10 Global Trends in ICT and Education


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 In the spirit of the new year and all things dealing with resolutions and lists, I submit below my first blog posting for the EduTech blog (checking off a resolution) with a discussion of 10 Global Trends in ICT and Education for 2010 and beyond (joining the crowded space of lists in this new year). 

The list is an aggregation of projections from leading forecasters such as the Horizon Report, personal observations and a good dose of guesswork.  The Top 10 Global Trends in ICT and Education are:

  1. Mobile Learning. New advances in hardware and software are making mobile “smart phones” indispensible tools. Just as cell phones have leapfrogged fixed line technology in the telecommunications industry, it is likely that mobile devices with internet access and computing capabilities will soon overtake personal computers as the information appliance of choice in the classroom.


  1. Cloud computing. Applications are increasingly moving off of the stand alone desk top computer and increasingly onto server farms accessible through the Internet. The implications of this trend for education systems are huge; they will make cheaper information appliances available which do not require the processing power or size of the PC. The challenge will be providing the ubiquitous connectivity to access information sitting in the “cloud”.


  1. One-to-One computing.  The trend in classrooms around the world is to provide an information appliance to every learner and create learning environments that assume universal access to the technology. Whether the hardware involved is one laptop per child (OLPC), or – increasingly -- a net computer, smart phone, or the re-emergence of the tablet, classrooms should prepare for the universal availability of personal learning devices.


  1. Ubiquitous learning. With the emergence of increasingly robust connectivity infrastructure and cheaper computers, school systems around the world are developing the ability to provide learning opportunities to students “anytime, anywhere”.  This trend requires a rethinking of the traditional 40 minute lesson.  In addition to hardware and Internet access, it requires the availability of virtual mentors or teachers, and/or opportunities for peer to peer and self-paced, deeper learning.


  1. Gaming. A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project per the Horizon Report found that massively multiplayer and other online game experience is extremely common among young people and that games offer an opportunity for increased social interaction and civic engagement among youth. The phenomenal success of games with a focus on active participation, built in incentives and interaction suggests that current educational methods are not falling short and that educational games could more effectively attract the interest and attention of learners.


  1. Personalized learning. Education systems are increasingly investigating the use of technology to better understand a student’s knowledge base from prior learning and to tailor teaching to both address learning gaps as well as learning styles. This focus transforms a classroom from one that teaches to the middle to one that adjusts content and pedagogy based on individual student needs – both strong and weak.


  1. Redefinition of learning spaces. The ordered classroom of 30 desks in rows of 5 may quickly become a relic of the industrial age as schools around the world are re-thinking the most appropriate learning environments to foster collaborative, cross-disciplinary, students centered learning. Concepts such as greater use of light, colors, circular tables, individual spaces for students and teachers, and smaller open learning spaces for project-based learning are increasingly emphasized.


  1. Teacher-generated open content. OECD school systems are increasingly empowering teachers and networks of teachers to both identify and create the learning resources that they find most effective in the classroom. Many online texts allow teachers to edit, add to, or otherwise customize material for their own purposes, so that their students receive a tailored copy that exactly suits the style and pace of the course. These resources in many cases complement the official textbook and may, in the years to come, supplant the textbook as the primary learning source for students. Such activities often challenge traditional notions of intellectual property and copyright.


  1. Smart portfolio assessment. The collection, management, sorting, and retrieving of data related to learning will help teachers to better understand learning gaps and customize content and pedagogical approaches. Also, assessment is increasingly moving toward frequent formative assessments which lend itself to real-time data and less on high-pressure exams as the mark of excellence.  Tools are increasingly available to students to gather their work together in a kind of online portfolio; whenever they add a tweet, blog post, or photo to any online service, it will appear in their personal portfolio which can be both peer and teacher assessed.


  1. Teacher managers/mentors. The role of the teacher in the classroom is being transformed from that of the font of knowledge to an instructional manager helping to guide students through individualized learning pathways, identifying relevant learning resources, creating collaborative learning opportunities, and providing insight and support both during formal class time and outside of the designated 40 minute instruction period.  This shift is easier said than done and ultimately the success or failure of technology projects in the classroom hinge on the human factor and the willingness of a teacher to step into unchartered territory. 


These trends are expected to continue and to challenge many of the delivery models fundamental to formal education as it is practiced in most countries.  It will be interesting to reflect back on this list at the end of the year to see which ideas have gained the most traction; and what new ideas will make a list for 2011….

In 2010 we welcome a new blogger to the team!  Robert Hawkins is a Sr. Education Specialist in the World Bank with a focus on science and technology as well as the role of technology in education.


Robert Hawkins

Sr. Education Specialist

Joe Nutt
January 21, 2010

I am absolutely no Luddite, I can point to an extremely impressive track record in the industry, designing genuinely useful educational applications and to a decade of experience training teachers in how to engage with technology purposefully, but what I cannot stomach is the literal none-sense and techno-voodoo peddled by so many "gurus" and companies marketing to schools which reveals not even a basic grasp of the reality of what skillful, professional teachers, or great schools do. What worries me about your list, exciting and relevant though it undoubtedly is, is that a lot of it is so strongly redolent of those, highly subjective influences.

Look at this recent article from the Independent Newspaper in the UK which details the vast waste of taxpayers' money on major government IT projects. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labours-computer-blunders…

Exactly the same, naive faith (because it certainly isn't science or serious educational research that's driving this) that has fuelled this waste, has been pumping redundant and inefficient technology into schools for years while professional, skilled, none technology teachers get on with their job. Your last "trend" is the one on which all else depends and I would argue that it isn't a trend at all. It is an aspiration of the influencers referred to above.

One of the things I've detected links many of the self styled "gurus" in the field, is a deep seated dislike of schools and a covert anti-schools agenda. (Examples readily supplied offline.) I've seen it not just in technology, but in school design and architecture, having worked on the very first BSF (building schools for the future) project in the UK and many more since.

I would seriously argue that 10 years ago I heard exactly the same grand claims made for the educational benefits of technology, while all around ordinary teachers (the overwhelming majority) sat by letting techno-zealots run amok with budgets and policy.

Until recently, the only way they have been able to maintain the impetus is because central governments have repeatedly coughed up. If there is a genuinely sustainable, educational ICT project out there that doesn't need a massive capital injection 3-5 years in...I have yet to see it. I'd love to design one.

January 13, 2010

I couldn't agree with many of your posts more with just a couple of observations.
Education, in the traditional sense, arguably aided in the social development of the individual. To me there is the danger that with the shift to more individualised learning, especially in the formative years, that there will be an increased inability to adapt socially. While I agree that gaming is useful I think much of the achievements in this regard would depend on the types of games used.
As for the role of the educator, this will be the most challenging area as teachers, many from conservative/traditional societies, may be reluctant/find it hard to adapt even when the technology and other tools are available.
The redefinition of learning spaces again is not new as this was taught (at least it was to me) years ago. It is whether educators actually practise what they learn or whether they do it based on "official" policy.
Teacher generated open content is definitely catching on as attested to by initiatives such as wikieducator.

Harsha Aturupane
January 12, 2010

Thank you, Robert. This is a very interesting write-up.

January 14, 2010

Another article talks about the irreversible wave of ICT is from Economist, talking about Nokia's business strategy. I believe it is different approach and perspective you might want to take a look.

January 15, 2010

Hi Robert, Interesting article. I work with a health NGO in Africa. We are currently piloting Mobile Learning, One-to-One computing, Teacher-generated open content, and Teacher managers/mentors. Like you, I can't wait to see how this pans out in 2010 and beyond.

Darlene Parker
January 17, 2010

Robert, though your organization focuses on developing countries, I believe that the title 10"Global" trends is accurate.
While preparing an E-learning in Africa paper, it was interesting to see the common challenges of effective ICT adoption are also in play here in North America, and the change in pedagogy has been slow.
We seem to be outward focused on Africa and South America, when our own students are often missing out on essential learning opportunities.

Michael Murray
January 22, 2010

It is altogether too facile to list the (claimed) failures without the slightest attempt to discover and disclose the reasons for cost overruns or under performance. Engineering can perform wonders, but people reflexively resist change and while debate rages, initiatives get bogged in controversy. It is not the technology that causes delays or sends costs soaring but the human inability to reach and sustain consensus.

Meanwhile individual-scale technological change sweeps ahead. From smart phones and laptop computers to social networking and alternative worlds, individual choices and activities are transforming society irresistibly. In education too, the interactive whiteboards are replacing blackboards, electronic pens replace chalk, digital books and documents are replacing print, and literacy now embraces the ability to create and respond to video, music and art as well as text. Inevitably some educators resist, attempt to ban electronics from their classrooms, and sound the knell of approaching disaster. The more progressive educators are eager to embrace the change and rise to the challenge of addressing students on their own terms. The benefits in enhanced learning, perceived relevance and enriched education experiences are enormous.

Ron Canuel
January 19, 2010

As the Director General of one of the very few public school boards to have provided (2003) free wireless laptop computers from Grades 3-11, in Quebec. The trends that you have identified are precisely what I have been saying for years. It is very difficult to integrate technology into an operating model of education designed in the 19th century. Too much has changed and our children are more in "touch" with the world than ever. The key remains what I have described as the "Human Factor."
In my travels to present our 1:1 deployment, one must deal with an acronym that I developed a year ago: B.I.P.P. That is, one must deal with Beliefs, Ideologies, Philosophies before you deal with Pedagogy.
Great article and I have sent it into our system for all to read.

Michael Trucano
January 27, 2010

Both Joe and Michael make some good points here.

There is an important distinction between a bad idea, poorly implemented and a good idea, poorly implemented that can sometimes get lost in the noise around these issues.

Steve Vosloo
January 26, 2010

While I feel that the trends apply mostly to well-resourced, developed-country educational institutions, I’m happy to report that in South Africa (SA) we are seriously exploring:

Trend 1) Mobile Learning — although we’re not focusing on smart phones but rather on feature phones with GPRS-capability, e.g. in the m4Lit (mobiles for literacy) project.

Trend 8) Teacher-generated open content — the Siyavula project from the Shuttleworth Foundation is building a community of teachers and a platform for this very thing.

I think the trends least likely to take hold in SA are 2) Cloud computing (bandwidth is just too expensive and the infrastructure for it not well enough established) and 10) Teacher managers/mentors (in-service teachers don’t want to relinquish the role of font-of-knowledge and “head” of the classroom. A number of factors, such as poor learner discipline and low teacher content knowledge (making the teacher only just a font-of-knowledge, more like a trickling stream of knowledge) make this a complex issue … it is not simply a case of teachers being resistant to change).

online games
January 27, 2010

That's an interesting point about games. A site I frequently visit has an assortment of typing games. I'm not sure if they qualify as "educational" but they did improve my typing skills! They are quite popular with kids on the site it seems.

Robert Hawkins
January 27, 2010


A few reactions:

1. For individualized learning, I refer to the role of the teacher in being cognizant of individual learners strengths and weaknesses and tailoring her instruction accordingly. This does not imply that the student is self-paced and isolated. In fact, I would argue the opposite in that I think the social aspects of education -- teamwork, collaboration, peer learning, etc -- will increase in emphasis.

2. Gaming -- agreed. Grand Theft Auto should not be adapted for the classroom. But many gaming principles -- incentives/rewards, strategy, holistic thinking, collaboration can be incorporated.

3. Role of educator -- Yes. This is the most challenging areas and many teachers are reluctant. Some because of skepticism, some because of fear, some because of inertia and some because of lack of appropriate incentives.

Michael Trucano
January 27, 2010

Steve raises a good point about the applicability of the ten trends that Bob has identified to developing country contexts.

For what it's worth, reading Bob's post here reminded me of a short article he did back in 2002 called 'Ten Lessons for ICT and Education in the Developing World', based on what we had been learning here at the World Bank, especially from the experience with the World Links program.

Ten Lessons for ICT and Education in the Developing World
(note that link is to a PDF)

Upon re-reading that article, it appears as relevant today as it did back then.

Robert Hawkins
January 27, 2010


I agree. One of the fascinating aspects of working in this area is that the reforms that we discuss in developing countries are equally applicable to schools in Washington DC., London and Tokyo. This creates great opportunities for educators all over the world to learn from each other and for schools in developing countries to adopt reforms that are applicable across the globe. It also highlights the fact that developed and developing "countries" is maybe less relevant than "developed and developing" regions, cities, and schools.....

Robert Hawkins
January 27, 2010

Good points. A few reactions:

1. I agree that in too many projects the technology tail has wagged the proverbial educational dog. Wiz bang technology should not be implemented in search of an educational solution but rather the educational objectives should determine the type and use of technology in schools. Often if teachers are not convinced that their time invested in use of the technology is worthwhile, it will not be adopted. Teachers are the frontline of any ICT investment and proper support and consultation needs to take place.

2. Piecemeal reform is difficult and often ineffective. Even where the educational benefits are clearly articulated, if issues such as curricular integration, assessment reform, and pedagogy are not addressed, the investment will not attain its educational benefit. Many programs that introduced ICT as a means to implement project based learning -- while investing in teacher professional development and convincing teachers of the educational benefits -- did not have the desired impact because the curriculum was overloaded and did not provide space for this type of innovative instruction and the assessment systems did not measure much of the learning that comes out of collaborative project based learning. Resulting in many dedicated teachers engaging in these projects as extra-curricular activities and on their "own time"

3. Similar to the comments from @trucano, great teachers will be great with or without technology; and bad teachers will be bad with or without technology. Those teachers looking for tools to inspire and connect, I think with the proper enabling environment and incentives, will find ways to effectively use technology as another tool in their arsenal to engage their students.

4. Students are increasingly using digital media. The reality is that in many countries use of digital media take up many hours in a students day. In order to reach them, it will be increasingly important for education to find ways to convert as many of those hours as possible into teaching and learning opportunities....

Ron Canuel
January 27, 2010

In reading the various posts about what it takes to initiate the needed changes, there still remains some fundamental issues that rarely are treated. In education, one of these issues is the notion of "Sharing of Best Practices". It is very often cited but very infrequently practiced. Too often, educators, regardless of backgrounds and contexts, prefer to learn the "hard way" and truly re-invent the wheel or in this case, the platform for successful integration.
Blogs and other social media contexts are now providing more opportunities to share, and that, in itself is another reason why technology can play a profound role in the future of teaching and learning.
As a 13 year old student once told me, while I was asking her about working with various operating platforms, Mac, Windows, Linux.... Her answer said it best: "Who cares! Only adults seemed to be bugged by this. I like learning with a laptop."
In my books, this is quite illustrative of the dichotomy between adults and children. The world is changing and I am grateful for this. Therefore, so should education change, especially for our children.

Joe Nutt
January 28, 2010

Just one example of what happens when people don't listen to experienced teachers when it comes to technology. Having worked at both ends of the delivery chain. I recognise and endorse everything which the author says.

Joe Nutt
January 28, 2010

Re your pointing back a decade to Robert's "Ten Lessons for ICT and Education in the Developing World.” I’d just point to my earlier post where I wrote:

“I would seriously argue that 10 years ago I heard exactly the same grand claims made for the educational benefits of technology, while all around ordinary teachers (the overwhelming majority) sat by letting techno-zealots run amok with budgets and policy.”

I think your pointing back a decade rather makes my point for me.

Michael Trucano
January 28, 2010

@joe nutt
Fair enough -- I wasn't arguing with you.
As a general rule, I tend to think that letting 'zealots' of any stripe 'run amok with budgets and policy' is not usually a particularly good idea.
Grand claims in this area go back much farther than a decade, of course. Larry Cuban (for one) has done an excellent job of documenting the regular cycles of techno-utopianism in the education sector in the United States that go back almost a century.

Michael Trucano
January 28, 2010

As a former teacher myself, and as someone who spent a number of years working to support teachers directly, I need no convincing of the value in listening to experienced teachers.

Of course, experienced teachers aren't the only people who should have a voice here. An EduTech blog post from back in November, for example, looked at how one group is investigating how to better listen to children, http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/icdl-1.

Interactive whiteboards seem to be an especially hot button issue with some groups of educators, particularly in the UK (where they are in schools to a much greater extent than anywhere else in the world), and to a lesser extent in North America (where they are not as seemingly ubiquitous as they appear to be in the UK). IWBs are not on the radar screen (yet) of most ministries of education with which we work with here at the World Bank, but there are signs that this is beginning to change.

I have seen these tools used to great effect, and I have seen them used abominably. I have also seen them used not at all. (The same holds for most teaching tools I come across, for what that's worth.)

As Bob says in a comment elsewhere on this page, "great teachers will be great with or without technology; and bad teachers will be bad with or without technology. Those teachers looking for tools to inspire and connect, I think with the proper enabling environment and incentives, will find ways to effectively use technology as another tool in their arsenal to engage their students." To which I would add: "Or not use them -- depending on their particular pedagogical goals and strategies at any given point in time".

For readers of this blog looking for discordant or critical views of the use of technology in education from a developed country perspective, the archive of the EdTechNot web site might be of interest: http://www.edtechnot.com/notcuban.html

January 30, 2010

I think they will make cheaper information appliances available which do not require the processing power or size of the PC. The challenge will be providing the ubiquitous connectivity to access information sitting.
Thanks for sharing

Michael Trucano
February 01, 2010

For those interested in learning more about the views of Larry Cuban, you may be interested in a lively conversation that we had at the World Bank back in 2008 with Professor Cuban, Jan Chipchase, Kentaro Toyama and Leigh Linden:


his excellent blog:

Joe Nutt
February 01, 2010

Michael, I am familiar with Larry Cuban's work, but sadly he is barely known in educational ICT circles in the UK. (All 4 headline links on the link you provided by the way are redundant.)

Michael Trucano
March 02, 2010

Hi Derek,
Thanks for writing in and sharing this.
We actually have a blog post in the queue about 'low-cost educational computing' that includes PlayPower -- great stuff!

Robert Hawkins
March 03, 2010


Great stuff. Did not know about your work. Thanks for sharing. By the way, we just launched a game today called EVOKE -- www.urgentevoke.com and you are a hero to one of the players! Thanks for responding.




ps. Drop me a note if you would be interested in being a post game mentor to one of the "winners" of EVOKE.

Derek Lomas
March 02, 2010

Did you know that television-connected computers are available throughout the developing world for only $10? This video explains more:

I've done some work documenting video game arcades in India's urban slums. If you check out playpower.org, you'll see a picture I took of children playing 1 rupee (2.5 cent) video game arcades in Dharavi, Mumbai.

Games allow children to develop and refine technical expertise. This knowledge is often shared within youth social networks--not online networks, real-world networks.

My fieldwork in India suggests that children who show a strong affinity for games end up transferring some of their expertise to other computational environments. I believe that this is one way in which gaming can lead to new economic opportunities.

Do watch this 5 minute video, I'd love to know your thoughts:

Derek Lomas
PhD student in Human Computer Interactions
Carnegie Mellon University

March 28, 2010

Being a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, I have been reading this article and I was asking myself a huge bulk of questions as to what world this post is talking about. The writer said in one of his lines that "it is likely that mobile devices with internet access and computing capabilities will soon overtake personal computers as the information appliance of choice in the classroom."I wonder what world will this be true in.
1*Technology is nothing ore that a word in the speeches of educational policy makers?
2*Our classroom are not equipped with nothing but a blackboard and chalk?
3*People still resist using technology for one reason or another?

True, speaking from my own experience in my country, Morocco, there have been some attempts to integrate ICT in teaching: This means the ministry of education has equipped ONLY one classroom with computers, a data-show and maybe some tables.

Is this what you mean by "The implications of this trend for education systems are huge; they will make cheaper information appliances available which do not require the processing power or size of the PC” in your post above? Of course I know what you meant. But, just to make it clear that in most parts of the world teachers are still fighting to get colored chalk from the administration of their schools.
We have a so called multimedia -room in our school but I am sure that with the exception of 4 or 5 teachers at most ,no one has used a PC so far in his/her teaching. So do you see then that what you have called «The trend in classrooms around the world is to provide an information appliance to every learner and create learning environments that assume universal access to the technology" may not be true in so many parts of the world. Of course I am quoting what you have said above because I assume that most of The World Bank's ICT educational programs take place in developing countries. Yet, I know that most of these programs are nothing but a group of sentences on a sheet of paper. In the playground, I mean the actual world of our schools; we don't really see or feel any serious attempts to integrate ICT in schools.
Some of the people who commented above have said that "There is an important distinction between a bad idea, poorly implemented and a good idea, poorly implemented that can sometimes get lost in the noise around these issues.".I would absolutely agree with them and say that integrating ICT in our third world schools is a good idea not only poorly implemented but also very badly implemented. I really don't know why this is so. But I am definitely sure that using ICT in our schools has received a huge amount of talk and discussion in our country. Yet, in reality there is nothing.
I will talk about a training that has recently been conducted by the ministry of education in our country on the use of ICT in our schools. The training targeted teachers like me but I am aware that most teachers agree that the training was useless because it targeted things which teachers don't really need in their class and every day practices.
How would you train a person on theoretical things related to blogging and the internet while he/she still can't use Microsoft Office applications? How can you train a teacher on the importance of blogging while he/she still uses handwritten tests in his/her classes -or better he has never used a Xeroxing machine?
These are questions which must, I think, get prior consideration on the part of those who carry out the training sessions and also on the part of those who sponsor these trainings.
I would like to finish with a personal real anecdote related to what you have said about "The ordered classroom of 30 desks in rows of 5 may quickly become a relic of the industrial age as schools around the world are re-thinking the most appropriate learning environments to foster collaborative, cross-disciplinary, students centered learning."
I personally have made what I suppose are great efforts on my part to create a personal educational blog in which I can help those miserable students who cannot afford to get extra language classes in private schools. I have also created the blog with a view to meeting my students' different learning styles and multiple intelligences. My blog is the result of my own personal endeavor not the result of any formal training. What I would like to mention is that in some parts of the world what we need is really not to change the classroom settings and shapes. We NEED TO RE-SHAPE THE MINDS OF THOSE PEOPLE. My blog is now 5 months old. I have spoken about it to my school headmaster and to my supervisor yet no one of them has ever logged in to see what I have there. Assuming they have some responsibility towards the students I teach, they should at least have seen what is that that my students have access to in my blog. No ONE OF THEM HAS EVER SPOKEN WITH ME ON THAT.No on of them has ever written a comment on the blog.
How would you then expect educationalists of this kind to encourage and recommend using ICT in our teaching? As a matter of fact, they kill creativity, incentive and innovation. Somebody above has spoken about the importance of the environment. I totally agree with him/her.” Those teachers looking for tools to inspire and connect, I think with the proper enabling environment and incentives, will find ways to effectively use technology as another tool in their arsenal to engage their students.”
Maybe there are still people who love chalk, and so they can't understand teachers who love technology. Or maybe they feel that the teacher shouldn't be better than the supervisor or school headmaster.
If we really think of the interest of the students as it is often claimed, if we really care about change, if really want our education to be better and our ranking in the world of education to move forward not backward, then we have to see what kind of people we have in our schools, we have to see what kind of supervisor we train.
The trends above, therefore, might be applicable in a school close to the World Bank in Washington Dc. A deserted school in the middle of nowhere has still tens if not hundreds of years to struggle with chalk!

j Tim Denny, PhD
April 10, 2010

Excellent list... I enjoy reading about all of the items you included, but since I spend most of my time working in developing countries I came up with an alternative list of areas in which I feel need more assistance in developing countries.

Not in any particular order
1. Green computing - Low power computers – there is much work needed to be done to ensure the world has access to great technologies that enable low power drawing computer deployments
2. Energy provision – ICT does not work without energy – rural and remote areas need affordable electricity generated from low cost and highly durable wind, solar and other alternative sources of energy
3. Batteries – since energy in developing countries is not distributed via a grid system, it must be stored, thus we need far greater efficiencies in battery technology
4. Wireless connectivity – wireless connections are the mode of choice in developing countries as they do not require expensive cabling, we need to further develop schemes to ensure wireless frequencies are liberated, wireless technologies are made pervasive and affordable
5. EMIS – the developed world has long relied on electronic record keeping – it is time that the developing world gets highly scalable and FOSS based EMIS that I easily deployable and scaled from the school level to the ministry for great data collection purposes
6. E-libraries – the promise of ubiquitous internet connection in developing countries is still a long way off, in the meantime we need to focus on affordable and easily deployable e-library systems.
7. Capacity building – while the developed world can take for granted that much training takes place naturally, it is crucial that all projects include long term capacity building components to ensure that participants get all the assistance needed to grow into the role expected of them
8. Content development – developing countries need to focus on indigenous content development. While there are great resources available in the open content space, developing countries also need to learn how to develop high quality materials that they can share with the world. There is too much indigenous knowledge going to waste in a race to commercialize knowledge generation.
9. ICT-education policy – governments need to develop informed and open ICT strategic plans that work in the most efficient way to reduce wastage and focus on areas of greatest propensity for positive development
10. Project databases – aid effectiveness management – each country should set up an open and transparent mechanism for sharing as much information as possible about every ICT-education project available in the country. Far too much is wasted on duplication, and lack of information sharing.

Alejandro Sarbach
May 28, 2010

Gracias Robert por realizar esta magnífica síntesis prospectiva y compartirla. Son verdaderos ítems que ordenan y ayudan a la relfexión sobre nuestra práctica docente y la gestión actual de las instituciones educativas.

Alejandro Sarbach

piumi senevirathna
August 16, 2010

I agree with your top 10 ICT trends and i enjoyied them well.i studied number of readings ,and when compairing them i got better understanding from this.Good luck!

Jonathan Nalder
August 18, 2010

Hi there - am really appreciating this post and the comments. Such big picture statements do tend to inspire debate, which often rightly comes down to lofty ideals vs experience on the ground. I do some work with OLPC and see the resolving of these extremes as the biggest challenge.

I'm also a learning support teacher whose job has been to develop personalised programs to help students improve - so of course ICTs have been a fantastic addition to my teaching - but I believe that you Personalised Learning trend above needs to go further. What I've found is that ICTs (especially mobile devices) don't just help me personalise learning for the students better, it allows students great power to start personalising learning and making decisions for themselves - and this feeds into the last trend of teachers becoming mentors and facilitators...

Rebekah Larson
August 26, 2011

Technology is constantly increasing. Below are five technology trends that will continue to carry into the classroom. Educators need to make sure they keep up with the times, so that students leave the classroom ready for the real world.
1. Mobile Learning:- Using technology such as IPad/Tablets/mobile devices in the classroom is on the increase. IPads, Smart Phones, Ipod’s and other interactive tablets are new and exciting (Born, 2011). They are an excellent way to increase student learning. New Apps are being created, which can increase student learning, engage students.
2. Gaming: When students are actively engaged in their learning they are more likely to become lifelong learners. Gaming is a way that most youth (and many adults as well) enjoy to learn. They like constant positive reinforcement. They want the mental challenge. According to Cerra (2011) Pro-social games can foster cooperation in the real-world.
3. Personal Learning: Virtual Courses: Both Synchronous and Asynchronous learning are on the rise (Project Tomorrow, 2011). Students, at all levels, can receive a quality education from an online program.
4. User-generated content: At this time, technology is so user friendly, that pretty much anyone can figure out how to create whatever they want to create. Teachers are increasingly, using Web 2.0 as an instructional tool, and as a new form of assignment and assessment. Podcasts, vodcasts, digital storytelling, wiki’s and blogs are just a few of the forms of Web 2.0 that can be used to help engage students in their learning and help teachers use technology that engages their students (Born, 2011). Sites like YouTube allow individuals to post their own material, and share it with the world.
5. Content Everywhere: Since the creation of the wireless internet, combined with mobile devices, many people have access to online content from anywhere that the internet is available. Cloud Computing: such as Google Docs or Sugar Sync, is online storage that allows students to store information on the web, and have access to it from any mobile device that gets internet (Cerra, 2011). This can allow students to work on assignments at home, but access that work in the classroom.

Born, C. (Speaker). (2011). Born's babble. [Web]. Retrieved from

Cerra, A. (Speaker). (2011). The shift: technology trends in a 2.0 world. [Web].
Retrievedfrom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmuGlKfTOx0
Project Tomorrow. (2011).

The new 3 e's of education: enabled, engaged, empowered.
Project Tomorrow; 2011, 1-18.

Stephen Catanzarite
August 27, 2011

We tend to think of "technology" and "trends" as having to do with "the future" and "progress." But I'd like to suggest that the impact of new and emerging digital technologies in education is about reform and restoration. The artificiality of the 19th-century industrial model of schooling, with its implicit standardization, narrowing uniformity, mechanization, and multi-level segregation is giving way to a new model of learning that is organic, self-directed, personalized, and holistic. I further suggest that this a reform and renewal of values and approaches to human learning that are, in fact, timeless. So, here are what I see as being the most important developments in global education:

1. The Rise of the (Digital) Autodidact: technology is making it possible for everyone to take responsibility and ownership of their own continuous learning, giving us the access to follow our unique interests and passions, and to chart our own learning course as a lifelong journey.
2. The learning never stops: This idea of learning being “ubiquitous.” Well, life itself is a learning experience, and what technology has done is to expose how segregating learning to “classrooms” and “school” has been incredibly artificial and limiting, both for individuals and for communities/societies.
3. All learning should be engaging: Whether its simulations, interactive readers, social networking sites, videos, blogs, or podcasts (and the list truly does go on), all of these communication, sharing, and collaboration tools and platforms are about active learning opportunities. They hold our interest because we bring our interests to them, and express our interests through them.
4. Personalization: Given the three developments above (and especially the first one), the customization of learning opportunities to diverse communities of people, and unique individuals, is being fostered through all of the new and emerging technologies each of these learning session sources touch upon. Especially important is the idea of “assessment” – the emergence of better, ongoing assessment that provides better data and allows for individualized interventions as needed.
5. The changing definitions of “school” and “teacher” – again, technology has exposed the artificiality, in my opinion, that is at the heart of the 19th-century industrial model of education. Teachers should be freed to no longer have to work in isolation – great teachers are guides and mentors, resources to be treasured by our society, and shared broadly. And they shouldn’t be forced to work in isolation! Schools are learning communities, and these learning communities can now retain local character, flavor, and values, while also being digitally empowered to transcend traditional boundaries of time, space, and culture to connect and collaborate with other learning communities. Also, the role of the parent as the primary teacher is something that is being properly renewed and restored because of the availability of digital learning opportunities and the fact that the teacher and school are no longer viewed as the sole authority/expert on learning.

Bill Haas
August 27, 2011

As a staff member at an online public school, I read your list of technological trends in education with great interest. I must say I found the list to be on point and comprehensive. I perceive also the potential overlap of the technologies listed. The most significant three that I noted on your list are ...

1 - Mobile learning ... Our school has long perceived hand held devices as the next big technological tool. While many public schools are behind the curve in providing adequate numbers of laptops to their students, we are piloting a program with digital tablets and netbooks.

2 - Ubiquitous learning ... I perceive the benefits of this piloted use of handheld devices to be the elimination of learning only within the confines of the classroom. "Any place, any time" learning is afforded by the use of mobile technology connected to the internet.

3 - Personalized learning ... Technology provides the obvious and best means of individualizing instruction. I love your comment about "teaching to the middle". This is the criticism I have long leveled against traditional public schools, based on my experience as an online educator and parent. Technology allows us to amp up instruction for those who find school most difficult, effectively support "the middle", and challenge and enrich the "right hand side of the bell curve".

Great read! Thanks.

Marcy Curth
August 27, 2011

The first top trend are mobile devices. The mobile learning includes ipads, cell phones, and smartphones. I know that by looking at my students, their families and our staff, all have cell phones and many ipads or smart phones. (Born,2011) The second trend that I see is gaming. It is an important part of our world both in education and for recreation. I know that my students love to learn as a contest or game.(Greenbanan,2011). Also so many people enjoy playing on x box and play station 3. Our online practice for our students at PaCyber is Study Island. This is widely used in the education community and provides many instructional games that allow students to practice standards for a variety of subjects. The next trend is online learning. Most of the resources described this as one of their top trends and PaCyber is a great example of a source for online and personal learning.(Born, 2011) All of us use Google to explore topics that we have interest in. Another trend is that of user generated content ( Born, 2011). The forums that have exploded with use are Face book or Twitter. Both of these sites allow visitors or users to add and modify content rather than the creators or owners of the site. The final trend is that information and television or shows are being streamed everywhere on many different sources.(Born,2011) Content will be everywhere and consumed on demand. I know that this feature is an essential part of my household now as we save and watch what we want so we can view at our convenience. This applies to television but also to games and other media content

Dr. Born’s podcast presented the trends (bold) from the Compassion in Politics 1. For a complete review of all trends discussed by Mr Ketsdever, go to

Cerra 2 Allison Cerra: The Shift--Technology Trends in a 2.0 World at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmuGlKfTOx0

Greenbanan 3 Ten Trends for Global Education in 2011 at

3 E’s of Education4 Speak Up 2010 National Findings pdf

World Bank 5 http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/node/544

K-12 6 Ten Latest E-Learning Trends in K-12 Education (16 minutes) http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2011/10-latest-e-learning-…

Tami Riggle
August 27, 2011

As an online teacher, I certainly realize the importance of technology in education. Advances in technology allow students to participate in classrooms in ways that were not possible in the past because of geographical, economic, or social limitations. The document, “The New 3E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered - How Today’s Students are Leveraging Emerging Technologies for Learning,” describes how we, as a nation, are building upon student vision and focusing on three specific key trends. These key trends are mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks. The "New 3E's of Education," learning that is enabled, engaged, and empowered is certainly a vision that we all can share and an excellent starting point for transforming education.


Speak Up 2010 National Findings, retrieved 8/27/11 at http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/pdfs/SU10_3EofEducation_Students.pdf.

Brenda Dhayer
August 28, 2011

As a teacher in a cyber-oriented environment, even we realize the future of education will need to encompass changes in order to effectively reach our youth and keep them engaged. I feel it is pertinent that the education system learn what our youth is using as far as technology so they can teach the teachers how they research and how they learn. The teachers can deliver academic content in a way that engages our youth and teaches them because they learn by doing. Our youth are very skilled with their electronic devices more so than the adults and we must learn from them. The youth are multimodal and need to be stimulated in order to learn. I feel the trends that will make the most successful advancements in education will be with:
Mobile devices-phones, ipads, ipods
Social networking-facebooking, youtube, blogs
Hands on learning-collaboration with other students
Search for academic content--google searches
Personalized + socialized experience--customized to fit student needs but engaging enough so that the youth teach adults

Danielle Summerville
August 28, 2011

I currently teach at PA Cyber, and I couldn't agree more with your observations. We are constantly trying to find new ways to innovate the virtual classroom. Right now, we are working on an iPad imitative to place an iPad in the hands of every student. In addition to the iPads, I think it would be smart to focus on mobile learning. With mobile learning, students can "produce, rather than just consume, many types of content, all with one device" (Eisele-Dyrli, 2011). Mobile learning makes it easy for students to complete work or create at any time. In addition, another benefit of mobile learning is the immediate feedback which is crucial for student success in the classroom.
Eisele-Dyrli, K. (February 2011). Mobile Goes Mainstream. Retrieved from https://franciscan.blackboard.com/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tabGroup=…

Alyssa D.
August 28, 2011

In my opinion, 3 top e-learning trends are mobile learning, e-textbooks, and gaming. Many millennials have constant access to mobile technology, including laptops, cell and smart phones, and iPads. According to Dr. Born’s podcast for EDU 541 at Franciscan University, students remember 90% of what they develop and see themselves, so incorporating this mobile technology in the classroom where students are content creators will profoundly enhance their learning. E-textbooks are reality in many of our classes at PA Cyber and, in my experience, students seem to prefer this format. They enjoy accessing the text quickly from their laptops and the interactive links within the e-textbook add to their learning. Finally, I believe educational gaming is another top e-learning trend. Many of my 6th graders play computer and video games, and they enjoy the games in which they can be creative. According to James Paul Gee, games don’t separate learning and assessment because students are constantly getting feedback as they play. Also, games that focus on participation and production are not only enjoyed by students, but should be routinely incorporated in education. In these types of games, they are learning to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers.

Dr. Born (2011). Educational technology trends. Retrieved from: http://learningsession5.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-15T09_34_12-07_00

Gee, James Paul (2010). Big thinkers: James Paul Gee on grading with games. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU3pwCD-ey0

Brittany Mentel
August 28, 2011

There are numerous technology trends that are facing the educational world today. After reviewing this site as well as several others, I have found several that are leading the list. First, mobile learning (involving iPhones, Smart Phones, digital tablets such as the iPad and other devices with internet access) will soon take over personal computers. To go right along with mobile learning tools, ubiquitous (anytime, anywhere) learning is a leading trend. If students can use the “cloud” to access their work, educational sites, virtual tutors, etc., they will always be connected to the educational world (Hawkins, 2011). Social networking is also a leader among today’s technology trends. A blog post on greenbananablog.org stated, “we are social creatures and the only things we learn well in isolation are survival skills.” Collaborative work in schools is becoming more and more popular as are social networking sites when used properly (2011).

The inclusion of gaming, simulations and animations is also a huge trend finding its way into classrooms today. Students often learn best by seeing and doing. The internet can provide experiences such as virtual field trips and virtual dissections to take students places they would not otherwise see or experience. The use of technology in the classroom has infinite benefits for our students. Teachers need to acquire the proper training in order to maximize these benefits for our students.


Dallas. (2011). “10 trends for global education in 2011.” Retrieved from http://greenbananablog.org/2011/01/10-trends-for-global-education-in-20…

Hawkins, R. (2011). “Ten global trends in ICT and education.” Retrieved from http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/node/544

Carrie Schlosser
August 28, 2011

Given the amount of time today's students seem to spend on the internet and involved with social media, it is no surprise that so many of these trends have to do with technology. I currently work at a cyber school, so many of the trends mentioned are ideas that we are currently implementing. We have just started an iPad pilot with many of our students. We are encouraging our students to explore the iPad in a variety of ways. We not only want them to think of what is available to them now, but also how they could be used in the future. I also agree that games can be important to student learning. As part of our elementary curriculum, students have access to game that directly relate to the concepts they have been learning about. I am extremely interested to see how many of these trends turn into the norms for education.

Tony Jones
August 28, 2011

Trend10. Teachers Managers / Mentors
I think an emerging e-learning technology trend will be the collaboration of traditional schools embracing cyber education. As the mindset against cyber education in traditional bricks and mortar schools continues to change, with 21st century learning methods. Refinement in technology allows educators to use asynchronous methodology as a means of face-to-face instruction with students. Online courses are gaining acceptance in traditional higher learning institutions, high schools and elementary schools.
The two methods of instructions do not need to be rivals, as both possess advantages that meet the needs of different students and faculty. By working together schools will be able to offer more educational choices, while reducing their budget. In the global economy there is room for online and traditional classroom education to coexist. As collaborative partners the two instructional methods can together achieve the strategic goal of educating students in a global technologically advanced society.
I see the educational benefits of school districts embracing and investing in technology. Using mobile devices permits students to produce rather than just consume content. As the technology continues to change it’s our responsibly as teachers to equip our students with the tools they will need to become global thinkers, and problem solvers.

August 28, 2011

I am a virtual classroom teacher so I am familiar with most of the global trends that are popular with ELearning. One of the trends that I see increasing in popularity is mobile learning. One platform that we use to submit assignments called Schoology, is IPhone and IPad friendly. This makes it convenient for students to check on assignments using their phones.

I also find myself acting as a manager/mentor as mentioned in #10. Students enjoy having the responsibility for working collaboratively with other students to complete projects on their own, while the teacher facilitates when needed.

The third trend that I would like to explore more is educational gaming. With the amount of time that students spend using gaming systems, it would be great to use gaming as a resource that applies to what we are currently learning in class.


Erin Patterson
August 28, 2011

PA Cyber is already implementing many of the things discussed in this blog. For mobile learning and on to one computing, we're doing an iPad and Netbook pilot this year. With our virtual and self-paced curriculum you can access it anywhere. With the self-paced, students can access their classes at anytime. Our courses often include relevant games and we used to have classes called GEARS with avatars and simulation games. Students have redefined learning places, from the traditional bricks and mortar schools, to working in their classes anywhere. We have e-text, where teachers can generate and edit open content as needed. Also, teachers are seen as managers or mentors. WIth the research we've done on the millennial generation, this appeals to them. They don't want to be told what to do or be bossed around, they want guidance and team work. As Kurt Eisele-Dyrli says, “Mobile technology in schools is not going to happen--it is happening." It's also nice to have the ability to immediately assess students understanding. In the article, "Mobile goes mainstream" they explain, "If every student had a mobile device at all times, teachers could ask questions throughout class, for example, with students answering on their devices while they worked or as they heard a lesson, enabling the teacher to adjust instruction based on this constant assessment." That would be a huge help for teachers and using mobile devices would draw their attention, more so than a pen and paper test, or a lecture. The hard part with students bringing and having their own mobile devices is regulating what activity is done on them. You don't want students to be in your class on Facebook, or surfing the Web, etc. There need to be ways to control what content they are viewing and using while in class.

Reference: Eisele-Dyrli, Kurt (2011) Mobile goes mainstream. District Administration, v47 n2 p46-48, 50, 52-55

Bobbi Jo Corradi
August 28, 2011

After reviewing the different podcasts, articles, and blogs I have found that there are many different views as to what the new emerging trends in technology are. While each source does have different views I have realized that many of the sources do share the same views on some of the emerging technologies. For example all of the sources believe that mobile learning is an emerging technology trend. The article The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered reports that high school students are using their mobile devices to check grades, take notes in class, use the calendar, access online books, send emails, and to learn about school activities. Being able to access these kinds of information makes it easy to learn from anywhere, also known as ubiquitous learning. Ubiquitous learning was a trend that only three of the six sources thought were emerging. Although the sources may all contain different trends they all have the same goal; to use the emerging technologies to enhance the learning of the students.

While there are many different technologies emerging I find that my top three emerging trends are mobile learning, ubiquitous learning, and stimulation learning. I feel that mobile learning and ubiquitous learning go hand-in-hand. The mobile devices allow the learner to access information anywhere at any time. Working at PA Cyber I have learned that for many families this is very helpful. While all of our families and students have different needs, these two emerging technologies allow for all of the students to have access to the same academic content no matter where they aret or what time of the day it is. I also feel that stimulation learning such as gaming arouses the interests and attention of the learner. If there content that is being taught can be reinforced with a game or virtual activity the material becomes more fun and engaging for the learner.

R. Holman
August 28, 2011

I have this article quite interesting in the fact that we are implementing an iPad pilot program for our students at The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. We are taking a select number of our students and providing them with the new iPad2 along with their books and laptop to create a mobile type of learning that has never been attempted at a public cyber charter school of this size (currently over 10,000 students http://www.pacyber.org/ ). Educational apps that have been created are incorporating a type of learning that new and exciting for students. When looking at the website http://www.scoop.it/t/ipads-in-education that has been provided by the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s blackboard page, I have found that many other schools and programs have now got on board with the types of mobile learning and educational gaming that we are providing. I find it extremely fascinating that most of the new educational gaming apps being created are inventing ways to make learning fun, yet challenging at the same time. By providing this new technology to our students, it gives them the ability to take all of their school work with them at any time without the bulky constraints of past technology.

M. Harvey
August 28, 2011

E-Learning has quickly developed and is something that is attempting to change education as we know it. The use of video, social networking, mobile devices, etc. is driving this change. I think that education needs to adapt to change as well as allow for some of the old ways to continue along. For example, the text book that we used in school is being slowly eliminated. E-books and podcasts are quickly taking their place. In my opinion there is still benefit to holding a hard copy of a text in your hands and it being supplemented by the outside resources found on the web. Being a virtual teacher I understand the rise of e-learning and am excited about the possibilities it continues to bring. This is a needed change to the stand still that education has seen over the past few decades and hopefully this e-learning spark will once again allow the educational system of this country to move back to the top.

George Walaan
August 28, 2011

I believe that the future of online collaboration is important in education. In order to be successful in this type of educational setting, the learner must have parent involvement or independent and must posses a motivation to learn. The success of online collaboration depends on every party involved. Whether the teams or groups are working on a project together, each individual must equally participate and complete their required portion. At times, this is not always the case so other members of the group must intervene and complete the work. I believe that online collaboration has its strengths and weaknesses. If closely monitored, the outcome of the project will be successful and every teacher and student will have a positive experience. The future of online collaboration has started and will continue to connect people all over the world. Also, I believe that students and teachers will benefit from mobile learning. Students will have the power to learn and educate one another. In addition, mobile learning will encourage students to learn together and take ownership in their grades. Teachers will have the ability to closely monitor student progress, and connect to their students in real time through social networks. According to Hawkins, the teacher role in the classroom is being transformed towards more of an instructional manager role. Personally, I can relate to the role of the teacher becoming more of a mentor or instructional manger. At PA Cyber, I am an Instructional Supervisor and I spend most of my time with my students creating ways to give them the opportunity to be successful in education. For example, I will provide my students with the resources, encouragement, and guidance needed to reach academic success. Every student has different needs, so it is my responsibility to adapt to each and every student to help them individually.

August 28, 2011

I have never heard of smart portfolio assessments before. I think this is a great tool for teachers to utilize in today’s classrooms. I believe teachers will be able to obtain a better read of the student’s thoughts and understanding of a topic through reading their blog posts and other means of personal expression. Typical summative means of assessment is becoming outdated. Teachers must adapt to the way students work and communicate with one another to fully gain insight into their understanding of the topics being taught. I definitely will be doing more research on how to utilize smart portfolios in my teaching!

Julie MacGregor
August 28, 2011

Top 5 Trends as discovered in the sources:

1. Mobile Learning – In almost every article and video from this week, hand held or mobile devises were discussed. The use of i-pads, i-phones, etc in learning is the most prevalent trend according to this week’s information.

2. Simulation/gaming – Students are more interested in being a part of their education, and having education be meaningful to them in a way they want/need to learn. Using gaming and/or simulation in all subject areas is on the rise

3. Personal Learning/individualized learning – Today’s students are used to cooperative learning, blended instruction and being in control of their learning The trends chart sited this personalized learning as a preference.

4. User-generated content – Collaborative learning has enabled today’s students to assist in their learning, and be part of the instructional system. Today’s learners want to be partners with teachers, not just recipients of information.

5. Immediate access to content – Because they are the connect generation, today’s learners want/need immediate gratification. They are used to having access to information at the click of the mouse, or at their fingertips.