5 Big Education Technology Trends of 2013

Provided we make it through the Mayan Apocalypse, we have a lot to look forward to in 2013. We are one year closer to flying cars, hoverboards and the overpopulation of Earth that leads to the eventual colonization of Mars!

These sci-fi fantasies are indeed on the horizon, but before they are realized, technology will affect the more mundane parts of the human experience. You know, making it easier to order pizza with almost no effort, and remotely arm home security systems.

Changes to the way we approach education are also peppered throughout the various innovations and advances. iPads revolutionizing the textbook economy, high speed internet shrinking the world and even the incorporation (successfully, even) of mobile into the classroom.

Take a look at some of these innovations and let your mind wonder at the possibility that lays before us!

1. Use SMS Marketing to Connect Education with Life

Connect with your students using the networking and communication channels they use. Regardless of whether your students are in middle school, high school or university, an interactive marketing hub such as Exact Target can enable you to connect with your students on a regular basis with the same devices your students use. Enhanced communication will enable you to be more than a teacher associated with merely the classroom. Many top schools use SMS marketing to update students on deadlines, coursework and schedule changes. This communication technology is effective when notifying hundreds or even thousands of students of emergency closures and can keep staff and students alike informed about important events. Top consumer technology products and trends will enable SMS marketing to reach more people than ever.

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2. Social Media Enables Students to Educate Communities

Students use Social Media to educate politicians and the public in general about problems that need to be solved. Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a middle school teacher reports on a mighty, student created, education advocacy project. Tucson students decided to solve the problem of invasive and environmentally destructive Bufflegrass. So they created a Facebook page to publicize the threat and also performed, recorded and uploaded a You Tube rap video to raise awareness of this important issue. These students used a project based learning approach to identify a serious environmental problem and to raise community awareness. Their video educates viewers on how to identify and remove their invasive species foe. Students did this on their own without adult supervision or guidance.

3. Universities Offer Free Non Credit On-Line Courses

You can get a free education at University of California – Berkeley in arts, sciences or engineering viewing webcasts. Wide selections of courses are available to all. Learners view webcasts of lectures and courses through YouTube and iTunes. Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative provides students with access to complete courses and research in sciences, social sciences and engineering. The late Nobel Prize winner, Herbert Simon believed that university level teaching would evolve into a community based research process. Other universities with free courseware are Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technologyand Stanford University. In the Capital sees degree free learning as a trend that will adversely affect attendance at fee based universities.

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4. Unused Resources Contribute to Social Impact Projects in UK

A class of businesses in the UK has strong social impact and has succeeded at least partially in solving some local and global problems. Other businesses are now looking at these companies for guidance in getting involved with social impact activities.

Big Society Capital is a project funded by dormant bank accounts. The goal is to invest these unused funds in the social sector as a stimulus for the economy. UnLtd and Nesta are organizations backed by this project. They are supporting a growing band of entrepreneurs to generate innovation, technological advances and positive social impact. Now, even large companies are realizing that creating a positive social contribution will help their bottom line.

5. 3-D Printing Hits the Road

Low Cost 3-D Printers means more accessibility including in the classroom. 3-D printers have been used to create paper covered by solar cells, print buildings from dust and to create a human vein. Students of all ages can imagine, design and create with a 3-D printer.

Cubify.com offers a 5.5 inch x 5.5 inch 3-D printer for home use. It’s priced at $1299 and can be used to print custom shoes, ties, belts and assembly components in your own home. Your possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

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