Tag Archives: trends


The 4 biggest (and newest) Apple education resources now available

new apple education resources

This is part one of a five part series addressing what teachers should know about iOS 9.3. Stay tuned for more in this series!

For the last several years, Apple’s iPad has become the ultimate creation tool in the classroom. However, it has continued to frustrate teachers and administrators alike in its setup and deployment within an actual classroom environment.

Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's new iPad at the Yerba Buena Gardens theater in San Francisco, Calif. Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010. (Karl Mondon/Staff)

Steve Jobs unveiled Apple’s new iPad at the Yerba Buena Gardens theater in San Francisco, Calif. Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010. (Karl Mondon/Staff)

I remember getting my first set of iPads five years ago and discovering that the only way to install a desired app was to plug the cart into my MacBook (the PC I had attempted to use first was not powerful enough) and drag and drop every app onto each specific iPad. It was a nuisance and took a terribly long time.
Fast forward through several major Apple releases that promised to make life easier for teachers and administrators in my same position: Apple Configurator, Apple’s DEP program, 3rd party Mobile Device Management (MDM) integration… Each time Apple made one of these announcements, I thought, “Finally! Here is the cure for the Apple ails!”

The Importance Of Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Although each announcement came with excitement and promise, none of them seemed to actually work as advertised and make the deployment or management of iPads any easier. To date, the best of those releases was the inclusion of 3rd party MDM integration. If you are not familiar with what an MDM does, it essentially provides administrators the ability to manage the iPads in their school environment – some teachers may know it as “self service.”
An MDM could be used to create a school iPad profile, distribute apps, managing classes in Apple Classroom, and many others. While the integration of MDM’s was a welcome solution to many iPad woes. It still left something to be desired as not every MDM was created equal, and Apple never gave any guidance as to which programs could be trustworthy and which could not.
As we enter into the current education landscape, administrators and technology directors are continuing to look to the Google Chromebook as the answer for their schools. While this article is not a debate on Chromebook vs iPad, it is important to note that the ability to manage and deploy a fleet of Chromebooks more efficiently than a fleet of iPads often drives this decision. However, with Apple’s release of iOS 9.3, schools that have been held-up on the decision between iPads and another device solely because of administration and deployment should take a second look at iPads.
As an EdTechTeacher instructor, I was recently invited to Apple for a presentation on iOS 9.3 and had the opportunity to ask Apple about the issues that I had faced in the past. There are four reasons 9.3 will change the game for administrators, teachers, and students alike.

Apple School Manager

Apple School Manager will become a technology administrator’s one-stop-shop for enrolling and managing their school’s iPad environment. School Manager will combine Apple’s current educational platforms – the Device Enrollment Program, Volume Purchase Program, and Apple ID for Students Program – into one web portal.
apple classroom preview

Managed Apple IDs

Apple will now allow Apple IDs to be managed by schools inside of Apple School manager. These managed IDs will be specifically associated with the school and allow students to access their iCloud accounts from any device. These IDs will also allow for a shared iPad environment!
identity management on apple classroom

Shared iPads

Perhaps one of the largest pieces to the release of iOS 9.3 involves the new Shared iPad feature. iPads stored in a cart in a teacher’s classroom, or shared between classrooms, can now be assigned to specific students. When a student logs into their device, all of their user specific data will be loaded onto that iPad including apps, iCloud data, and locally saved data. When the student logs off, their data is backed up to iCloud, and the device can then be used by another student.
shared apple ipads

Apple Classroom

This is undoubtedly the best new feature for teacher management of an iPad classroom as Apple Classroom will change the way teachers manage their iPad environments. Through the Apple Classroom app (iTunes link), teachers will be able to group students, launch apps and websites on student devices, view student screens in real time, remotely lock screens, reset passwords, and Airplay student devices. By integrating these management features, Apple has created an iPad assistant to help teachers effectively manage their iPad classroom.
It appears as though iOS 9.3 is the life preserver that technology directors and teachers using iPads have been yearning for several years. While the release of all these updates has yet to hit full implementation, the functions touted by the Apple Education team and their extensive support materials seem to appear as though they are on track with this update.

A Look At Apple Classroom (Slideshow)

Follow Daily Genius and EdTechTeacher for an in-depth look at all of the new iOS 9.3 updates coming soon!

Come Learn more from Ben this year!

Ben will be a featured presenter in Boston and San Diego this year. He will be joined by other Google experts from across the country to share new ways to innovate student learning Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education.

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81 tech trends (yes, 81!) you may see next year

Figuring out the hottest tech trends is tough. You never know what might happen if one particular trend really takes off and then spawns a series of sub-trends. For example, ambient assistants like Siri and Google Now are really taking off so many companies are designing their apps to closely integrate with these new services. Perhaps those companies would have been spending their time on something else rather than adapting to ambient assistants?
In other words, the trajectory of the future is always in flux. It’s ever-changing and will making going ‘back to the future’ like Doc Brown challenging to say the least.
So how can we identify some of the key tech trends for the upcoming 2016? The folks at Webbmedia have assembled 81 (yes, 81!) different trends that you may see in the near year. They range from the aforementioned ambient assistant to bots (like in Slack) to net neutrality to now selling DIY vape juice supplies.
drones poster
Wait, what’s a drone lane, you ask?
It’s a designated flight path for drones to do things like deliver packages (Amazon) or to take some particular photographs at specific locations. Drones are quickly turning into a more mature market thanks to FAA regulations requiring registration and somewhat more adept users. Somewhat. Google ‘drones for Christmas’ and see what you get…

The Dozens Of Tech Trends We MIGHT See Next Year

In any sense, below is the embedded document of the different trends. Do any of these particularly surprise you? How many have you actually heard of? Weigh in by chatting with us @DailyGenius on Twitter or by joining us on Facebook anytime.
Download the PDF to read later (great for zooming in and getting higher-res version of text and images)
The trends are all in the below presentation. You should click the ‘fullscreen’ button for the best viewing experience.

About The Report

Via the Webbmedia Group:
The future isn’t something that just happens passively to us. Rather, we are creating it in the present tense. And so, with the right framework in hand, is possible to anticipate new technologies and their impact in order to map what’s yet to come.
At the end of each year, Webbmedia Group Digital Strategy applies our forecasting model to surface the most important emerging trends in digital media and technology for the year ahead. We’ve just published our annual Trend Report, and it features 81 notable trends and more than 100 companies and people to watch in 2016.
Mapping the future for your organization begins with identifying early signposts as you look out on the horizon. In order to chart the best way forward, you must understand emerging trends: what they are, what they aren’t, and how they operate. Our 2016 Trend Report helps ensure that your organization is better positioned to understand changes and proactively plan for what’s past the horizon. You can use it to identify near-future business disruption and competitive threats while simultaneously finding new collaborators and partners. Most importantly, it should spark new ideas and opportunities to help your organization innovate and grow.

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5 ways teachers can foster creative thinking with technology

Why do we teach? For me personally, it is the moment my students come up with original ideas, innovations, inventions. Simply put, a different way of thinking. How can we utilise technology to foster diverse, creative thinking?

How teachers can foster creative thinking with technology

Here are a few ideas:

1. Allow students to use drawing Applications/Software to sketch a theory or big idea.

2. Mix up routines and Applications. Using the same devices/software every time for the same tasks create a fixed mind set of how we use tools. The beauty about edtech is that we will always find new connections between technology and learning. Empower students to have a say in the learning process.

3. Allow students time to reflect. Make use of recording software and mobile devices to create a daily learning journal. Allow students to reflect on questions like: “what could I have done differently?” and “what if…”

4. Allow students (and teachers) time to play and learn. The process of being exposed to something new is a great way of realising possibilities are all around us.

5. Use world builders like Minecraft, Eden and Topia in conjunction with the 4 suggestions above. Starting with software/games that have a blank canvas encourages us to dream and make visible what is in students minds through to product. Reflecting on what we build is a powerful self awareness strategy. And finally sometimes we need to remove the technology and give students an opportunity to use tools they wouldn’t normally use. Because it is not about what teachers are comfortable with, it is about our students developing skills that will allow them to follow their dreams and passions.

Paul is Head of Learning Technologies at a private schools in Australia and Founder of iPad Monthly.

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10 reasons teachers do NOT use education technology

There are plenty of reasons teachers do not use education technology. It’s expensive. It’s hard to always find a reason to implement edtech into a particular lesson. That’s all true and valid, really.

But what are the other big reasons that teachers don’t use technology in the classroom? We did a little digging through surveys, social media, blogs, reports, and the Daily Genius community to uncover the top 10 reasons that edtech is getting passed over. The results might (or might not) surprise you.

Long Story Short: There’s No One Single Reason.

There’s a host of reasons edtech is getting utilized. Sure, it’s not a replacement for a lesson, a teacher, or an entire course. It’s meant to be a tool within a teacher’s toolkit. But what about using technology when it could actually do some good? Like for doing some classroom-to-classroom Skype chats? Or a virtual field trip? There are some genuinely engaging ways to implement edtech without getting overwhelmed.

See Also: The top 10 edtech products preferred by students and teachers

But that’s what we talk about on Daily Genius most of the time. We share ways to actually use education technology, how others are using it, etc.

We don’t usually cover why many teachers do NOT use education technology and that’s a shame. So we’re proud to share a hopefully useful visual that touches on the biggest reasons you’re saying edtech isn’t happening in your classroom, school, or online course.

What Are Your Biggest EdTech Obstacles?

The visual below was made using data from USA Today, CNN, Huffington Post, various blogs, social media outreach (using @DailyGenius on Twitter) and by polling colleagues and friends. It’s not perfect and is entirely subjective.

So share your thoughts – what are the reasons you do NOT use education technology? If you do use it, what were the biggest obstacles you faced? Share them in the comments or with the Daily Genius community by mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter or sharing your insight on the Daily Genius Facebook page!

education technology visual by Daily Genius

Thumbnail by Open Source via Flickr cc

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Why parents and teachers should let students fail

If you talk to enough entrepreneurs, they will tell you (often repeatedly), that they have learned to fail (‘and fail fast’), and that failure has taught them more than success. It’s almost as if that failure is the point of what they do, rather than an obstacle on the way.

Allowing for the exaggerated nature of this reverence for failure, this isn’t a life lesson that school kids get. Failure remains something that isn’t tolerated in schools. Failure is not seen as inevitable, failure is the doorway to punishment.

Parents Letting Students Fail

Now, parents will be grouching that they don’t want failure for their nippers, and this isn’t to say that schools should encourage new ways for pupils to knack up and should encourage them to get low marks in exams and fail to deliver homework. But do schools look at failure in a healthy way? Or even at different levels of progress?

Everyone learns at different paces, but throughout school life pupils are ranked on their progressions in relation to each other, not in terms of their own improvement and learning ‘journey’. And in that way, schools punish those who meander on their way to mastery, teaching them life lessons about work and experience that they will never come across again.

So, while a pupil may face the wrath of a teacher for failing to understand a maths concept on the first pass, any employer worth their salt would show a bit of patience, invest time in the employee.

Students And The Workplace

Quite simply, hierarchy and punishment, the keystones of the pupil/teacher relationship are not represented in the workplace any more, not since the 19th century factory model faded from our economies. If school is meant to prepare people for the work environment, then schools need to reflect modern work environments – different paces of progress, specialisation and flatter management models, as well as a wider range of skills.

Not hierarchy and single points of authority.

The failure to embrace failure is, of course, another sign of that failing.

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The difference between fixed and growth mindsets

When you fail, what is your thought process? Do you feel like you let yourself down because you didn’t have innate ability? Instead, do you feel like you just haven’t learned enough yet?
Based on your answers, you might be able to easily distinguish between having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. This is a critical thing to understand for anyone looking to better understand how they learn and how they let themselves learn.

The Difference Between Fixed And Growth Mindsets

Let’s look at a simple example from my life. I know people who basically refuse to let themselves learn or are, at the very least, stubborn about learning new things. They feel as though they already have a level of understanding that should be sufficient. This is a fixed mindset which means these people feel as though their intelligence is static.

See Also: How to start thinking with a positive mindset

I also know people who feel as though every problem can be solved by learning something new. They aim to solve problems by learning new things, developing a better understanding, etc. This is a growth mindset which means the mind is always being asked to develop, evolve, and grow. Hence the name.

Carol Dweck On The Two Mindsets

This information comes via research by Carol Dweck who discusses the difference between fixed and growth mindsets in a 2012 interview:

“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

Should Students Be Told They’re Smart?

The research done by Dweck focuses on education and how student brains can be molded over time. In the research, it’s clear that the growth mindset is preferable for students. It explains that a growth mindset helps students adapt and cope with a variety of situations from time in school to adulthood.
According to the research, those with a growth mindset are more likely to continue working hard whether or not there are setbacks. It also states that a mindset can be affected by subtle environmental cues. An example in the research states that students being told “good job, you’re very smart” are more likely to develop a fixed mindset because they’re led to believe they have innate abilities. Meanwhile, students who are told “good job, you worked very hard” are shown that they taught themselves to figure out the solution and that learning with a growth mindset is helpful.

Watch Dweck’s TED Talk


Now there are many who think the two mindsets are akin to ‘learning styles’ which have been regularly viewed as unrealistic. The point here is that everyone learns differently and it’s critical to better understand how you or your students learn. Everyone is different and there are many gray areas between the two mindsets mentioned in this article.
So with that being said, use this as a chance to reflect on how you learn. How do you approach problems? How do you view your own intellect or ability to find solutions? Would you want to be part of one mindset or another?
Good luck on your journey and be sure to share your insight in the comments or with @DailyGenius on Twitter anytime!
Thumbnail by Allan Ajifo via Flickr cc

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Did you know Elon Musk is quietly reinventing school?

There’s a lot of noise made by those enthralled with Elon Musk’s ventures into space, electric vehicles, solar power, and getting to Mars. But did you know he is also taking some time to reinvent school? There’s a little-known ultra-private school for mostly SpaceX employees called Ad Astra (it means ‘to the stars’ in Latin just FYI) that has a few interesting characteristics.

Key Features Of Elon Musk’s ‘Ad Astra’

  • There’s an assembly line approach that helps students learn about what they’re good at – at that particular moment. Some students excel at language learning or math at a particular time. That is nurtured with personalized learning and a welcoming environment.
  • There are no grade levels.
  • It focuses on learning how to solve problems and focus on problems not tools. In the interview embedded below, Musk explains “let’s say you’re trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, ‘we’re going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.’ This is a very difficult way to do it.”

Little is known about Ad Astra other than the above information and the video you’ll see below. There’s no social media presence nor is there a website.
That being said, it’s fun to attempt to draw conclusions about what a typical school day must be like at Ad Astra. Hopefully we’ll learn a bit more about this undertaking if the school starts sharing a bit more.
In the meantime, here are some ideas on how the school might work and how it could potentially reinvent school as we know it. Tell me – would this typical day be something you’d like to experience or no? Share your thoughts down in the comments or by chatting with @DailyGenius on Twitter sometime. We love to chat and hypothesize.

A Typical Ad Astra Day (Fictional – Just My Hypothesis)

  • Gather with your 15-20 other classmates of various ages in a warm and welcoming room.
  • Share a few interesting things you learned about over the past 24 hours. Identify where you learned these things and if the medium was something other than a textbook.
  • Get personalized support, response, and pedagogy for the duration of the morning.
  • As a student, you’ll get tasked with project-based learning activities where you’re handed difficult puzzles and questions that need you to learn critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to succeed.
  • Lunch time – perhaps at the SpaceX cafeteria? Hopefully better than Tang or astronaut food 🙂
  • Regroup back at Ad Astra to discuss the long-term projects you’re working on with 2-3 classmates.
  • Work on your chosen assembly line track where you deep-dive into language learning, arts, STEAM, engineering, whatever. Just make sure you’re passionate about it and ready to learn something incredible.
  • Share what you’ve learned with the rest of the group so they can have similar breakthroughs and collaborative learning.
  • Break time – watch some online learning videos, make your own videos, remix a TED Talk.
  • Discuss what being a contributing member of society means. What did you do today that made you help the planet? What will you do tomorrow?
  • Time for a ride home – hop in the Tesla Model S and quietly cruise home to begin working on tomorrow’s presentation about what you’d do on a typical day on Mars.
  • Throw on your rocketship pajamas, read To Space And Back by Sally Ride, and get some rest.

Watch Elon Musk Candidly Discuss ‘Ad Astra School’ Below:


On Musk’s School Experiences

“I hated going to school when I was a kid,” Musk told his interviewer. “It was torture.”
Musk was living in Pretoria, South Africa when he was the victim of some sever bullying. Classmates threw him down a stairwell and in other instance he was beaten so badly he was taken to the hospital.

“They got my best [expletive] friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. And that [expletive] hurt. For some reason they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop.
That’s what made growing up difficult.
For a number of years there was no respite. You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the [expletive] out of me, and then I’d come home, and it would just be awful there as well.” -Elon Musk

What’s Next?

We don’t know enough about the Ad Astra school, goals, funding, etc. And that’s okay. It’s a small experiment akin to AltSchool where a more personalized approach is being taken thanks to some high levels of resources. That’s sadly what it takes to create these kinds of new schools but it’s a start. When we figure out a way to have truly personalized human-powered learning (aka no artificial intelligence, please), we will be able to really change the future.
Until then, let’s hope Ad Astra is successful and we all get to learn more about it in the near future.
Before we all have to move to Mars, at least.
Thumbnail image by OnInnovation via Flickr cc

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The top 10 edtech products preferred by students and teachers

Here’s a pop quiz for you. What do you get when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gets involved in the world of education technology? Well, a handy list of resources for starters. They recently unveiled a site called ‘Teachers Know Best‘ which features the results of a survey of teachers and students. They tried to identify the top 10 edtech products preferred by students and teachers. As you can see from the image below, there are some of the usual suspects (Khan Academy, Google Search, Edmodo) but the order of preference might actually surprise you. Or maybe not, really.
As you can see, Google Search is sadly the most popular product that is being used by students. Does this mean students are getting lazier and not doing proper research? Probably not. Does it mean Google search is simply ubiquitous and one of the easiest and well-known ways to start the learning process? Probably.

Want to see which products are trending right now? Check out Product Genius here!

Something that really strikes me with the results of this 2013 survey is the sheer number of Google products. In fact, literally HALF of the student’s edtech products are Google products. YouTube, search, Docs, Drive, and Apps. Some of those have since been rolled into a more cohesive product (Google Drive) but they all still generally exist and are well used today.
I’m guessing Google Classroom would join the ranks of student preferences if this survey was done within the past year. That’s because Google Classroom recently celebrated its first birthday – did you remember to buy a present? Kidding.
Anyway, the list of product preferences for teachers is somehow even more surprising. It features a list of apps that are, to be honest, not that well-known or popular in the world of education technology I’ve seen. I’ve heard of them but they’re not the go-to products for many teachers. BrainPOP is quite popular but the Academy of MATH? Accelerated Reader? Not quite at the same level as Edmodo or Google products. That being said, it’s refreshing to see and hopefully this list will be even more diverse if a new survey is conducted every year by the Gates Foundation.

What Do You Think A 2015 Version Would Look Like?

What products surprise you? Which ones do you think are truly missing? Share your thoughts with @DailyGenius on Twitter and we’ll retweet and reply back with our thoughts!

Want Links To These Products? Keep Scrolling!

top teacher tools

The top 10 edtech products preferred by students

  1. Google Search
  2. Khan Academy
  3. Google Docs
  4. YouTube
  5. Edmodo
  6. Microsoft Word (link to Word Online)
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Google Drive
  9. Google Apps For Education
  10. PowerPoint (link to PowerPoint Online)

The top 10 edtech products preferred by teachers

  1. Khan Academy
  2. BrainPOP
  3. Accelerated Reader
  4. Edmodo
  5. YouTube
  6. DiscoveryED Website
  7. Google Docs
  8. Google Search
  9. Academy of MATH
  10. 3D Gamelab

A Few Personal Notes

It’s interesting to see the Microsoft products on this Gates Foundation-funded survey. Makes you think twice but who really knows. Do you think a survey respondent thought they should specifically mention PowerPoint or Word because the survey is run by Gates Foundation? Would you?
The list of teacher tools confounds me. On one hand, it’s great to see a variety of tools. On the other, I wonder about where some of these came from. While I have played around with all the tools listed, I am just surprised to see them in the top 10. Perhaps that’s just me. I’ve been known to be wrong quite often.

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The 16 characteristics of a modern teacher

Becoming a tech-savvy teacher is great. Running a flipped classroom is impressive. Doing a variety of hybrid and blended learning is incredible. Does this make you a modern teacher, though?
Honestly, there’s more to it than just hopping on the latest education technology / education trends bandwagon. I know many teachers who throw an iPad into a classroom like a grenade and run away. They don’t successfully implement education technology or really any type of engaged learning for that matter.

See Also: Which of the top edtech trends are best for classrooms?

So, then, what does it really take to be a modern teacher? This term has been cropping up since the general consensus seems to be that the term ’21st century teacher’ is outdated and a bit awkward. Some make the same argument for the ‘modern teacher’ mind you but that’s about semantics.
You want to know what it takes to be a progressive and always-learning teacher who knows how to get students to think, contemplate, and explore. Well, here goes!

Modern Teachers Exhibit The Following 16 Characteristics:

Modern teachers:

  1. choose to be vulnerable.
  2. see themselves as co-learners, not teachers.
  3. allow themselves to fail, often.
  4. don’t wait until they’re experts to introduce something
  5. move into their students’ world, even if it’s foreign
  6. run towards their area of weakness, not away
  7. are comfortable not knowing what is going to happen
  8. invite mistakes into their lives
  9. dream big and ask ‘why not?’
  10. allow their students to teach each other
  11. step outside their comfort zone
  12. embrace change
  13. feel secure asking colleagues for help
  14. model resiliency and perseverance
  15. question everything
  16. believe they can learn anything, given the right attitude and effort

These characteristics of a modern teacher are incorporated into the visual you see below. It’s from Reid Wilson.

Click here to download the printable PDF version of this fabulous visual

modern teacher

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Classroom of the future: could these wild special effects become reality?

classroom of the future idea

Students will apparently use the current version of Google Drive in the classroom of the future?

I absolutely love this video. It’s beyond impressive. It was chosen for the 2014 White House Student Film Festival and for good reason: it obviously took a ton of work, insight, and imagination. It’s under 3 minutes long so you should seriously watch the entire thing.
There are a lot of innovations in this video and I wanted to detail a few that I think are particularly interest. I also wanted to get some feedback on if you think any of these could actually become reality. Weigh in by mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or do it the old fashioned way – leave a comment down below!

 Attributes of the Classroom of the Future (Maybe?)

  • Instead of iPads, students will have tablet and phone-sized pieces of glass that can do heads-up display and projection
  • The classroom walls will be able to present information and even respond to haptic feedback (like a giant touch screen)
  • That simple piece of glass can also act as a laptop with a keyboard as well as a screen. You’ll have to watch the video to see what I mean.
  • The entire whiteboard and teacher’s table will be like something out of Tony Stark’s basement. Lots of pushing, pulling, and twisting of various projections.
  • Students will appear extremely bored despite having incredibly powerful projection computers. Seriously. This technology exists and you’re only using it to project an old-fashioned piece of tech? If you could project anything … you’d project a laptop?
  • Any surface is a writing surface! It’s like finger painting everywhere with digital ink!
  • Apparently everyone will be using the current version of Google Drive to take notes.
  • Gamification will play a critical role – look at all the badges awarded for learning in this video!

Side Note

Who knows if this type of stuff is even remotely possible – but one thing is clear: teachers would have to prepare their classroom lessons well in advance considering it takes advantage of the third dimension and involves high-tech presentations. Think you’re up for it?

For more information about the White House Film Festival, where this short film was screened, visit http://wh.gov/filmfest

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