The Story of Education in 2013: Smart Tech, Standards and Disruptive Change

Earlier this month, MindShift predicted the top three education stories we’ll be hearing about in 2013:

1) Smart use of Tech -  ”Bulky desktop models will continue to give way to mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and even cell phones,” says MindShift, “and more schools will be experimenting with “BYOD”—telling students to “bring your own devices” to school.” And teachers will continue to find new ways to integrate technology into instruction.

2) Advancement of the Common Core – “Forty-five states have now adopted the Common Core State Standards, a set of academic expectations for what students in each grade should be learning in their math and English classes,” observes MindShift.” The Common Core initiative has been controversial from the start, and it is sure to remain so as the messy business of implementing the standards in real classrooms proceeds during 2013.”

3). Learning out of School – “More than ever before, 2013 will bring a recognition that learning can happen anytime, anywhere—not just in a classroom and not just during the school day.” Expect to see a greater emphasis on “informal education”, they say – “a lot of exciting and disruptive change is on its way.”

It’s not an unexpected list, but  2 & 3 seem a bit in conflict: advancement of “common core standards” and a greater emphasis on informal learning that is “exciting and disruptive”, and by its very nature not “standard” in any way.

Ultimately we come back to the question of the purpose of education: Is the educated individual one who has achieved some basic standard of rote knowledge, or the one who has achieved self-actualization through the ability to locate information and knowledge as needed?   Or is it some amalgamation of both and more?

While we’re asking the question(s), the learning will go on in expected and unexpected ways, using  tools,  new and old, and means both common and uncommon, guided less by experts’ opinions and more by the reality of what people need and want to know to achieve the ends they seek.

To that end, LI4E will continue to provide the latest news and best free resources for learning on your time, in your way, in 2013 and beyond!