Technology is revolutionizing education and fundamentally changing how educators, students and parents engage the learning process.
The following are seven new technology disciplines we can expect to see in classrooms in the region and around the world. Some may take years to become established, others are already making a tremendous impact.
In One Year
1. CLOUD COMPUTING: Students and educators can use web-based tools to collaborate online. A key advantage of cloud computing is that it reduces the need for in-house investment in hardware and software. This is a major benefit where cash and other resources are constrained.
2. MULTIMEDIA AIDS: As technology costs decline, institutions are increasingly incorporating relatively affordable multimedia in the class. Educators can use multimedia tools like projectors, smart-boards, videos and animations to enhance the classroom learning experience. Audio and visual aids can encourage greater class participation and student engagement.
3. MOBILE TECHNOLOGY: As the phobia about mobile technology in the classroom fades more reasoned considerations about its value will prevail. Schools will increasingly see and seize the potential of mobile devices. Their relatively low cost and low infrastructure support requirements will help spur their adoption as powerful educational aids.
In Two to Three Years
4. OPEN CONTENT: Technology is facilitating the movement away from closed repositories of content and towards the broader concept of content as free, ubiquitous and universally accessible. Schools across the world are beginning to feel a social responsibility to create and share their own content.
5. GAMING: The productive role of play allows for experimentation, the exploration of identities, the reinforcement of values and even the highlighting of lessons that can be drawn from failure.
In Four to Five Years
6. LEARNING ANALYTICS: Learning Analytics promises to harness the power of advances in data mining, interpretation and modeling to improve understanding of teaching and learning.
7. PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: PLEs are more an approach than a technology. A PLE is characterized by a process that is individualized by design and this varies from person to person. Widespread adoption of PLEs will require a shift in attitudes toward technology, teaching and learning.