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A Current and Future Look at Technology in K-12 Education

Technology has become an integral part of the K-12 school system, with many schools providing a 1:1 student-device ratio. A recent survey by the Consortium for School Networking (2018) found that the majority of middle and high schools had 1:1 device per student, with predictions for continued growth over the next three years. Google education apps and Chromebooks have also become a staple in many schools with reports of over half of America’s K-12 students utilizing Google education tools and products (Singer, 2017). It is clear than the future of education will be embedded in technology. With its impressive abilities and rapid advances, it is redesigning the classroom, creating more opportunities for online, mobile, and virtual education. Despite even the youngest generation’s embrace of technology, several barriers exist, preventing the full potential of digital learning. Technology is expensive and the more capable and efficient it becomes, the higher the cost increases. With regular updates, improvements, and new functions, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest programs and devices, unfortunate for most schools’ budgets and some teachers. As New Media Consortium and Consortium for School Networking 2017 Horizon Report explains, teachers are expected to stay current with the constantly changing educational technologies, especially in regards to assessment and instruction.

It seems more and more content is being delivered online with hybrid and blended courses, virtual schools, and entirely online schooling options. Even in the physical classroom, students spend significant amounts of time face to screen vs. face to face. With considerable technology access and use, as well as the regard for social media presence, students’ learning preferences are reflecting the mobile age and an active, hands-on approach to learning with significantly less lecturing has become a viable solution (Onyema & Daniil, 2017). In response, many classrooms are transitioning to a flipped learning method. The role of the teacher is shifting from the primary source of information, to a guide and facilitator. Through flipped classrooms, teachers can facilitate and support peer-to-peer learning, in addition to incorporating instructional technology, activity modules, project based learning, group discussions, and hands-on demonstrations.


References

Consortium for School Networking. (2018). CoSN’s 2018-2019 annual infrastructure report. Retrieved from https://www.cosn.org/sites/default/files/CoSNs%202018%202019%20Annual%20Infrastructure%20Survey%20Report%20final_0.pdf

New Media Consortium & Consortium for School Networking. (2017). NMC/CoSN horizon report > 2017 K-12 edition. Retrieved from https://cdn.nmc.org/media/2017-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Onyema, O. G., & Daniil, P. (2017). Educating the 21st century learners: Are educators using appropriate learning models for honing skills in the mobile age? Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 20(2). Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/apps/doc/A539391632/AONE?u=vic_liberty&sid=AONE&xid=2b9e155d

Singer, N. (2017, May 13). How Google took over the classroom. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html

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