The Edtech Year in Review: Top 10 Trends of 2012

Over the past few weeks, Hack Education‘s Audrey Watters has created a series of posts on this year’s ”Top Ed-Tech Trends.” Before the end of the year, Watters plans on posting a total of 10 of the  top trends, and has posted eight so far. Today we’re sharing her list (still in progress) with Technapex readers, but before you head out on December 31 for your New Year’s Eve shenanigans, check her site for the complete Top 10 list. If you want the Reader’s Digest version, we’ve included a summary of the series below — but make sure you head over to Hack Education at some point over winter break and read Watters’ well-written articles.

Top Ed-Tech Trends: What’s Changed from 2011 to 2012?”

  • Here Watters provides a look back at the trends she listed in 2011: “After all, educational institutions are famously slow to change, right? And learning is a lifelong process. As such, trends in education aren’t likely to come-and-go with the same rapidity as, say, trends in fashion or pop music. We shouldn’t be surprised then that there’s a lot of continuity between 2011 and 2012 and a lot of connections between the trends I’ve identified in both years.”

“Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012″

  1. The Business of Ed-Tech - Watters comments on the explosion of edtech as a business, citing examples of entrepreneurship, edtech startups and investments, business models, and the politics of business in the edtech world.
  2. The Maker Movement – Watters describes why she loves the annual Maker Faire, which touts itself as “a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement,” showcasing innovators who are exploring new technologies across science, engineering, art, performance, and craft.
  3. Learning to Code – Codeacademy kicked off 2012 by claiming that 2012 should be “Code Year,” and Watters explores the skills gap and the opportunity gap in coding.
  4. The Flipped Classroom – Watters acknowledges that while the flipped classroom is not a new concept, the proliferation of Khan Academy and MOOCs has made the practice more popular than ever. Watters explores tools to help teachers flip the classroom and describes the history and benefits of “the flip.”
  5. MOOCs - Watters calls this post “The Year of the MOOC” and goes on to write: “This was, without a doubt, the most important and talked-about trend in education technology this year.” Watters lists MOOC news month by month throughout 2012 and also touches on the history and implications of MOOCs in education.
  6. The Battle to Open Textbooks – Watters dives into the different trends this year that have come about as alternatives to traditional textbooks, including digital textbooks, Apple’s poorly-devised attempt to transform the industry through their “counter-revolution,” open textbooks and the industry’s and consumer’s responses to open textbooks.
  7. Education Data and Learning Analytics – Watters provides an in-depth analysis of education data and learning analytics, explaining their importance: “What can you learn from it — from all this data? Great question — one that many journalists, politicians, entrepreneurs, government officials, researchers, and others have sought to answer this year. The promise of this data they argue is that through mining and modeling, we can enhance student learning and predict student success.”
  8. The Platforming of Education – Watters explains that education platforms are fairly new iterations of internet platforms and goes on to list a variety of education platforms, including education APIs, Pearson’s OpenClass, Grockit’s Learnist, Edmodo, Schoology, and more.

Do you have any edtech trends to add to this list? Sound off in the comments below or continue the conversation via Twitter to @Technapex or @ce_doyle.

Caity Doyle

Caity is a former English teacher and the editor of Technapex. Caity is extremely passionate about education and is TriplePoint PR's resident edtech expert. When not researching education policy and edtech, she enjoys running along the Bay Trail while blaring the Boss through her headphones, watching the Giants beat the Dodgers, and meeting fellow Italians in North Beach.

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About Caity Doyle

Caity is a former English teacher and the editor of Technapex. Caity is extremely passionate about education and is TriplePoint PR's resident edtech expert. When not researching education policy and edtech, she enjoys running along the Bay Trail while blaring the Boss through her headphones, watching the Giants beat the Dodgers, and meeting fellow Italians in North Beach.