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Keep Up With EdTech Trends, Fads and Tools Using GeekWire's Breakdown

It’s increasingly hard to keep up with all of the education technology topics, tools and trends but GeekWire has made it much easier in their newest breakdown of everything EdTech.

“It makes no difference if one is in industry, policy, funding or teaching, or focuses on K-12 schools, higher education, or lifelong learning,” says Frank Catalano of GeekWire.

“By the time summer arrives, everyone is dazed and confused, and only part of it is altitude sickness. It’s with the confused part that I may be able to help.”

There are a number of trends, fads and confusing tools for motivation and preparation in the world of EdTech, so many in fact, that it often gets a bit overwhelming for educators to keep up with them. What Catalano aims to present in his breakdown is the keys from each area and how they matter or fail to matter in K-12 schools.

Beginning with the trends Catalano explores ideas such as the “Bring Your Own Device movement,” (BYOD). This movement is a push to ensure that all students have access to technology in the classroom. Students who are able to bring their own devices to class open up the opportunities for those who don’t to use the ones provided by schools. Why is this important? Well, schools with limited resources can be able to stretch them a bit more to make sure every student has the tech they need in the classroom.

Along with BYOD Catalano breaks down Open Educational Resources, Freemium, Flipped Classrooms, Student Data Policy and the Edtech investment bubble. He pretty much spells out everything educators and administrators to know in order to make sound decisions as to which trends they really want to be a part of.

In terms of fads, Catalano explores Going 100 percent digital and coding classes and camps. These are fairly interesting topics dealing with the push to become 100 percent digital nationwide as well as introducing coding classes/camps to push students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject areas.

Encouragement and preparation have become important in ensuring that students have all the tools the need for the future. It’s especially prevalent in high school where some students are being introduced to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These courses are some of the closest you’ll ever get to college courses other that AP styled classes.

Where encouragement is concerned, Catalano discusses Open Badges by Mozilla.

“Portable digital graphics with embedded data that represent a skill or achievement and can be easily and securely shared by the earner, then confirmed by an institution or employer, as micro-credentials,” says Catalano.

“Launched by the Mozilla Foundation, Open Badges have failed to take off in K-12 schools as much more than digital gold stars for motivation – there’s far more (albeit still nascent) traction in higher education and professional certification where ‘chunking’ and ‘stacking’ individual accomplishments into, say, a degree or resume is better understood.”

The wide world of EdTech is condensed into one simple way for educators to get all the information they need in a timely manner, without having to attend a long conference or doing their own research. Surely it’s recommended that teachers and administrators explore these topics further as it will all change the way students learn in the future.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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