It’s time once again for my annual review of the dominant trends in education technology. This will be the fourth year of my penning this series – long enough for me to feel like it’s become a veritable year-end tradition, and long enough for me to reflect beyond the single year in the arc of recent ed-tech history.
When I first started writing about the top trends – way back in 2010 – we were in the early days of a significant resurgence in ed-tech adoption and ed-tech entrepreneurship. I struggled then to convince editors that I should even cover the space. But soon enough, stories about the promise of education and technology filtered out beyond the tech or education trade press, and – thanks in no small part to Khan Academy – into the mainstream news as well. Oh sure, there were still lots of examples of schools banning computing devices and blocking websites (particularly social media). But there was a sense of excitement and promise among students, teachers, parents, principals, politicians, business folks, investors, journalists. Plus, as of the spring of 2010, there were iPads.
And that changed everything. Or something like that. “The iPad will revolutionize education,” or so the headlines promised. But three years later, as I plan this end-of-year review, I’m struck by how very little has changed at all.
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