BYOD, Steve Jobs Classes... What Can we Expect in 2012 in Schools?

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

BYOD, Steve Jobs Classes... What Can we Expect in 2012 in Schools?

I know what you are thinking: between all the holiday shopping, eating, revelry and milliseconds spent considering that you should make a New Year’s Resolution, why on Earth would you have had the time to think about what the tech space might look like in 2012? Well lucky for you, TMCnet has had your back these past few weeks and continues to have it moving forward as we have been outlining what you can expect in all your favorite tech sectors in the future. Whether it’s VoIP, SIP, FoIP or any of those other silly acronyms, we’ve got you covered.

But for me, nothing is more fun than surmising what is in store for the education realm when it comes to technology and, in that vein, here is the inside scoop on the gossip in the hallways about how technology will affect schools in 2012. Recently, I stumbled across an entry that shared 12 education technology trends to watch in 2012.  I’ve highlighted my favorites for you below.


The Surge of BYOD

Sure we hear about BYOD (that’s bring your own device – not bring your own beer you college students!) happening everywhere in the tech sector, particularly in the business world where employees are hoping to bring their tablets, cell phones and laptops in for business use. But experts are predicting the BYOD phenomenon to really find its niche in schools this year as students are more interested than ever before in bringing their own devices to school. Whether it’s their iPhone, tablet, e-reader, netbook or iPod Touch, administrators will definitely have their hands full in the coming year trying to administer the “no phones” in class rule.


The Big, Bad Bandwidth Wolf

Even the school that prides itself on high broadband access might find its resources strained in the coming months as the heightened number of mobile devices brought to schools, coupled with growing demands for streaming video content, means a greater likelihood for bandwidth issues. Last year, the FCC made broadband access a prominent focus of many of its efforts, arguing for its importance to both the U.S. economy and education. With kids showing no sign of slowing down when it comes to wanting to use bandwidth-hogging sites in school, it appears the big, bad bandwidth wolf may need to be slain in 2012.


Collaborative Learning to Soar

Whether it’s through Facebook groups, Twitter feeds or apps, social learning gained a strong foothold in 2011 and will most likely carry forward in 2012. With a plethora of technologies that afford students with ways to communicate and collaborate – whether they are two feet away from each other in science class BBMing about how to dissect the frog or miles away – schools will continue to see the effects of peer to peer learning. We have already seen evidence of how social learning is of great service to students, and experts posit that 2012 will also show us glimpses of how teacher to teacher collaboration can greatly benefit educators.


And now… a few predictions of my own


Cell Phones Become a Cheater’s Best Friend

If you are a teacher about to bust your student for looking up on his smartphone the answer to “When was the Bill of Rights ratified?” don’t forget to also chastise the number one accomplice in this crime – the cell phone. Thanks to countless educational apps, easy access to Wikipedia and dozens of instant messaging features, expect to see a whole lot more detentions for kids cheating in class on tests. The ability to cheat on a test has become super easy thanks to advances in technology and, accordingly, in might be smart this year for administrators to make sure their teachers are well informed of all the ways that kids can use technology to cheat.


Recess Moves Inside

In 2012, we shouldn’t be surprised if schools decide to hold recess every other day from the physical environment to the virtual one. Think of baseball on the Wii or Dance, Dance Revoluiton in the classroom as opposed to tag or hopscotch outside. With such an emphasis on Xbox and the Wii these days, and of course the prevalence of interactive apps, schools might soon see potential in having students trade in the slides at recess for the Wii remote control so as to still make good on the promise that recess will be fun.


Buh-Bye Home Ec

Classes like Home Economics, Wood and Creative Writing might soon get some competition from electives such as “Technology in the 21st Century” “How to Become the Next Steve Jobs” and “Facebook and Social Media” as high schools around the world consider offering more technology-centric electives in 2012. Much as FLES (foreign language in the elementary schools) has become a requirement for many elementary schools, technology classes might also become mandated. Here’s hoping school budgets can accommodate for more computers the way they do for cloth and fabric.





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