10 Major Technology Trends in Education

We have a first look at the results from the latest Speak Up survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, administrators, parents and community members about technology trends in education.

According to the latest data, video for homework is on the rise; mobile computing is “beyond the tipping point”; and most kids don’t use traditional computers to connect to the Internet at home. Those are just three of the major trends revealed in the 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow, which CEO Julie Evans revealed at the FETC 2014 conference last week.

The 2013 results represent more than 400,000 surveys from 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the country. Respondents included 325,279 students, 32,151 teachers and librarians, 39,986 parents, 4,530 district administrators and, new to this year’s survey, 1,346 community members.

1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices

According to the 2013 results, students overwhelmingly have access to personal mobile devices. “If there was any doubt in our mind that we were beyond the tipping point in terms of kids carrying a computer in their pocket, backpack or purse,” she said, “we’re there.”

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Students Learn Job Skills as IT Techs

Far removed from the world of iPads for kindergartners and laptops for every student, Everton Schools in rural Missouri is struggling to keep up with the times.

Nearly 200 Everton students from elementary to high school share one computer lab stocked with outdated PCs—and at least half of his students don’t have computers or Internet at home says Albert Bryant, a first year math teacher at Everton High School.

[See photos of U.S. News‘s 2012 Best High Schools.]

Families that do have computers need to travel up to 45 minutes each way for any repairs.

“It’s a very poor community and it’s obviously very expensive to drive to the nearest town … and then pay an arm and a leg to a tech to have them fix it, and then drive all the way back home,” Bryant says.

The scarcity of technology and support resources prompted Bryant to launch a new community technology initiative.

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The hidden costs of car ‘infotainment’ systems

These days, a new car is basically a computer with wheels. Trunks open automatically. Rear cameras help you reverse out of parking spaces. Sealed your keys inside? Doors can be unlocked by satellite.

The flashiest new gadget: a touch-screen in the middle of your dashboard.

There’s a lot to love about these “infotainment” systems. Depending on the brand, you can organize your music, program the GPS, and dictate text messages. Console screens are as wide as small tablets and easy to read, even when you’re behind the wheel.

Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto are an important part of Honda’s new Accord(Photo: Reviewed.com)

But there’s a cost: Many of these services require a subscription, such as in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots, Sirius XM satellite radio and live traffic data. You may start with a free trial, grow accustomed to these conveniences and then find yourself paying fees later on.


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Apple unveils MacBooks with interactive strip

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Once upon a time, Apple was all about computers.

But in 2007, the iPhone took a bow, and the company’s laptops and desktops suddenly slipped into that best

The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Photo: Apple)

-selling smartphone’s long shadow.


On Thursday, Apple looked to return its sleek Macs to the spotlight, introducing what the company hopes will be a market-differentiating laptop feature called TouchBar. There’s now also the ability to sign into your MacBook with a fingerprint.

The new bells and whistles come not a moment too soon. Improved laptop and desktop offerings from rivals such as Microsoft and IBM have cut into Mac sales, which for the fiscal year ending Sept. 24 were down 10% year-over-year to 18.5 million units, while Mac revenues were also down 10% to $22.8 billion.

In fact, Microsoft needled Apple Thursday by offering consumers $650 f
or a MacBook trade-in towards a Microsoft Surface laptop, which features a touch-sensitive screen.

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