Reviewing 2009 and 1-to-1 Predictions

Last year I did that nutty out-on-a-limb thing some of us do and made eight pre­dic­tions for 2009 in my HotChalk col­umn — you can view the entire col­umn here.  Well, look­ing at just the head­ings — here’s where we seem to be.  

Ultra­mo­biles Adopted in More Schools
With the excep­tion of the name (most peo­ple are call­ing them “net­books”) this seems to have hap­pened.  There’s even a new Intel chip com­ing out that is going to allow more mem­ory and longer bat­tery use.  Win­dows 7 and Chrome offers a way to address the scrolling issue (the screen is an unusual size requir­ing you to scroll when view­ing Web pages unless you find a workaround); hope­fully we will see all the browsers issu­ing their own net­book ver­sion soon.  Net­books are still not full com­put­ers, how­ever, so schools look­ing to replace desk­tops or lap­tops and to use their net­books for mul­ti­me­dia edit­ing and sim­i­lar func­tions will be dis­ap­pointed.  For writ­ing, revis­ing, edit­ing, and using “cloud” appli­ca­tions such as Google docs, net­books offer a cost-effective solution.

Band­width Tack­led
This is on its way partly through stim­u­lus fund­ing and grants — it’s unclear how it will turn out. Band­width to the Inter­net in gen­eral is still not at the level where it could be — and many times band­width within schools is also less than use­ful.  This is com­pounded by the fact that many Amer­i­cans have high-speed Inter­net access in their own homes, in Inter­net cafes, and in libraries.  Chil­dren come to school expect­ing the same as do teach­ers and find they can­not surf and stream video and use the Inter­net in the same ad hoc fash­ion they’re learned.  

Obama Tran­si­tion Team Con­sid­ers a One-to-One Focus for Schools
This has not seemed to hap­pen quite so specif­i­cally, although the empha­sis on tech­nol­ogy given to edu­ca­tion stim­u­lus funds means a lot of 1-to-1 pilots have begun or are about to begin this year.

Cloud Com­put­ing and Por­tals More Widely Adopted
Judg­ing by list­serv and other con­ver­sa­tions, it does seem that Google apps and sim­i­lar cloud com­put­ing prod­ucts are tak­ing off, and many schools and dis­tricts are real­iz­ing the ben­e­fits of a school wide online learn­ing com­mu­nity or portal.  

Apple Tablet and Improved Ink­ing Tech­nol­ogy
It didn’t hap­pen in 2009 — but — it looks pretty good for 2010 accord­ing to reports sup­pos­edly to be announced Jan­u­ary 26, 2010.  If/when Apple does release a tablet, it will fol­low the most wide­spread and least expen­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paign in recent his­tory — just search on Apple tablet and see the buzz that’s been going on for oh at least sev­eral years.  Every­one is talk­ing about it, every­one seems to want it, no one has actu­ally seen one, and Apple is grin­ning like a Cheshire cat.

Vir­tual Schools Become the Newest large Con­sumers of One-to-One Hard­ware and Ser­vices
I think this is qui­etly hap­pen­ing because with­out 1-to-1 in some way vir­tual schools, true deliv­ery of edu­ca­tion to every stu­dent from his/her home, requires the stu­dent have his/her own com­puter.  The very nature of vir­tual learn­ing empha­sizes inde­pen­dent work, work­ing syn­chro­nous and asyn­chro­nously, and man­ag­ing time and dead­lines, mean­ing a ded­i­cated com­puter.  Vir­tual schools also are becom­ing the train­ing envi­ron­ment for the way peo­ple are work­ing today — with 35% of peo­ple with a bachelor’s degree doing some work at home - the inde­pen­dent, dis­ci­pline, and col­lab­o­ra­tion required for work­ing this way can be learned in vir­tual schools.

Mobile Labs Will Increase
This seems to be the case as schools con­tinue to pur­chase more mobile labs that “hard wired” labs espe­cially with the cost of mobile labs con­tin­u­ally decreasing.

Con­tin­u­ing Strained Bud­gets
The stim­u­lus money helped schools every­where but that won’t last for­ever.  Strained bud­gets will likely con­tinue for a while.

Best wishes for a truly Happy New Year!

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