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Top Trends in Technology in the Higher Ed Classroom


Top Trends in Technology in the Higher Ed Classroom

Kristen Treglia is an instructional technologist in Fordham’s Faculty Technology Center. She develops technology resources for faculty and teaches best practices for technology-based teaching methods and materials.

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By Kristen Treglia

The New Media Consortium, a respected educational technology group, and EDUCAUSE, a community of higher education instructional technology leaders and professionals from more than 1,800 colleges and universities, together released their annual Horizon Project Short List report for 2013. This year’s release included coming technology trends in higher education that a broad range of users are expected to adopt within certain timelines. Here are a few highlights:

Time to Adoption Horizon:
One Year or Less

1. Flipped Classrooms: This model of teaching shifts how we use our time during class by taking advantage of videos, podcasts, e-books and more outside of the classroom. When instructors have their students review these materials before class (effectively having the students watch the lecture for their homework), the students are more prepared when they meet as a group in the classroom, allowing the instructor to devote time to more interactive and active learning activities instead of only lecturing.

2. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Through a combination of video, discussion boards, reading, and interactive online material, MOOCs are structured so that students can learn at their own pace. With some of the most respected schools and faculty creating these free opportunities to learn, millions of students, life-long learners, and professionals have participated in these courses (and continue to do so at an increasing rate). The three biggest distributor platforms are Coursera, edX and Udacity.

3. Mobile Apps: According to the Pew Research Center, almost 80 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds currently own a smartphone. They have downloaded billions of apps for those devices and will likely continue to do so. Mobile apps dedicated (or even co-opted) for education allow learners to explore and create content anytime and anywhere on a variety of platforms. Some of the most popular apps have a wide variety of uses such as scanning documents on the go, collecting data, sharing real time information, and social learning. As these apps are more integrated into the classroom and learning management systems, more uses for them will surely develop.

Time to Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

4. The Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection between common physical objects (like home appliances, for example) and the Internet through the use of technologies like RFID chips, which capture data. These “smart” objects can measure or detect conditions and then respond to them automatically or on command. Examples of such interactions range from “smart” outlets letting you turn on and off any plugged-in device from your mobile phone to a fire alarm that shuts off gas appliances while sending an alert to you. While most current examples are consumer-oriented, many experts agree that IoT will eventually have an impact on educational services.

5. Learning Analytics: The collection and application of “big data” is a popular trend all over. However, learning analytics takes advantage of big data to provide customized learning experiences for students. Some learning analytics benefits will allow teachers and administrators to:
• identify and intervene when students are in need of assistance
• predict likely student progress and performance
• personalize learning based on certain factors, such as student mastery of activities
• adapt teaching and learning strategies

Much more is covered in the report, of course, so for more information, please visit:

Fordham’s next LearnIT, “The Future of Technology in the Classroom,” will be held on the Rose Hill campus on Nov. 6. Email to RSVP.


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