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Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

The information presented in this article is in itself presented in a trendy web fashion: the infographic. Although the audience is not specifically defined, I would argue that this infographic is not directed towards Ed-Tech professionals, learning technologists, or venturers. Anyone in these fields already has what brief knowledge is outlined in this document and would require deeper engagement. This infographic has been developed for the people who are removed from the educational-technology sphere, those who genuinely wonder, “So what is educational technology, anyways?” This may include the broader community of educators not necessarily tuned in to technology, administration, parents, or mature students.

The article is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate, with information presented as generic quips and sweeping generalizations that are not specifically cited and often that fail to present the entire story. For one brief example, we learn that a MOOC from Stanford had 160,000 participants register from 190 countries. There is no mention of a completion rate, but it’s from Stanford so it must be good, right? Other information contradicts itself, as is the case under the topic of Free Education Resources, “Online Accredited Courses” has subtext reading may be subscription based (read: not free), although this caveat is not noted for the more general “Online Courses” and “DIY Degrees.”

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This infographic could be dangerous for educational technology professionals as the information is so basic and brief that it could be misinterpreted by higher administration, department heads, or any other higher-level stakeholder. For example, the infographic culminates with a few predictions such as schools realizing they can “save big bucks by allowing students to use their personal devices in the classroom,” or “…ditch [traditional] textbooks in favour of less expensive e-books, which may attract more readers.” These two assertions, again not specifically cited, could put the proverbial bee in a bonnet of an stakeholder wishing to invest in (and therefore save money by) utilizing these trends. If this were to happen it could result in a massive headache for the ET department to straighten out.

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