Five “Global Computer” Trends in ICT Education

I am posting below in the spirit of the new Year and all things related to resolutions and lists. I’m checking off a resolution and discussing 10 Global Computer Trends for Education and ICT for 2010 and beyond. (joining in the crowded space for lists in the new year).

This list is a compilation of forecasts from top forecasters like the Horizon Report, personal observations, and some guesswork. These are the Top 10 Global Computer Trends for ICT and Education:

Mobile Learning. Mobile “smart phones”, with their new hardware and software, are becoming indispensable tools. As cell phones have surpassed fixed line technology in the telecoms industry, mobile devices with internet access will likely overtake personal computers in the classroom as the preferred information appliance.

Cloud computing. Cloud computing is a growing trend. Applications are moving away from the standalone desktop computer to more often be hosted on server farms that can be accessed via the Internet. This trend will have huge implications for education systems. It will result in information appliances that are cheaper and do not use the same processing power as the PC. It will be difficult to provide ubiquitous connectivity for information that can be accessed from the “cloud”.

One-to-One computing. In classrooms all over the globe, the trend is to offer an information appliance to each learner and to create learning environments that allow universal access to technology. Classrooms need to be prepared for universal access to personal learning devices, regardless of whether the hardware is one laptop per student (OLPC) or – more often – a net computer or smart phone.

Ubiquitous learning. Schools around the globe are able to offer learning opportunities to students anywhere and anytime thanks to a growing connectivity infrastructure. This requires a change in the way we think about V the 40-minute lesson. It requires hardware and Internet access. Additionally, virtual mentors and teachers are required. There may also be opportunities for peer-to-peer and deeper learning.

Gaming. According to the Horizon Report, a recent survey conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project found that online multiplayer games are very popular among young people. It also revealed that Global Computer games can increase civic engagement and social interaction among youth. Educational games that focus on active participation, incentives and interaction have had a phenomenal success rate. This suggests that existing educational methods are not failing and that educational games could be more effective at attracting learners’ attention.

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