Monday, September 6, 2010

Current trends

As promised, after reviewing materials and notes from the summer, I have formed some opinions on what I deem to be the current IT trends. Most of this is based on the websites, software packages, and presentations that I picked up on at the 2010 ISTE convention in Denver.

Several movements are emerging or have emerged for Education in the Web 2.0 environment.
  1. Greater proliferation of quality online educational content by amateurs and professional developers.
  2. Increased amount of IT usage and studies of its effectiveness.
  3. Learning systems or online curricula have been designed for online or interactive whiteboard use. Conceivably, these could take the place of textbooks and include standards-based materials for each state. Many learning systems follow a multiple-choice format and are intentionally directed towards standardized test preparation.
  4. Packaged administrative solutions for districts or schools with online communication, engagement, and management.
  5. There is a pedagogical dilemma that exists between many technological solutions versus best education practices.
My award for best of show at ISTE 2010 is SAFARI Montage. This is a visual instruction package that allows teachers to incorporate video-on-demand instructional material from publishers such as National Geographic, NASA, PBS, The History Channel, Scholastic, Schlessinger Media, BBC Worldwide, Disney Education, and much more. Teachers have the ability to format multimedia lesson plans using a combination of text, video excerpts, and live-video feeds. The content can be played on computers in the classroom or at home, as well as on interactive whiteboards. The system allows for the integration of a document camera for presentations, and classroom camera feeds for district-wide productions, video conferencing, or distance learning. What I liked best about SAFARI Montage is that it didn't push a designed curriculum but rather presented itself as resource tool for the teacher to format his or her own lesson designs. I would be very excited if I was a teacher on the receiving end of this package.

Most likely, I'll be adding to this post so please revisit it in the future.
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