Most of the great iterative tech changes to education have happened in higher education. But those changes are starting to drift down into K12, and take on their own shape and meaning. Here is a list we found online that charts those changes and pinpoints the evolutionary steps you should be looking to track to stay ahead of the curve. The clearest example of iterative change is the rise of mobile computing tied to the cloud. I have taken a few paragraphs from a recent report to show you how accelerated the changes will be.

From the ConvergeMagazine report:

In the past two years, netbooks have arrived on the scene, but their sales are already growing more than 200 percent per year.  K-12 schools adopt them at a higher rate because many of them provide devices for their students. Netbook trends include 10-inch screens, faster processors, longer battery life and built-in wireless wide area networks.

Laptop use is still growing steadily, but not as fast as it was previously. Laptop trends include LED backlights, backlit keyboards, more rugged mechanical designs, larger hard drives, newer processor designs and increased availability of 3G/4G wireless wide area network support.

Meanwhile, tablet computers are becoming more popular in postsecondary education, and companies are creating smartbooks that have long battery lives of about two days.

More people view Web pages through smart phones and cell phones than through computers. Cell phones have become widely accepted in postsecondary education, while many K-12 districts still ban them in the classroom.

As far as operating systems go, Microsoft Windows leads the pack on desktop and laptop systems. But Mac OS X from Apple, Windows Mobile, iPhone OS, Symbian, Linux and Android have entered the mobile market.

On the connectivity side, most postsecondary campuses have robust WiFi, but less than 30 percent of K-12 classrooms have robust WiFi access. While WiFi has been around for more than 10 years, WiMAX is coming on the scenes as a 4G wide area data service in the U.S. And don’t forget the cellular 3G and 4G data services for smart phones.

While these are some trends that are happening now and in the next year or two, the report also forecasts what education technology will look like in the future. In the next five years, the report predicts that cloud computingcell phone use and 3G and 4G data plans will become mainstream in education.

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