So I am turning on my crystal ball and attempting to take a look into the future, 2013, to give you a heads up on some trends that I think are going to appear in the coming year. The list is below and they are in no particular order.
1. Augmented Reality: We have been scratching the surface with this but sites and apps like Marqueed, Thinglink, Aurasma, and Starchart are making the use and creation of augmented reality for our classrooms and libraries even easier. Augmented reality is simply taking computer graphics and placing them into our field of vision. For instance in Marqueed, users can take an image then embed information, links, videos, and more into that image while collaborating and sharing with others. Augmented reality is super cool, many of the sites and apps are free or cheap and the added layer of information and what it could lend to the field of education could be extraordinary.
2. MOOCs: Also known as Massive Open Online Courses. These are already becoming very popular and they will continue to be into 2013. There is, of course, a mixed reaction to classes that can have 100,000 students enrolled. But I added this to the trend list specifically for teachers, librarians, and our students at the high school level. These courses are an option for high school students looking to gain some experience before entering college and MOOCs can also aid teachers and librarians in professional development and also those looking for practice before starting a second masters or doctorate.
3. Mobile Learning: This probably goes without saying but we will see more tablets in the classroom. With the increase in options, iPad Mini, Google Nexus, Microsoft Tablet, (just to name a few) and with the decrease in prices the opportunities for tablets in the classrooms will be prime. More apps are being introduced for the field of education every day. Those in the tablet industries are pursuing educators/librarians for tablets in the classroom. Their use will grow.
4. The Cloud: Of course The Cloud has been around but its prevalence is increasing. We know sites such as Dropbox and Google Docs keep our documents and materials in the Cloud but now computers and tablets are being released with no ports or drives where everything saved on the device will go straight to the cloud. (See the new Google Chromebook)
5. BYOD: Bring your own device is fast becoming the norm. Mobile devices, smart phones and tablets, are outpacing laptops and desktops for internet access. Use them in your classroom or library. Integrate them into instruction; students have them, make them a part of learning.