We recently shared an article that discussed some of the barriers educators face when bringing edtech (educational technology) into classroom. It seems like we hear about new developments in technology on a regular basis and educators often find themselves struggling to keep up with each new edtech trend. So, when it comes to edtech, what is it that teachers are most interested in?
Today we are examining the results of a survey that asked over 100 European and North American teachers to rate their interest in the top technological trends in education today. The top rated edtech trends in this survey were Online Educational Resources, Web Tools for Education, Blended Learning, Personal Learning Networks, and Social Media in Education. In each of these categories, 96% or more of survey respondents reported that they were very interested in these educational trends.
Online Educational Resources – The term Online Educational Resources is fairly self-explanatory. Essentially this phrase refers to the online sources of education news, information, research, and opinions you find interesting or useful. Examples of online educational resources would be your favorite education-centered blogs, online education and edtech news and research websites, TED talks and education-related podcasts, or any other online source of educational information.
Web Tools for Education – If you are using some sort of educational tool that is based on an Internet platform, you are using a Web Tool for Education. This term basically encompasses any of the online gadgets in your education repertoire. Online grade books, classroom behavior management systems, flash cards, assessment tools, etc., would be considered Web Tools for Education.
Blended Learning – Blended learning is a broad term that encompasses any teaching strategy that combines online components with in class components. Essentially, a portion of the course or lesson content is delivered in person and part of it through a computer related medium. Usually students have some control over the time, place, path, or pace of the online learning portion. Flipped classrooms are a good example of blended learning.
Personal Learning Networks – The term Personal Learning Network, or PLN, refers to an informal group of people or entities one interacts with for the purpose of gaining and sharing knowledge. With respect to edtech, this would include personal and professional connections made through social media sites, online discussion forums, or any other online interaction engaged in for educational purposes.
Social Media in Education – The trend of social media in education is probably one that most every educator has had some experience with or at least heard of. This trend refers to using online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr or any other popular social media site as part of your curriculum. Teachers who are uneasy about using these sites in the classroom can find more student-friendly alternatives in sites like Edmodo or Schoology.
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