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.
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!