Magazine article Technology & Learning

Trends and Predictions

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Trends and Predictions

Article excerpt

On the precipice of the new millennium, technophiles predict what trends and developments might rock education in the next decade and beyond.

Computers & Connectivity

"Computers will continue to shrink in size and grow in power. For a while, the need for desktops in K-12 education will still be there. However, there will be a greater proliferation of mobile computing and it will be more affordable--in four years or so, it will probably cost well under $1,000 for a portable device that's kid-proof. Wireless connectivity will take off in schools as bandwidth increases to handle streaming video and audio."

-- Bill Rodrigues, vice president for K-12 Education, Dell Computer;

"In the future, the Internet will be on all the time. We won't have to dial up."

-- Rick Smolan, founder, Against All Odds Productions

Everything Machines

"We eventually expect every kid will have a Palm device once schools have mature wireless infrastructures. They won't replace PCs, but the pressure to have one computer for every student will be gone because kids will be able to do research and Web surfing using their devices. In 10 years, Palm systems will have the thickness of a credit card, the power of a high-end desktop, 3-D graphic capabilities, and all wireless connections. There will be color, higher resolution screens, and major improvements in battery life."

-- Michael Mace, chief competitive officer, Palm Computing;

"In the near future, your phone will be a multi-functional device--you'll be able to videoconference, play games, browse the Web, and listen to music. In 10 years, the phone will be as small as a watch and you'll just use headphones to attach to it. It may even be part of people's clothing--a small patch on kids' jackets or overalls. Motorola has just introduced a locator chip option that will be available in the middle of next year. Parents will be able to track their kids' whereabouts; teachers can monitor them at recess. Of course, this brings up privacy issues."

-- Laura Lindhe, senior editor, CNET;

Trends and Predictions

Content Delivery

"In 10 years, CDs and DVDs will be dead and content will be delivered through the Internet and its successors. The reason is that CDs don't scale up--you can't give every kid in the school every CD. Connectivity will render them moot."

-- Tom Greaves, vice chairman, NetSchools;

"The Internet can go two ways. The current model of advertising-based, free services may continue to keep the Internet open to all. However, I feel that the subscription model--paying for quality content--may take over. Another thing that may happen, in the wake of Internet2, is free Internet access, but with the user paying for the amount and type of information that is utilized."

-- Kathy Schrock, Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators;

"Many of the topics that will interest children will remain the same but the depth and breadth available to them will increase. Speed of delivery will drastically improve the use of video and simultaneous translation of content, both sound and text. Artificial intelligence will play an important role in both virtual and simulated environments."

-- Jenny House, vice president for strategic relations, Classroom Connect;

Crossing Boundaries

"The operating system is more of a placeholder for the key issue in the future: user interfaces that know who we are, understand via artificial intelligence what we want to accomplish, and are actively assisting us in the gathering and processing of huge amounts of information. In distributed learning situations, the underlying OS shouldn't matter one byte, so long as it allows applications to mn on top of it. Anytime the technology forces us to think about it, rather than about what we're doing in a learning situation, it has failed us. …

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