TT No. 12: I’m no Ed Snowden, but…

According to the Horizon Report 2014 K-12, I believe the future of education to be transformative. I think that schools need to address the professionalism of teachers, and address that the roles of teachers are changing. It’s 2015, and technology is exponentially evolving. So should teachers.

However, the simple adoption and implementation of technology in the classroom is not enough. Teachers need to address their approach to deeper learning. The importance of deeper learning cannot be stressed enough. For me, this was the most engrossing section. I wasn’t surprised to read that this chapter also posits the creative process as a contributor to deeper understanding. Two thumbs up for this area of the report.

The report wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns though. I did experience umbrage with other findings. Although I have encountered copyright in the creation of some of my materials with the I4Ed class, I wasn’t entirely sold on the Open Educational Resources argument. I believe that the existing structure of copyright causes students to critically examine what they can, and cannot use in the creation of their assignments. In short, I kind of like the existing copyright laws as they apply to education.

Personalized learning, intuitive technology, these are the realities of today. In fact, I am interested in reading (perhaps even one day, providing) research concerning the necessity of intuitive interfaces for technology use in a classroom. Perhaps this is because of my Graphic Design background. I will quickly become disinterested in any technology that is cumbersome, no matter what my personal interest is.

I was happy to see that rethinking school environments, and implementing technology in schools are two other areas that are still constantly addressed in reports. The best quote I’ve heard or read is that (and I’m paraphrasing here), “teacher’s are teaching 19th century subjects, in 20th century buildings, using 21st century technology. ‘Nuff said.

There many more aspects to address in the report, and these are just a few. In fact, one could argue that some chapters that follow are just alternatively stated, similar concepts. I did wonder why the most important information was buried in the back 1/3 of the report. Well, most important to me, I guess. I consider the most important of all the information presented, is safety of the students. This means information, well-being, personal use, etc. the legalities and ethics all have to be morally considered when it comes to student safety.

The report is approximately 48 pages long, a little light reading before bedtime. I recommend it for anyone interested in authentic technology use in classrooms. 48 pages that are chock-full of the right areas for discussion. In fact, there’s a great graphic at the beginning of the report that seems to encompass all the ideas presented. I think the Horizon Report does a great job of addressing the present, so that education can be prepared for the future. As for me, I believe that teachers are changing, and in some schools this change includes being innovative with their use of technology. This engages students; I’ve seen the results.

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