Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013
Published in January, this infographic focussed on the perceived trends in technology use in post-secondary education for 2013. As 2013 is almost ¾ done, this is an appropriate time to review and reflect on the experienced trends.
Social Media/Text Messaging
Schools use SMS messaging to update students on anything from deadlines to emergencies. Tools such as Remind101 or ClassParrot make these mass messages easy and convenient. As stated, 93% of university students text – passing a saturation point beyond that of intercom announcements or phone trees. This percentage will only increase with time. As students are becoming more attached to their cell phones these methods of communication are becoming preferred among students.
Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Universities have and will continue to offer free courses to all who wish to take them. These MOOCs break down barriers of time and space, allowing students to take courses from anywhere and at anytime that suits their needs. The content of these courses is equal to what would be experienced at the physical institution, but questions arise as to the amount and timeliness of feedback in these courses. For example, one Stanford MOOC had 160,000 participants; an impossible number of students to give quality, timely, and consistent feedback.
Counseling Goes High Tech
The prediction of some schools moving to virtual counseling appears flawed. While a text or video chat with a counselor is useful for minor issues, it is still not a substitute for being present with another person and discussing the issues. While this may free up time and office space at the university, the question still remains at what cost to the students.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
This movement has the potential to allow universities to save massive amounts of money on technology but also creates the potential for major problems. How can the university ensure that their networks are compatible with all devices that will come in? What steps must the university take to ensure that any device on their network does not interfere with the operations of any other device? How much training will the IT personnel need to become familiar with the massive number of devices on the network, or will they rather say that a BYOD will not be supported by IT?
This infographic is very useful for educators wishing to see some current and future perceived trends in technology. The infographic format allows for quick scanning of the report and does not get bogged down in extraneous details or tangential topics. However, there is danger in omitting certain facts and figures that could be important to the intent of the technologies referenced.
I would be interested to see future versions of this infographic to see the longitudinal trends from this group.