The 8 hottest topics in ed tech

What’s hot in ed tech? Surprisingly — or not surprisingly, depending on your point of view — the most compelling topics among educators who embrace technology for learning and teaching are not about the tech at all, but about the students. And that’s a good thing.

Here’s a list the hottest topics in ed tech based on the more than 3,800 session proposals submitted to reviewers for ISTE 2016, the world’s most comprehensive educational technology gathering.

  1. Coding and robotics. No longer just a topic for computer class, coding is making its way across grade levels and curriculum areas. “Now it’s something you can do in kindergarten,” said ISTE 2016 program chair Camilla Gagliolo. “Robotics, in particular, is making coding popular for students across the globe.”
  2. The maker movement. You don’t need a huge budget and expensive equipment to create a makerspace in your classroom or school. It’s all about tinkering, fostering creativity and iteration.
  3. STEAM. Adding art to the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math allows a mash up between traditional math and science subjects with music, visual arts and performing arts.
  4. Google Apps for Education. The number of free and low cost Google Apps and Chrome extensions have exploded and teachers are reaping the rewards, especially for 1:1 schools using Chromebooks.
  5. Student-driven learning. When you make time for passion projects and let students select and develop topics, empowerment takes root.
  6. New professional development models. Unconferences, edcamps, Twitter chats and other active-sharing formats provide a more democratic approach to learning. These fresh models are learner-driven and feature shorter chunks of training that fit an educator’s busy schedule.
  7. Flexible learning environments. Educators are using design thinking to reimagine their learning spaces to accommodate all learners and multiple formats. Even small tweaks to a library or classroom, such as moving desks, adding soft seating or creating a makerspace in a corner, can change the vibe and make learning more engaging.
  8. Digital citizenship. Helping students navigate their digital world is important but it doesn’t have to be a do-this-don’t-do-that type of lecture. Educators around the world are involving students in solutions to stop cyberbullying and increase awareness of other digital pitfalls.

ISTE 2016 has more than 1,000 sessions on these hot topics. Register today and create your personalized schedule using the digital program.

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