Schools are rethinking the roles of teachers, finding new approaches to learning, and starting to use more open educational resources (OER). All three are emerging technology trends that will have an impact over the next year or two, according to the Horizon Report 2014 K-12 Edition.
Redefining teachers as mentors who guide groups and individual learners through technology-based lessons tops the list. Schools are also emphasizing technologies that promote college and career readiness skills and using OER to keep budgets in line.
The report noted that more hybrid classes will be used within the next three to five years, allowing students to do online homework at home and free up class time for group discussions and projects. The report said long-range trends include the use of more intuitive technology through mobile devices and gaming systems, a focus on innovative school designs, and restructuring schedules to provide more flexibility.
“As online learning and free educational content becomes more pervasive, stakeholders and administrators must seriously consider what schools can provide that cannot be replicated by other sources,” the authors of the report wrote. “It is no longer necessary for parents to send their children to school for them to become knowledgeable and gain skills that will lead them to gainful employment. There are, however, valuable skills and attitudes that many believe can only be acquired in school settings.”