This point has stayed with me since the conference has ended, and I think barring a nuclear or natural disaster, the notion of a digitized education landscape is indeed in the future. While education always seems to embrace change warily, I do think that in 10 years digital devices and content will reign supreme. And the proof is in the conference itself. The major players in the technology industry, namely: Google and Microsoft made a huge imprint on the conference. As I walked the session hallways, all too often I would see Google Based or Microsoft based presentations with standing room only lines. Google's Apps for Education as well as Microsoft's Office 365 apps and tools are certainly getting lots of attention, and for good reason. While many of these tools are being used on the substitution level of the (SAMR) Spectrum, the future of their use along the redefinition model can be predicted. For example, students using these platforms to create multimedia performance assessments, taking notes digitally, collaborating seamlessly, is an easy reality to imagine.
|The SAMR Model (Puentedura)|
As a quiet sidenote...while Microsoft and Google seemed to be everywhere... Apple seemed to be nowhere. Perhaps I just missed them, but I really didn't come across many sessions with their logo as highlighted tool or project. When I walked the vendor floor, I didn't see any Apple exhibitors or people with Apple t-shirts, etc. (Not to say there weren't plenty of participants with Mac Computers and iPads) I found it interesting, and as someone who likes Apple and their educational endeavors, somewhat sad. Where WERE they? Why have they left education? Or.... Have they? It is my hope and theory that Apple is in development with something really big and bold. So I am holding out hope. They certainly are one of the biggest "digitizers" in the game. Fingers crossed that something new is coming.
As a last sidenote, I did notice a company that is certainly familiar to most of us, make a big splash in the educational market. Amazon had a wonderful booth at the vendor floor with lots of energy and traffic. They are getting ready to release full scale the Amazon Inspire- Education Platform. Still in beta, from what I saw this should open up some interesting new tools and ideas for the future of digitizing the educational system.
ISTE as always, inspired me. This year though... it made me think deeply about the future. And the Future looks.... digitized!