Learning Coach: 2012 Top Trends

In her article titled “Learning Technology Trends in 2012,” Connie Malamed shares her insightful predictions on trends to watch out for in 2012. The full list is available by clicking on the link provided above. For the purpose of this discussion, I will focus on the idea of backchannels and flipped learning.

     Backchannel is the term used to describe online communication that may occur while one is attending a presentation or lecture of some sort. In this scenario, participants share their thoughts online via platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This mass collaboration allows for virtual guests to join in on the conversation and broaden everyones shared knowledge on the topic at hand. The ultimate intent being that the conversation continues beyond the confines of the classroom walls. This phenomenon seems to be growing at a rapid pace. Rewind to five years ago, and I remember the discouraging looks that one would receive if they even dare pull out their phone during a presentation. Fast-forward to today and it is common practice to see many participants tweeting the information that is being presented. Furthermore, presenters have embraced this technology and usually display and take questions from live twitter feeds. This is an area that I feel will trickle into classrooms as more districts are adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative. From a cost standpoint, this trend is highly effective as registration with such sites is free.

     Flipped Learning is a concept in which the classroom is essentially flipped in that the primary instruction occurs at home via videos and class time is available for project and group work. In theory, this sounds like a great idea but it has its limitations. Although there are instructional videos available such as Khan Academy and various others, it can be a daunting task to sift through and select the ones that relate to your curriculum. I also think that this style of instruction would be limited to secondary students. Furthermore, I could see parents opposing to this style of instruction and dismiss it as “teachers not doing their jobs.” I do believe it could be effective if the teacher records their own lectures and posted them to their own YouTube channel. In this case, the material delivered would be specific to the needs of the students and it would be difficult for parents to oppose.


 Manny Loyla

Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace