T.H.E. Journal tapped five experts in instructional technology for their predictions, guesses, expectations, and wild conjectures on the status of 10 trending topics affecting all levels of education in the coming year.
According to this panel, topics that are likely to heat up in the next 12 months—or remain hot if already in the red zone—include the bring-your-own-device scenario, using social media as a tool for teaching and learning, and deploying iPads and other tablets in education. Also, the temperature is rising on learning analytics, as schools come under greater pressure to prove student success.
Topics deemed lukewarm (although possibly still hot for some) include game-based learning, digital badges, learning management systems, and, maybe surprisingly, open educational resources (OER). The panel thinks OER will cool off for higher education as more people realize how much time and cost go into finding and prepping materials for students. Learning management systems are too widespread to be hot anymore. Games and digital badges, panelists agree, are good ideas but difficult for schools to implement and integrate appropriately.
Two once-hot topics are losing steam. Desktop computers are being overtaken by mobile devices in the classroom. E-portfolios (online repositories providing a record of what individual students mastered and produced) were popular for a time until schools began to encounter technical hurdles in hosting them. Some schools are also inconsistent in how information and materials are preserved in students’ e-portfolios.
Do you agree with the panel’s assessment of these topics? Are there any other educational topics that may turn red-hot in 2014?