Digital Learning in 2012 – My Predictions

I was kinda feeling left out this past week. I did my Christmas Reflection post and was going to leave it at that until the new year but then everyone started to release their Top 10 of 2011 lists or Ed Trends for 2012. I figured that since I am not doing anything anyhow, I should join the club.

My biggest problem was trying to figure out a title. First I came up with Keith’s Sexy Six of 2012 but there is nothing about me that is remotely sexy so then I thought how about Keith’s weighty wonders of 2012 but that didn’t work either, apropos or not.

After a several seconds of thinkin reel hard, I came up with Digital Learning in 2012 – My Predictions. None of them are all that sexy, weighty or even earth shattering but hey it got me out of bed this morning. I hope you enjoy them.

Proliferation of Personal Digital Devices

When I say proliferation of digital devices, I mean laptop, net book or tablet in K – 12 institutions. I was actually predicting this last year but it didn’t really come to fruition. Although I have a couple more kids packing their own device to class, there isn’t anywhere near the number I was predicting.

The reason I am still predicting this, isn’t because K – 12 learning environments require them, it is simply that the drop in the price of laptops and net books, makes it possible for more kids to own one. In fact, I would venture to say the clothing many kids wear on any given day, cost more than an entry-level laptop. Really, why wouldn’t a kid have one?

Edruminate Blog Post on Personal Devices in School

Use of Twitter as a classroom tool

Over the past year, Twitter has evolved rapidly as a tool for use in the classroom. It gives unprecedented real-time access to the outside world for research and information gathering. I used it for the first time last year, when I set my class loose on a group of unsuspecting superintendents and principals (back channelling using twitter) during their annual convention. It was a ton of fun and generated some great conversations between the Educational bigwigs and a motley group of grade 10’s.

Although we are far from any sort of tipping point, I think we turned the corner in 2011. More teachers are becoming curious about how they might use it in their classes and are willing to give it a go.

2012 will be the year when discussions around the staff room will transition from “why in god’s name would I use twitter” to “You should see what I got the kids to do on twitter today”

Mashable article on Twitter in the Classroom

On-line Universities – 60 Ways to use Twitter

Flipping the Classroom… Light

Flipping the classroom is a great idea and there have been some outstanding reports of how well this new classroom dynamic works but not every teacher has the skills, time or desire to create digital lessons for preview from home. What almost every teacher CAN do, is use some of the fantastic resources already out there for flipping the odd lesson or two.

In 2012, I think we will see more teachers looking at the flipped classroom model and they will see some value there. As a result, more kids will be going home to prepare for assignments as homework, instead of completing assignments for homework.

 Aaron Sams’ Flipped Classroom Video (Inspiring)

Salman Kahn – Ted Talk on Flipping the Classroom

Edmodo Will Become # 1 Distributed Learning Platform

The rapid rise of Edmodo as the go to content management system for education will continue. The reasons for this are simple. It is Free, Easy to use and has multiple language support. It is also scalable so it is as useful and easy to use for an individual teacher as it is for big school district or institution.

Backed by Union Square Ventures, the people who funded web giants such as Twitter, Foursquare, Zanga, Boxee and dozens more, Edmodo is positioned to take over digital learning environments the world over in 2012.

Good little Post on

News item on Edmodo’s 15 million dollar influx of cash

Concerns about wi-fi in schools will grow

In order for digital assisted learning to take off in our classrooms, we need access to all the good stuff web has to offer and if we are all using personal digital devices to access this information, we need WiFi. As a result schools have been installing WiFi in schools all over the country. This year however, the concerns about the health risks associated with WiFi in schools started to gain some traction and parents began to push back against WiFi in schools.

In 2012 we will see the movement to ban WiFi in schools gain momentum. As a result, more schools and school districts will outright ban WiFi in favour of wired web access only.

National Post Article on Ridding Classrooms of WiFi

Round One Google Vs Apple

Yes you heard it here first folks. Google will go toe to toe with Apple in 2012. It won’t be a knock down drag em out fight to the death or anything but the first round of many to come will happen this year but first one proviso.

Round one will only happen IF Google’s new Tablet comes out and starts to take away enough business from Apple. This is a real possibility, if Google makes its new device integrate flawlessly with Google docs, Google + network and allows easy access to the files saved on the device. Assuming Google’s new tablet will also have all the functionality of the iPad, I think one can safely say that the Google’s tablet will be a far superior device for education.

We know that Apple is more than happy to go to court to protect its intellectual property as it has with Samsung so there is no reason to believe it won’t happen with Google as well. I for one look forward to seeing these two digital titans clash. Apple might be forced to start to produce products that work in the real world not just in the Apple world.

Samsung Vs Apple

Google Intellectual Property Acquisitions 

So there are my predictions. Like I said, none of them are sexy, weighty, earth shattering or even unpredictable but that is the best I can do. We shall see how it all shakes down in the coming months.



  1. Brian Kuhn

    Predictions hey. I prefer to talk about scenarios or possible futures because you aren’t saying things will be, rather considering what may be – more wiggle room. 🙂

    Proliferation of devices is something I’ve been “forecasting” for 6 or 7 years. It’s certainly picked up steam but not nearly as quickly as I thought. Price and capability are significant drivers. If someone produces a tablet (ala iPad esk) for $200, we’ll likely see an exponential change here. I am hoping Microsoft lands a winner with Windows 8 on tablets but time will tell. The experience with Windows 7 Phone is pretty cool and that on a tablet would be interesting. Apple has such a head start in the app department though, it will be tough for any competitor, Google, Microsoft, or others to give them a run.

    Edmodo is a challenge for us in BC since it’s hosted outside Canada. You need the permission of each individual (students/parents, others) who’s personal info would be stored, it has to be in writing, with specific language. It’s tricky, not impossible. The ideal situation is a highly functional, easy to use inhouse or BC/Canada based platform. Hopefully your Sharepoint option will become that for you.

    I think the WiFi fears will subside. It’s about risk management. People are quite happy to drive on highway #1 in rush hour with their children, where accidents happen every day, people are seriously injured or killed. That’s a real verifiable risk. WiFi health issues… not quite so verifiable. It’s an emotional issue for sure, but the science to “prove” risk doesn’t seem to be there. Forcing students / staff to plug in seriously limits the benefits of learning with technology. Being wireless is such a freeing experience to support learning anywhere in any space without the hassles of plugging in.

    All the best in 2012!

    1. Post

      Thanks for the reply Brian.

      The proliferation of devices has to be on the verge of becoming a reality but I am know for being wrong. I really hope Google or Microsoft will start to challenge Apple because the current imbalance in the tablet world is not good for anyone but Apple.

      Edmodo regardless of rules will continue to expand. Just look at facebook. Right or wrong, legal or not, it will grow exponentially unless districts begin to block it from school networks.

      Your logic about WiFi is solid BUT if you can prove that just 1 kid is Allergic or hyper sensitive to WiFi, parents have a case. Just look at any other allergen in our environment. If it is an issue for even one kid, it doesn’t enter the school. All parents need is 1 single case and all hell will break loose.

      Thanks again!


  2. MichaelK

    While I too would love for Apple to work better with other technologies such as SharePoint, the fact remains that Google is still much younger and has a lot to learn. I’m thinking about such important details such as device management, interoperability, and the fact that a student at a public institution is not a consumer nor can her/his personal data be disseminated for profit. Google has very much a-one-size-fits-all approach to users and this tends to favor older and technologically-savvy young professionals. Apple, on the other hand has a better understanding of how technology should work in an educational environment because they’ve been doing it so well for so long. One example is how simple and intuitive they’ve made art and creative applications – there simply isn’t anything comparable in the Google ecosystem, or the Microsoft one, for that matter.

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