Research, research, research

Research, research, research!

Looking through the abundance of literature that is available on technology and our schools is overwhelming.  It is interesting to see the same topics crop up over and over in the reports.  I found many instances of where they talked about BYOD and app usage to support my idea for “Appy Hour” at my school.

The Meeker Report specifically mentions the use of apps by everyday people and educators.  The Horizon Report put BYOD on its list several different years.  I can’t imagine running my classroom without Class Dojo and Bloomz and I am excited to show others in my school how using mobile technology and “apps” in particular can cut down on time wasted and start to involve parents more.

Now I want to share some of the highlights for each report, to show the threads that run through all three, along with some innovations that I have never even heard about, including Makerspaces.  I can see how useful this data could be in choosing a path for Disruptive Innovation.

Key Trends in 2013 – Horizon Report

Looking at the key trends in 2013, the list contained online learning, social media, data and open resources, BYOD (bring your own device), and the change in roles of the teachers due to the internet and its resources.  There was no timeline included in this part of the report, they were just listed in this order.

Key Trends in 2014 – Horizon Report

In the next 1-2 years, the key trends are rethinking the roles of teachers (a repeat of 2013) and a shift to deeper learning.  In the next 3-5 years, the key trends are open education resources (such as TPT) and hybrid learning designs (a repeat of 2013 and used interchangeably with blended learning).  In 5 plus years, the key trends are rapid acceleration of intuitive technology and rethinking how schools work.

Key Trends in 2015 – Horizon Report

In 1-2 years, the key trends are the use of blended learning and the rise of STEAM education (adding the arts and humanities to the STEM education model).  In 3-5 years, the key trends are collaborative learning (a repeat from 2013) and the change of students from consumers to creators.  In five years plus, the key trends are rethinking how schools work (a similar issue to 2013 and 2014) and a shift to deeper learning (a repeat of 2014).

What I learned from the key trends is that a shift from deeper learning jumped from a 1-2 year trend in 2014 to a five plus trend in 2015.  We are still a long way from figuring out how to implement deeper learning for our students.  I also learned for the last 3 years, that teachers and schools are being questioned in what their roles will be in the future of education.  Blended learning made several appearances on the trends list, moving along at a pace a bit faster than what they predicted.  I see many potential disruptors on this list, such as blended learning and changing the roles of teachers and schools.

Does the literature agree with the view of the report?  YES IT DOES!  Collins and Halverson say “Schools will not disappear anytime soon. Schools were prevalent in the era of apprenticeship, and they will be prevalent in whatever system of education that comes into being. But as the seeds of a new system begin to emerge, education will occur in many different, more adaptive, venues and schools will have a narrower role in learning.”  Some examples are computer based learning environments, distance education, and workplace learning environments.

Challenges in 2013 – Horizon Report

The challenges in the 2013 report again are listed in a format that doesn’t separate them by difficulty as the other years do.  The challenges are that professional development needs to be integrated into the school culture, that education is limiting new technologies through its own practices, the competition to traditional models of schools, personalized learning and the demand for it, and not using technology for formative assessments.

Challenges in 2014 – Horizon Report

Challenges that are deemed easy to fix are authentic learning opportunities and personalized learning integration.  Challenges considered difficult to fix are complex thinking and communication and the safety of student data.  Challenges which are considered “wicked” to solve are competition from new models of education and keeping formal education relevant.

Challenges in 2015 – Horizon Report

Challenges considered easy to fix are authentic learning opportunities and incorporating technology in teacher education programs  Challenges considered difficult to fix are personalized learning and rethinking teacher roles in education.  The “wicked” to fix challenges are scaling teacher innovations and teaching complex thinking.

What I learned from the challenges of the Horizon Report is that personalized learning seems to jump all over from easy to difficult depending on the year.  As we look at the vast complexity of creating and maintaining personalized learning for every child, I can see why it keeps moving around.  I also find it interesting, just in the key trends, how teacher and school roles are questioned as to what they will be in the future.  There are many disruptors such as using tech for formative assessments and changing the teacher education programs.

Cavanaugh says “In the diverse and ever-changing world of educational technology, the term “personalized learning” seems to be everywhere, though there is not yet a shared understanding of what it means.”  Workshops and presentations for school districts and administrators are focused on figuring out just what personalized learning should look like.  I think that this will be a difficult task to achieve since all the different entities have a different definition of what personalized learning should be.

Developments 2013 

This is the one portion of the Horizon Report that is formatted the same in all three years. In less than 1 year, they anticipate developments in cloud computing and mobile learning.  In 2 to 3 years, they anticipate learning analytics (or looking at data about student learning) and open content to develop.  In 4 to 5 years, 3 D printing and virtual and remote labs will develop.


Developments 2014

In less than 1 year expect BYOD (bring your own device) and cloud computing to be developed.  In 2 to 3 years, games, gamification, and learning analytics should be developed.  In 4 to 5 years, the internet of things (or anything that can be connected will be connected) and wearable technology should be developed.

Developments 2015 

In less than 1 year, BYOD and makerspaces should be developed.  In 2 to 3 years, 3D printing and adaptive learning technologies should be developed.  In 4 to 5 years, digital badges and wearable technologies should be developed.

To me, this was the most interesting section to look at.  I find it fascinating that developments that were never even mentioned in previous years (such as makerspaces) are less than one year from being prevalent.  I also find it interesting how some concepts just drop from the list, such as learning analytics and I have never read or heard of this topic before.  I wonder if it just became irrelevant or it became a reality.  Some disruptors include BYOD, makerspaces, and wearable technologies.

What is a makerspace?  Kurti, Kurti, and Levin define makerspaces as “Educational makerspaces (EM) and maker education (ME) have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach teaching and learning. The maker movement in education is built upon the foundation of constructionism, which is the philosophy of hands-on learning through building things.”  While participating in a chat on play in the classroom on Twitter, I kept hearing mention of makerspaces and quite frankly I had no idea what they were.  Sometimes I feel like if you are not current on the lingo, you can get lost in the reports and what they are saying.  I really think it could be a full time job just to stay current in the research.

Meeker Report 

The Meeker Report was definitely not my “cup of tea”.  If you are someone who likes numbers and graphs and a lot of data, this is the report for you.  This report looks at more the worldwide effect of technology, in stocks, healthcare, education, and so forth.  For this presentation, I will only look at the usage of technology and the educational implications.

General information

-Internet adoption is slowing down.

-Smartphone growth is slowing down.

-Tablets show 52% growth.

-81% of mobile data usage is strongly video driven.

-Cyber threats are an issue with 95% of networks being compromised and the number of active threats at 4 times what it was in 2011.


-The cost of college loans now surpasses car and credit card loans.

-1/3 of 4 year degree graduates do not feel prepared for the workplace.

-Large amounts of people are using apps like Duolingo to learn a new language.

-12 million people use Remind 101 in the classroom setting.

-35 million classrooms use Class Dojo app.

-430 million view on Khan Academy’s You Tube channel

What I learned from this report is that countries like India, and China are increasing their technology use and are becoming the leaders in the tech revolution.  I also learned that internet TV is replacing regular TV with apps replacing channels.  The traditional remote is disappearing and the smartphone app remote is becoming more common, and screens are everywhere.  4 out of the 5 leaders in the market are US companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Apple.  This report is a very good way to look at current trends in technology and how they affect our lives but not at specific classroom or educational ideas.  Some disruptors could include more 1:1 technology and the dependence on smartphones for entertainment and basic living needs.

Is this helping society….all this tech?  As technology gets better, is society getting worse?  The report did not address this fact. Wu (2014) states that technology has drastically  changed the life of the Oji-Cree people, leading to an increase in type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity, and about 1/2 the adult population’s dependence on Oxy-contin.  So, we do have to be aware of the dangers of innovation, even what is considered the most simple, such as the introduction of a combustion engine and what we consider basic necessities.

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

I enjoyed reading this research, although like the Meeker Report, it did not address issues in the classroom.  This study looked at undergraduate use of technology in their college careers and the key findings in these areas.  I can see this information being more for a professor and less for a k-12 educator.

Key Findings in 2012 Report

-Students felt that blended learning was the way they learned best, and it is becoming the norm.

-Students want more access to course data and progress via mobile devices.

-New tech training is not as valuable to students as training and skill development for existing tech.

-Social networking is used for interactions with friends more than collaboration for academic reasons.

Key Findings in 2013 Report 

-Students know the value of tech but need more help.

-Students prefer a blended learning approach and are beginning to experiment with MOOC’s.

– Students are ready to use their mobile devices for more academic reasons.

-Students understand using tech to connect has its limits and value their privacy.

Key Findings in 2014 Report

-Technology is embedded in student’s lives and they are more likely to use it for active involvement.

-Students want more lecture capture, early alert systems, and freely available course content.

-Students use family or friends for tech help, not help desks.

-Using tech is still uncommon in classroom because few instructors encourage it.

-Students do not use LMS (learning management systems such as Blackboard) to full extent partially because the lack of training.

What I learned from the ECAR reports is that although many k-12 teachers are encouraging device use in their classrooms that is not carrying over to the college campuses.  I also have learned that just because students have a device, they may not use it.  This challenges my thinking of how my son’s Career and Technical School campus runs.  At first glance, they are a 1:1 campus, but there are many more days in the second year of its existence that my son comes home and didn’t even power up his tablet.  Part of the reason is his preference for his cellphone and its lack of glitches, but part of it is the drift away from the tech as he gets further along in his schooling.

Mobile technology

The push to allow more tech in the k-12 classrooms is an ongoing debate.  Kiema (2015) states that some teacher feel like phones are a distraction while others feel the need to embrace them because they are not going away.  I have a feeling this debate will go on for many years but I find it interesting that in colleges, where they are not policed, students still aren’t using mobile technology on their own to enhance their learning.  It still takes an educator who is not afraid to push the boundaries of what is considered “normal” to really get students to step outside of their comfort zone.  My idea of “Appy Hour”, a time to get teachers comfortable with apps and BYOD devices will hopefully help ease the transition that some schools are having.

Going through all the research can be a daunting task. I have recently found an app called Declara that will help me when I run across good articles that I don’t have time to read right then.   By dropping them in the app, it allows me the ability to go back and read them without the time consuming task of “finding” them.  I will be encouraging the teachers who join “Appy Hour” to follow my account, so they will have access to articles about technology that I have found without having to go out and find them.  I will also continue to read the Horizon report, as I feel that it gives me the most information that is applicable to my situation.


Bichsel, Jacqueline & Dahlstrom, Eden. (2014, October). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2014. Retrieved from

Cavanaugh, S. (2014, October 20). What Is ‘Personalized Learning’? Educators Seek Clarity. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (n.d.). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

Dahlstrom, Eden. (2012, September). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012. Retrieved from

Dahlstrom, E., Dziuban, C., & Walker, J.D. (2013, September). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013. Retrieved from


Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., & Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from

Kiema, K. (2015, February 23). As Schools Lift Bans on Cell Phones, Educators Weigh Pros and Cons – NEA Today. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

Kurti, S., Kurti, D., & Fleming, L. (2015, November 27). EDUCATIONAL MAKERSPACES. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

Lunden, Ingrid. (2014, May 28). Here’s Mary Meeker’s Big Deck On Key Internet Trends. Retrieved from

Wu, T. (2014, February 6). As Technology Gets Better, Will Society Get Worse? – The New Yorker. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

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Posted in EDLD 5305 Disruptive Innovation in Tech
3 comments on “Research, research, research
  1. […] sift through it all to find out what is applicable to what I am doing.  That information is found here.  Finally I had to come up with a outline of a plan to implement and create a video to share with […]


  2. […] promote change.  Even something that I did not enjoy as much, such as literature reviews like this one, have taught me so much about how to show people the evidence that is out there about why we might […]


  3. […] coming to my idea for “Appy Hour” during this time.   I was also pretty overwhelmed with the literature review process.  I think that is where being out of school for so long became a huge disadvantage.  […]


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