Recent Developments in Education and Schooling
As technology continues to become an increasingly large part of American society, it has also become an increasing part of education. As a result, teachers are trying to develop curriculums and tools that relate to social media, video games, and pop culture, because children are already accustomed to those mediums. Educational software companies are trying to recreate programs that are similar to social media programs, but would safeguard privacy within the context of the school system and the classroom.
Current Innovations in Education
In a similar vein, many schools are turning to technology to transform boring classroom exercises into more stimulating and exciting experiments. Students are often encouraged to bring their own technological devices into the classroom, such as tablets, in order to complete their own experiments. Vocabulary drills can be turned into computer games and science experiments can be performed on-screen.
Another trend is implementing a set of academic standards called the common core standards. This legislation outlines academic expectations for students in English and math. The expectations are based on grade level and have been adopted by 45 states, despite being somewhat controversial. American educational curriculums have traditionally been under local control. Recently, the notion has become that there should be a common set of expectations in order to accommodate families who relocate and need to change school districts.
Additionally, common core standards can help break down barriers and ease communications between different communities and types of people. The hope is that common core standards will allow American students to be more competitive on an international level.
There is a trend toward learning outside of the classroom. Informal education continues to happen in science museums and nature centers with the growing recognition that hands-on learning can be more beneficial and reinforce concepts learned in traditional classroom settings. Post-secondary education institutions are adopting this trend, as well, offering open online courses to virtually anyone who has an Internet connection to access them.
Future School Trends
We are likely to see some continued exploration of alternative progress reporting or perhaps the elimination of letter grades altogether. Although complete elimination of letter grades is probably quite far in the future, it is likely that alternative forms of grading and reporting will be used in at least some capacity and perhaps in conjunction with the letter grades themselves.
Alternative schooling models and small school start-ups will continue to emerge, which may cause some disputes over funding, and even lead to venture-capital funding for these entities. Right now, venture capitalists are focusing on social media, content, and information, but as education and technology continue to intertwine, it is expected that venture capitalists will take an interest in education as well.
While the focus last year tended to be on hardware such as the iPad and how devices could be successfully used in the classroom, now the focus is expected to turn to apps and other mobile learning models. In other words, the focus will be less on the devices themselves and more on the programs and systems that the devices actually use.
- Digital Technology Leaves Children Lacking Innovation, by Redorbit.com
- Should High School Teams Use Social Media to Promote their Athletic Games, by Eric Holden at Yahoo.com
- Common Core Implementation Called Worse Than Healthcare Launch, by Valerie Strauss at Washingtonpost.com
- Educational Software for Schools, by Core-learning.com
- Software Learning Elements, by Aspexsoftware.com
- Innovation Schools, by Cde.state.co.us
- History of the Grading System, by ehow.com
- Why Take Online Courses, by Articles.student.com
- Technology in Education, by Edweek.org
- iTunes U Evolving into Teacher Resource, by Dennis Carter at Eschoolnews.com
- Web 2.0 Technologies in School, by Eric Johnson on YouTube
- Technology in School, by Jared Rose on YouTube
- Teaching With Technology, by Google.com/iTunes
- Online Learning, by Eschoolnews.com
- iPad in Education, by Apple.com
- iOS Special Education by Apple.com
- Vocabulary Drills, by Edward Fry at Amazon.com, available in paperback
- Rethinking Technology in Schools, by Amazon.com
- Web 2.0 New Tools, New Schools, by Gwen Solomon at Amazon.com