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Nine Technology Trends happening in schools

By Phil Hardin in · Solutions · February 6, 2015

By Phil Hardin, Director of Project IMPACT for Iredell-Statesville Schools

There is no doubt technology plays a critical role in education today. In keeping with the global BYOD trend and 1:1 mobile learning, students and educators are bringing their mobile devices to school and the expectation that they can use them as an instructional tool has been established.

With this progress comes the need for resources, management, and a game plan for putting all of this wonderful technology to use. With that in mind, I have seen nine key trends happening in schools.

Nine technology trends happening in schools

1) Computer Labs and desktop computers are being replaced by laptops and other mobile devices

The need for standalone labs and desktop computers is steadily decreasing due to students and staff having access to their mobile device such as a laptop or tablet.

2) Campus-wide wireless access is a necessity

With most students and staff having a mobile device, there is a need for them to be able to access their online resources from all areas of a school. The days of only having wireless access in the classroom - the classroom that happens to have the wireless laptop cart on a given day - is quickly becoming a part of educational technology history in many schools.

3) Inadequate technology support personnel 

Most school district technology departments are understaffed in the area of technicians available to support the schools. Furthermore, due to employee turnover and deficient technician training budgets, technicians in some schools lack the technical expertise to support BYOD and 1:1 projects.

 4) Technology sustainability planning is often absent 

For many schools, thinking about how large technology projects that are often purchased with one-time funding sources will be sustained into the future is many times an afterthought. This only becomes an immediate issue when schools realize an equipment lease is nearing its end or purchased hardware is becoming obsolete.

5) Number of devices per student / teachers is increasing

Historically, the focus has been on having one computer per student, but in many of today's schools, the reality is that many educators and students have multiple mobile devices that they are using on a daily basis. The increase in device numbers place increase demand on school networks and infrastructure.

6) Increased use of wireless presentation devices

Interactive whiteboards are being replaced by devices like the Apple TV which allows teachers and students to display their projects or other work effortlessly using their mobile device and the wireless network. Valuable classroom time is saved since students no longer have to leave their desks to connect their devices to a cable or go to an interactive whiteboard.

7) Increased use of video in the classroom

Both teachers and students are using video resources to bring classroom instruction to life. They are both creators and consumers of video, which places specific demands on a school's network infrastructure.

8)  Increased use of online testing

The goal of many school districts is to increase online instruction and online testing in order to help better prepare students for college and careers in the 21st century.

9) Increased use of online digital content and resources

Students are able to reach their potential through increased access to online educational resources and experts that extend learning beyond the capacities or limitations of their school or community.

Can you relate to any - or several - of these nine trends? How have you embraced, or managed, them? We will be following up on these trends with more blogs, but in the meantime welcome your input.


Phil Hardin (@mobilepj)

Phil Hardin, Executive Director of Project IMPACT for Iredell-Statesville Schools, has over 31 years of experience in education with over 20 years of service dedicated to innovating teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. He has implemented several award winning 1:1 mobile device based learning programs. Phil was the recipient of the 2013 Sylvia Charp Award for District Innovation in Technology, the 2012 NC Technology in Education Society's Outstanding Leader Award, the 2005 NC Technology Director of the Year Award, and was recognized as a Top 50 Innovator in Education for 2012.


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