Ed Tech Trends
13 Predictions for K–12 and Technology in 2022
THE Journal reached out to district technology and IT leaders, school leaders and teachers to find out what they expect to see in the new year.
Ask people workingin education what they expect will happen in the new year, and theoutlook is (mostly) hopeful. A few common themes emerge for theseexpectations: a pronounced focus on staff and student wellness; acontinued exploitation of new technology; placing greater emphasis onprofessional development; a blossoming of student creativity andownership of learning. Here we present a baker's dozen of predictionsfrom teachers, school leaders, and district technology and ITleaders.
We'll SeeInvestments in Skill-Building and Support
Am I allowed to saythat my prediction was just swiped by the SurgeonGeneral's Advisory on Youth Mental Health? The goodnews is, his voice carried more than mine could — predicting thatthe lingering effects of the pandemic would cause anxiety, depressionand lost motivation to skyrocket. With an abundance of hope for 2022,I predict that schools and families will invest in proven programsthat can make a lasting difference for kids and teenagers. Teachingevidence-based skills and providing expert support to young peoplewill change the trajectory of this crisis, as well as our families,communities and nation.
Kelly Curtis isan elementary school counselor, recipient of the 2021 WisconsinEquity in Action Award and EmpowerU coach.
Students WillRise to the Occasion
The spring semesteris fast approaching and it has been a wild ride. Getting studentsacclimated into the school setting again has been the priority ofthis fall semester. I feel the students are now ready and in thementality of learning again. The fall semester was used primarily toaddress the social and emotional needs as well as digest what it wasthat we were going in to. Now that we have analyzed and putadditional systems into place for learning gaps and behaviorintervention, the expectations on the student end will be increasing.
Students have shownthat they know how to navigate technology to help learn, so I amthinking we will continue to move down this route. I also feel thatgoing in and knowing what to expect is going to allow teachers toplan and implement the second half of the year more accurately. Thestudents have shown that they are willing and capable of rising tothe occasion. I am very much looking forward to starting the springsemester with a new game plan.
Parvinder Singhis the science department chair, teacher of AP Chemistry and AdvancedChemistry, and Esports and senior class sponsor at SeguinHigh School in Texas.
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Programs forWellness Will Come to the Forefront
While students wereremote as the pandemic started, and through a good portion of theyear, school districts will continue to adapt and provide additionalsupport for students to make up for learning loss.
Staff have becomeburned out. Shortages of teachers and bus drivers continues to be aconcern. School districts will have to become creative to hireteachers. Programs for mental health and wellness for both studentsand staff will be at the forefront.
The CARES and ESSERGrants have provided funding for technology to support digital tools,staffing and facilities improvements. The Emergency Connectivity Fundhas provided access for students at home. These funds will continueto be used strategically to help our students.
Jessica Rosenworcelwas recently appointed as the chairman of the Federal CommunicationsCommission. She will continue to be a staunch supporter to provideadequate funding for technology for school districts.
Keith A.Bockwoldt is the chief information officer for HinsdaleHigh School District 86 in Illinois.
InstructionalSupport and Training will Ramp Up
The COVID disruptiontaught K-12 that "digital" — digital infrastructure,digital pedagogy, digital curricula — needs to be an essential, notjust a supplemental, component of school. Delivering packets of papercurricula simply is not sustainable. And, the Alpha Generation, whowill increasingly dominate classrooms and who are the "digital-first"generation, are expecting "digital."
We believe that K-12has learned from COVID, and thus we believe the following willhappen:
Transitioning"analog-first" teachers and administrators to being"digital-first" is not an option: it is essential if we aregoing to meet the needs of the children coming to populate our K-12schools!
Cathie Norris isa professor in the Department of Learning Technologies in the Collegeof Information at the Universityof North Texas.
Elliot Soloway isa professor of electrical engineering and computer science in theCollege of Engineering, professor of education in the School ofEducation, and professor of Information in the School of Informationat the Universityof Michigan.
Together, theyrun the IntergalacticMobile Learning Center, which focuses oncollaborative learning and 1-to-1 learning.
StudentCreativity Will (Once Again) Reach a Wider Audience
2022 will mark aresurgence in student-created media and provide students withopportunities to publish their stories, ideas and art for a wideraudience. In order for our students to be creative communicators,they must have the ability to explore and experiment with a varietyof different types of media and express themselves using those tools.During the last two years many of the projects where we ask studentsto create using multimedia have taken a back seat. But we arefiguring out how to manage the uncertainty of our everyday classroomlives and will begin to incorporate those techniques back into ourinstruction more intentionally and regularly.
Bill Bass is thepast president of the ISTE board of directors and innovationcoordinator for the ParkwaySchool District in St. Louis.
Students NeedMore Education on Climate Change
On in-person versusremote learning, so far this year, I have taken the entirety of myclasses in person. While the transition back into all-day socializinghas been difficult at times, I definitely prefer it this way. If allgoes well, I am planning to continue attending school in person forthe rest of the year.