave of the future, classrooms still need to be equipped with a way to present information to the whole class in the form of a large format display or digital projector and screen. Whether it’s installing or integrating digital audio-visual equipment, assessment tools and other multi-media solutions in the classroom, CCS Presentation Systems can help.

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