Blackboard Shares The 2017 Trends In K-12 EdTech

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Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, held a webinar hosted by Blackboard where she revealed the trends that have increased this year across K-12 education. As Evans states, organizations, even the older and farther-reaching, are becoming more open to trying new ideas, including new educational models, frameworks, and settings that include digital access to content.

Evans groups them in three groups: Rising, Just Emerging, and Waning Trends.

The “rising trends” identified are:

  • New classroom models: blended, flipped, virtual
  • Determining ROI on technology investments
  • Consideration of parental expectations
  • Personalization
  • A more critical position about connectivity
  • District-level vetting of EdTech (in the U.S.)
  • Accessibility

While the “just emerging” trends are:

  • Moving beyond teacher skill development
  • Students as “tinkerers”
  • OER quality and vetting
  • Online safety: Global digital citizenship
  • “Seamlessness” in digital instruction
  • AR and VR
  • Data-driven instruction

Finally, the “waning” trends, or ideas whose moment seem to have past, are:

  • Bring your own device
  • Decision on digital procurement on teachers, as opposed to higher-level officials
  • Gamification for gamification’s sake (classroom games without sound pedagogy to back them)
  • Standalone technological experiences
  • “One size fits all” teacher professional development

As a transversal issue, Evan suggests some concern about the “binarity” of the conversation, where discussions begin with only two possible outcomes, possibly due to a “sense of urgency” among schools and districts. Not only this is an unnecessarily confrontational stance, it might overlook game-changing breakthroughs that might satisfy all parts on the table.

Project Tomorrow is a nonprofit focused on K-12 education as a means for future preparedness. It produces research and feedback programs for its private and government partners.

Watch “K-12 BITS: 2017 Digital Learning Trends” on

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