A Look into the Future of School Technology - #edtech

In my work as an edtech consultant and speaker I am often asked to look into my crystal ball and give my predictions about future of school technology. For example, when I keynoted at a district convention back in the summer of 2007 I spoke about how netbooks were going to take over our educational world. Some things I get right -- like netbooks, and some things I get wrong -- I'd rather not say.

So sit down, let's turn down the lights and crank up the ol' crystal ball and see what she says now...

I used to think that school technology is going to be split into two distinct categories:

Consuming Digital Content Devices; these devices are for just sitting back and browsing and using the Internet and apps. This is what most people do 90% of the time. Students researching, checking social network sites, browsing the web, etc.

  • iPod Touch
  • iPhone
  • Droid Phone
  • Kindle
  • Nook

Creating Digital Content Devices; these are the more traditional devices that we use to type long articles and papers, edit audio, photos and video, etc.

  • desktop computers
  • laptop computers
  • netbooks

So that is what I used to think -- and then I got an iPad, which I thought was just going to be a consuming device. But then I started creating things on it, like this blog, I edit photos, I work on documents like spreadsheets -- holy crud, I am creating on this stinking thing! That wasn't suppose to happen.

Or was it?

The future of school technology is...

Drumroll please...

Mobile devices that can both create and consume content. Think about it -- what we really want are devices that we can use to read books, research the web, take and edit photos and video, edit audio, tweat, blog, etc. In short we want it all, and we want it to fit in our pockets. We want to be able to consume digital content (about 90% of the time) but when we want to create, we don't want to have to dust off the ol' laptop just so we can write a blog. The iPad is just the beginning.

So hang on folks, we are about to see some pretty incredible edtech devices hit the market over the next 18 months.