10 Global Trends in ICT and Education is a post by Robert Hawkins on EduTech, the World Bank’s blog on ICT use in Education. It’s a great list, an “aggregation of projections from leading forecasters such as the Horizon Report, personal observations and a good dose of guesswork.”
While I feel that the trends apply mostly to well-resourced, developed-country educational institutions, I’m happy to report that in South Africa (SA) we are seriously exploring:
Trend 1) Mobile Learning — although we’re not focusing on smart phones but rather on feature phones with GPRS-capability, e.g. in the m4Lit (mobiles for literacy) project.
Trend 8) Teacher-generated open content — the Siyavula project from the Shuttleworth Foundation is building a community of teachers and a platform for this very thing.
I think the trends least likely to take hold in SA are 2) Cloud computing (bandwidth is just too expensive and the infrastructure for it not well enough established) and 10) Teacher managers/mentors (in-service teachers don’t want to relinquish the role of font-of-knowledge and “head” of the classroom. A number of factors, such as poor learner discipline and low teacher content knowledge (making the teacher only just a font-of-knowledge, more like a trickling stream of knowledge) make this a complex issue … it is not simply a case of teachers being resistant to change).
A new study from Nokia and The Future Laboratory predicts that by 2012, a quarter of all entertainment will be “circular”, that is created, edited, and shared within peer groups rather than being generated by traditional media. The bulk of the study was based on interviews with trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles.
Mark Selby, Vice President, Multimedia, Nokia, said: “The trends we are seeing show us that people will have a genuine desire not only to create and share their own content, but also to remix it, mash it up and pass it on within their peer groups – a form of collaborative social media.” The term circular is based on the movement of content: it is created, shared with friends/family, gets edited/remixed and then shared on or returned again.
As Tim Leberecht of CNet says, one has to take these vendor-funded studies with a pinch of salt. He makes an interesting point about the study: that the distinction between traditional and “circular” entertainment is becoming increasingly difficult to define. But still, for what it is worth, the tech early adopters in these countries are living in and establishing a participatory culture.
I wonder, since the data is based on the actions of early-adopters, how much of this applies to South Africa (SA)? If the prediction is five years out, is it any more for SA? And if yes, how many more years? Only two of the 17 countries are traditionally comparable to SA: Brazil and India. Reading about the survey findings there didn’t help to answer these questions, but it does make for interesting reading.