This a guest post By TeachStreet. Teachstreet is a website that provides online and local classes, including SAT Prep Classes.
2010 was a year of experimentation, change and flux, as educators scrambled to lay a foundation for a 21st century style of learning. Among the top trends in education were:
1. Mobile Devices in the Classroom
This year, Notre Dame set up an experimental classroom where every student was given an iPad. While some critics said that introducing mobile devices would be a distraction to students (as they can play games on the devices), others pointed out that iPads in the classroom may help the teacher make the classroom experience more interactive and engaging. The verdict is still out on whether or not mobile devices are a help or a hindrance, but this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
2. Emphasis on Teacher Evaluation
The “Race to the Top” program announced by the Obama administration last year had a big effect on how teachers were evaluated. Each state that competed for the $4.35 billion in funding had to make serious reforms in order to qualify for the program. A big part of meeting those qualifications were to create more merit based incentives for teachers who did well. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation jumped on the teacher evaluation bandwagon and provided over $335 million dollars in funding to place webcams in classrooms to better understand just what “star teachers” did in order to create a great learning experience.
3. Remote Learning
Although remote learning has been around for a while, many more universities are offering remote learning courses, including prestigious Universities like Stanford and Columbia. As webinars and other streaming video technologies become more reliable and ubiquitous, it only seems natural for this trend to continue. This is going to be especially handy for working students who will be able to fit their coursework around and between shifts.
As usual, technology was a big driver for changes in education in 2010. It’s still unclear where these changes will lead us, but that many will point to 2010 as a key year of change.