Predictions for 2010

The outer rim of EdTech for 2010 — good and bad for (Australian) Education

Blogs, wikis, podcasts – the staple diet of the ed-tech revolution will further be considered bubblegum edu-punk as many of the early advocates move into new areas and newcomers leap frog much of the under-pinning principles that were foundational in 2005 – 2009

Consulting Cartels will continue to be the vocal and visible agents of change within small networks – sharing quality ideas and information, but remaining price-distant from ordinary teachers in public education. Scale and reach will remain their biggest challenge — and a potential risk exists that they may be widening the equity gap not closing it. Open Education and Open Professional Development will remain flaky and fragile. If there is an educational-community, I think that this will be it’s biggest challenge. Free vs Fee Professional Development.

DER/DET notebooks will show little evidential ‘performance benefits’ for student-learning outcomes. The lack of data will see reports continue to focus on infrastructure and support benefits in hardware/software maturation. Pedagogical shift in curriculum demands will remain static, despite the National Curriculum and Board of Studies rhetoric of 2009. Implementation and quality assurance will be on a scale too large to deal with for some time — radical changes to the HSC will continue to be too hot for politicians to tackle. We’ll see a few more chairs moved, and a few more pilots — and a new Minister for Education.

The government will introduce a brain-missing filter and focus on the desire for Rudd to be remembered as the man who ‘built the digital Australia’. Deals will be done to assure that outcome in the same way Howard traded gambling for GST a decade before. We won’t care however, as we will continue to spend twice as much time and money on social games than any other passive content such as the movies or television services. Star Wars will become the number 2 MMO, but will suffer service issues and lag — nothing to worry Blizzard — who will demonstrate that you can destroy an entire profitable empire completely and rebuild a better one because of community — a lesson that will be missed by business and finance who truly believe Sherlock Homes was a good movie and handing more money to morons that squander it is not nation-killing.

Netbooks will drop off the face of the earth as soon as Apple release the ‘big touch’. Laptops will also suffer as Apple dives the price of iPhones to back-fill their market position. The technorati will buy the big-itouch and a Android phone, just to be uber cool of course.

ePaper and eBook readers will become normal consumer items. No one really wanted a mini-laptop in the first place. 3G will become a normal – low cost option – on pre-paid phones … thus allowing students to access anything, making the filter totally pointless and anonymous. Old media will continue to thrash around and talk about porn, perverts, drugs, mafia and other nasties that will continue to rip their micro-world apart – puppy dogging Twitter and leaching Mashable content to regurge to armchair-zombie-masses, unable to get their head around Google Wave which will quietly dissipate with insufficient fanbois to keep it surging.

Reaction Grid will become the defacto host for Educational Second Life. Linden will all but abandon Teen Second Life … and AU public education will still ignore everything ‘virtual’ and ‘game based’.

Private education will start to use private-grids in more serious and connected ways – further increasing the digital divide.

Augmented reality toys will become integral to console based gaming. Away from basic eye-toys, serious games and strategy will use augmented reality onto the table top, using transmedia strategies in their product offerings. Reaction Grid will respond to these changes first.

The number of teachers using technology in new and resonant ways in school will stagnate — and more will leave public to work in private because of the ‘virtual glass ceiling’. Many schools will find it frustratingly hard to integrate technology — due to policy — that keeps outsiders – outside. Large systems will not re-assess their HR policy and continue to hire people who are unable to lead them anywhere other than in circles — believing qualification and time-served are more important than ePortfolios, digital-authority and reputation.

I hope I’m wrong about some of these.


27 thoughts on “Predictions for 2010

  1. Terrific predictions and I agree. I do wonder what will emerge that no one has thought of..and wonder where the whole 6th sense technology thing will play out. Also wonder where digital identity/profile/footprint will end up as it gets harder and harder to not have your life in an electronic, traceable format.
    I think the gaps will widen as well. Thanks for posting!

  2. I also hope that you are wrong about some of these but am not so confident. It will be interesting to see the developments (if any) in Free vs Fee paying PD, something we (as teachers) all need to act on.

  3. “Large systems will not re-assess their HR policy and continue to hire people who are unable to lead them anywhere other than in circles — believing qualification and time-served are more important than ePortfolios, digital-authority and reputation.”

    This is so true that it hurts. It’s also so that the people making the decisions won’t get any nasty surprises liability wise from any online cowboy/girl educators who might believe that slow status quo isn’t terribly useful.

    • I take your point on the surprises and liability. This again, relates to more to policy than quality assurance. Students get poor instruction from lethargic teachers and yet this is tolerated. Worse still, these people are encouraged to dabble in things they don’t understand, nor do they want to.

      But I think HR sees innovators more like Eastwood in High Plains Drifter, than they do Yul Brinner in the Magnificent 7.

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  5. Some of the most insightful predictions I have seen. I am most keenly aware of the potential of the first (the unchanging HR dept.). However, the majority of these predictions will take more than 2010 to play out.

    • I agree — most of these will remain static issues for some time inside ‘formal’ education. What I think will be really interesting is just how bent out of shape education will get now that 3G data exchanges via FB, IM etc., overtake text messages … when students move from txting to IM’ing via mobiles; the conversations over the filter will seem medieval.

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  7. “Large systems will not re-assess their HR policy and continue to hire people who are unable to lead them anywhere other than in circles — believing qualification and time-served are more important than ePortfolios, digital-authority and reputation.”

    I, too, doubt that HR policy will move that much in the next year, although, it will get nudged significantly. The problem is that HR used to be about keeping track of all of the various kinds of paper that supposedly measured and assured that the people who joined the group were ‘qualified.’ HR was the supposedly intelligent filter of all of the info on the paper. The current capabilities of moving information essentially make everything that HR departments used to do irrelevant. Of course, Dean’s point is that relying on ‘the cloud’ to verify abilities and experience is perceived to be too risky for large systems even though it is probably even more secure and certainly a whole lot faster and cheaper.

    The other problem is that too many people’s (including most teachers) paychecks are dependent on the old way of measuring the work of teachers. Those of us who might want to get paid on the quality of the stuff that we post or our students post are still outliers.

    • Thanks for the great reply. On your last point — many teacher’s contracts, linked to that paycheck explicitly prevent them taking up additional income streams. They are muddied further by grey areas over intellectual property and copyright too. I would encourage teachers, whom are starting to develop resources, to put these in spaces they are controlling — especially if these are not being developed during paycheck time. These are things that as an employer — I want someone to bring with them as value adds.

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  9. Thoughtful.

    I hope you are wrong.

    If you have the strength to write more, maybe a ‘best case scenario’ would be…?

  10. Dean, aside from AR toys, where do you think the whole augmented reality blitz is headed in edutech? Is it eye candy, mind candy, or a new learning form taking shape in a diff. sort of mental floss? Curious what your thoughts are…(I know @Derekeb posted about AR digital storytelling in a cool video from HitLab NZ here: )

    Thx for this post…will include it in my own piece on ‘that was then this is now’ Inst. for the Future stuff forthcoming (found a fun ‘Magic Highway’ futuristic peek from the Disney decades…very ‘tomorrowland’! Best, Amy

    (or as you know me: @ShapingYouth 😉

  11. Wow, you really hate netbooks. They aren’t going away. They made fade some, and then pick up steam again when people realize they are being ripped off my normal laptops.

    “3G will become a normal – low cost option”

    OK now I know you are smoking something.

    • No, I like Netbooks, but they are designed to run from the cloud, not to run heavy applications. So I dislike the locked-down ‘desktop’ focused policy that governs them currently, and so do students. ( as an example of multiple comments from the users of these things.

      It is almost impossible to get a contract phone now without a 3G ‘internet’ handset, and virtually all Australian providers offer pre-paid options (see for multiple mobile internet deals for less than the price of a netbook. Given that parents buy both phones and laptops for the majority of affluent potentials, I can’t see how you could think this is ganja-land. But we shall see …

  12. I do hope that your predictions were made when feeling a little pessimistic.I agree with the money side of things. Big money is spent material hardware and software- making business profits rather than professional learning. However I see that students and teachers alike will form subcultures that will work in favour of innovation and creativity. Is that too optimistic? No I think it will be reality.

    • I agree with the sub-cultures. I have previously blogged about the tech-savvy teachers who author the hidden curriculum, and how students self-organise in spaces for study that are creative and open outside the classroom. I am putting down what I see for the year, not I am happy to settle for. Thanks for your comment

  13. These read pretty well to me. Your crystal ball is in good shape, and I think you have your finger on a pretty accurate pulse. I enjoyed reading them, although I do disagree slightly with your last point… I think we will see more change among the general teaching profession that you expect, at least I hope so!

    • Thanks Chris, I do hope we see change, not more orbiting the problem too. I’ll keep looking for the signs.

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