In yesterday’s blog, I shared the three learning trends for 2012 from the Mind/Shift article “Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning.” Experts predict 2011 paved the way for learning to continue to be collaborative, tech-powered, and blended. Another recent article, “The Year in Education: Seven Innovations Changing the Way the World Learns,” highlights the learning tools and advancements we saw in 2011 that are predicted to influence education in 2012, and beyond. The following are a few we will be watching in the next year:
- A College-Level Education for Free - Many teachers use open source materials for professional and classroom purposes. Students can now benefit from open-course sites. Universities like Standford and MIT offer free classes that enable students to learn elements of an MBA education. Only the motivated and disciplined student will have the skills to leverage these free resources.
- Educators Embraced Gaming Technology - Some teachers brought gaming into the classroom, some developed their own games, and others taught students basic programming skills to design game-based projects. Gaming is proving to be a great learning tool that can track progress, show where students excel and struggle, and reward the learner. This is an excellent way to get students to take ownership of their own learning in ways that make it fun for them and others.
- The Tech Literacy Boom - As more educators realize that STEM skills are becoming central to careers of the future, more STEM classes are finding their way into the classroom. It’s believed students learning “tech literacy” and basic programming skills will be more prepared for college and the world of work. But don’t just hide behind the technology. If this is your love, be sure to develop your people and communication skills so that you can really leverage your talent with technology.
Students are the drivers in this new age of learning. It is time for teachers, principals, parents and educators to facilitate this process, loosen the reigns of tradition, and allow for this new, emerging learner to teach us while learning himself