Search form

EdTech Roundup: Educational Technology Highlights From 2015 

Technology in education is one of the biggest talking points when it comes to predicting the future of education. Here are the top Education World stories concerning EdTech from 2015 and what might be in store for 2016.

30,000 Chromebooks Integrated Into Schools Per Day

When it comes to education technology, the Google Chromebook has solidified its place in the classroom as of the most desired EdTech tools.

So much so that NBC News reported that 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in schools per day.

This helps Chromebooks control "53 percent of the market for K-12 devices bought by schools and school districts,” an impressive feat considering it had only held one percent of the classroom technology market in not-so-distant 2012.

2015 can certainly be referred to as the Year of the Chromebook.

Read the full story.

National EdTech Plan Hails Tech Training in Teacher Prep, Discourages Against BYOD Programs

The U.S. Department of Education released its 2016 National Education Plan, in which it elaborated significantly on its plan for EdTech policy.

But while it hailed efforts nationwide to increase tech training in teacher preparation programs and encouraged more to do so, it set a precedent in admonishing against Bring Your Own Device programs- a concept that spiked in popularity as of recently.

"According to the report, BYOD programs can highlight economic disparity, create instructional burdens, and raise privacy and security concerns, leading the DOE to conclude that BYOD policies should not be a primary tech policy.”

Read the full story.

Open Educational Resources Receive Federal Backing

This year, the U.S. Department of Education launched its #GoOpen campaign. The DOE campaign is pushing Open Educational Resources (OERs), which it says serve as an opportunity to provide equal resources to all students regardless of his or her zip code.

"In addition to its campaign to raise awareness for the benefits of OERs, the Education Department also recently hired its first open education adviser, Andrew Marcinek, who will dedicate his time to seeking out how to best implement and promote OERs in PreK-12.”

Read the full story. 

Tech Helps Teachers Find Professional Development Opportunities

While many districts may lack in opportunities for providing sound professional development, teachers reported this year turning to personal tech resources to find their own.

Many teachers reported taking advantaged of Twitter and online communities to find both professional learning communities and mentors.

By incorporating technologies such as Twitter into K-12 professional development, teachers are finding their own voices as educators, while organizing on their own terms to solve the individual and collective problems they face,” Education World reported.

Read the full story.

Mixed Bag on the Future of MOOCs

Though Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have peaked in popularity and exploded on the EdTech scene, research regarding the effectiveness has turned up mixed results.

According to Stanford professors John Mitchell, Candace Thille and Mitchell Stevens, despite hope for otherwise, MOOCs best benefit college-educated men from industrialized countries.

Low competition rates and a difficulty in following high-level courses, the researchers say, make MOOCs strictly a valuable tool for measuring how people are learning.

Read the full story.

Educators Want More Say in EdTech Decisions

With an increase in technology in classrooms and a well-known lack of training in teacher preparation, teachers often times feel left out when it comes to integrating tech in the classroom.

A survey conducted by TES Global and Jefferson Education Accelerator this year indicated that a majority of U.S. want more say over EdTech decisions in schools.

"38 percent of teachers responded to the survey by saying that have a role in the decision-making process, but 63 percent said that they would like to be included more in the process.”

48 percent of the teachers surveyed said their biggest concern was ensuring they had input in the EdTech tools selected for classroom use.

But, while they desired the power to evaluate tech tools, most of them said their district did not provide them with training to do so.

"45 percent of teachers "said they didn't believe that their professional development programs prepared them to evaluate or use tech in their classrooms.”

Read the full story.


Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor