2015: The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy

Within the dimension of education technology, 2015 has brought with it an array of new-but-not-particularly-tickling technologies and pedagogical practices, while also celebrating a continued questioning of technology’s value in classrooms across the globe. From where I sit as an Ed Tech Director in a public school district with more than 34,000 students, these are the top five trends that stick out in my mind – from good, to bad, to a little bit crazy:

  1. Nudging iPads, netbooks, and even traditional laptops aside, inexpensive Chromebooks clearly became the student device of choice – as school budgets stretched, web interfaces improved, and GAFE-powered management and convenience continued to impress.
  2. The LMS continued to shape the landscape of instruction, pigeon-holing technology-proficient teachers into the constraints of the system, while also pushing reluctant teachers to collaborate more widely with desperate parents, ever anxious to help.
  3. Online standardized testing drove the increased purchase of classroom technology, finally/gratefully/sadly providing the “compelling why” for polarized legislatures to prioritize public ed-tech spending.
  4. While increased device access facilitated fertile opportunities to stretch Nearpod’s pedagogical power, teachers overwhelmingly preferred Kahoot! for regular, informal, and formative assessment of student dexterity.
  5. To the chagrin of IT directors everywhere, Apple’s middle finger emoticon and upside-down-smiley contributed heavily to 2015’s dubbing as The Year of the Emoji.

2015 - Year of the Emoji