What Tech Experts Expect in 2014

2013 was a year where the intersection of higher education and technology generated much publicity and heated debate among education professionals, journalists, instructors, and many others. MOOCs, data analytics, fully online degrees, and other topics shared the spotlight in many higher education and technology publications. Now that we have entered 2014, experts share their insights on what is to be expected in the new year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently spoke with five education-technology experts about what they expect from 2014. Here is what they had to say:

  • David Lassner
    • Openness:
      Open software and content, not only saves students and universities money, they also allow for open collaboration, which helps with generating innovation and problem-solving skills.
    • Analytics:
      Data will allow institutions to effectively employ appropriate and necessary techniques and tools in order to promote and enhance the overall teaching and learning experience for all levels of the educational system, including students, faculty, and administration.
    • Cloud:
      Cloud systems, which are already used heavily with email, storage, and communications, will allow students and institutions to access applications virtually at reduced costs.
  • Diana G. Oblinger
    • Connected learning pathways:
      Technology will be leveraged at all aspects of the learner’s educational experience in order to provide greater student engagement, cost-effective learning strategies, and overall academic success for students and instructors alike.
  • John Unsworth
    • “MOOC” ends up standing for “marketing over other considerations”:
      Reassessment of online education partnerships will have universities reassessing their own priorities and budgets in order to really make the most out of MOOCs, which have produced real value for some institutions.
    • Actionable data:
      Data analytics, used by MOOCs, are now being used in smaller scale operations, such as in the classroom by teachers to assess their competency in teaching and the students’ ability in retaining what has been taught by their instructor.
  • Phil Hill
    • Moving beyond ed-tech hype:
      The hype that surrounded innovative technologies hoping to help and enhance the teaching and learning experience for all will slowly die down as we begin to clearly see how these technologies will actually perform in 2014.
    • Greater focus on course design:
      2013 has shown us that the online education formula cannot simply be applied to a traditional classroom setting. In order for online and hybrid courses to truly succeed, courses need to be redesigned in order to accommodate the online education formula.
  • Jeff Borden
    • Gamification:
      Coursework will be transformed to make use of game thinking and game mechanics, which will provide an engaging and familiar environment for students to hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
    • Touch interfaces:
      Interfaces with touch capabilities will become a standard and norm in classrooms where students will be able to accelerate and take ownership of their learning through these devices. Teachers will also learn to optimally utilize these devices in order to effectively teach students in many different scenarios and learning situations.

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