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5 ISTE Trends to Know Now

19 Jun 2015 by Heather Breedlove

ISTE bound or not — here are five trends in technology you should explore next year with your students:

1. Augmented reality

Augmented reality works like a QR code being scanned. Open the app, point it at a target image, and watch the image or a video come to life. It is the ability to view the real-world environment with sounds, graphics, video or GPS elements overlaid onto what is being viewed.

One way teachers are using augmented reality is by creating interactive bulletin boards where students scan a target image and learn more about a topic through voice recording, pictures or video.

Try it out. Elements 4D allows students to manipulate representations of the 36 elements from the periodic table. Students can see how different chemicals react when they put two sides of the blocks together to see the resulting compound.

Other great apps. Aurasma, ColAR Mix

2. Maker movement

3D printers, computers, electronics, hardware supplies and tools are things you can find in maker spaces popping up in schools across the country. Maker spaces are areas where students can build, create and invent.

The Maker Movement is a growing community of makers, often centered on new technologies. It provides students an opportunity to engage in open-ended, collaborative and student-driven projects.

Try it out. Start small with Art Bots or paper circuits on computers to engage students in hands-on creating.

Other great resources. Makey Makey Kits, Makerbot

3. Coding

According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004. This means educators are preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist. Coding helps students learn the digital literacy skills they will need for existing jobs as well as unknown jobs.

Try it out. Plan to join the Hour of Code event next year and get students started with the tutorials found on Code.org.

Other great resources. Scratch Jr., Code Academy

4. Global project-based learning

In a 2014 speech given to Stanford Center at Peking University in Beijing, Michelle Obama encouraged students to live in one another’s countries to develop cooperation — working to solve issues that countries share around the world. However, not every student will have the opportunity to live in another country, but teachers can help their students connect with others around the world with global Project-Based Learning (PBL).

Global PBL gives them a glimpse into how other students from around the world are similar and different from them. New tech tools make it easy to work together on a collaborative project, even if classrooms are halfway around the world. 

Try it out. Mystery Skype allows teachers to connect across the country and around the world to play a 20 Questions-style game to guess the location of each other’s classrooms. This is a great activity to get started in making global connections with other classrooms.

Other great resources. Global Virtual Classroom, Quad Blogging, Flat Connections Project

5. Communication and Collaboration Tools

Communication and collaboration are desired workplace skills. And there are a variety of tools that offer students opportunities to build these skills.

Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 are both free for school districts. Students can collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and communicate through virtual tools that are included.

Try it out. Your district doesn’t have Google or Microsoft? Get started with online tools like AWW (a Web whiteboard) and Padlet, a virtual wall where people can post their thoughts or share videos and images.

Other great resources. Google Apps for Education, Microsoft Office 365

Get more education tips and information here.