With 2014 coming to a close, it's time to start looking ahead to next year. At Edudemic, they came up with five predictions in the K-12 realm for 2015. We've re-posted an excerpt from their article below, but you can find the full article here.
3. Tone of the Assessment Conversation Will Change (for the Better)
In the last few years, the conversation around student assessment has been fraught with controversy. However, during 2014 we have seen a growing consensus on the need for better, fewer assessments that provide timely insights into the teaching and learning cycle. I believe that in 2015—fueled by the ways that technology can make assessment data a powerful tool for personalizing learning—we will see a more positive and productive conversation about how assessment data can be used to provide more timely, useful feedback for teachers and students.
4. Emphasis on Ensuring That Students Are Not Just College-Ready, but Career-Ready as Well
For the past few years, we have talked a lot about graduating college-ready students. In 2015, I think the focus will emphasize preparing them for careers as well. One big measure of the efficacy of education is, “Did what you learn actually advance your ability to pursue a successful career?” I think we will start to examine more deeply what “career-ready” means and create programs and innovations to support ensuring that students are on that path.
5. Greater Emphasis on and Investment in the “Person” Who “Personalizes” Learning: TEACHERS
In 2014, there was a lot of discussion about the ways that digital tools personalize learning to improve outcomes. In 2015, there will be an increased focus on the reality that it is digital curriculum combined with excellent teaching that results in students learning new skills and applying new knowledge effectively. Digital learning solutions provide teachers with valuable insights about their students. However, talented teachers who have learned how to translate those insights into timely interventions for individual students —or acceleration for students who are moving ahead quickly—are the key differentiator when it comes to sustained improvement in learning and teaching.
Keep in mind that technology is an enabler—not the be-all and end-all. Without a measurable investment in professional learning opportunities for teachers, our investments in hardware and digital curriculum for schools will not improve student outcomes.
To keep our collective “eye on the prize” and achieve our shared goal of creating “awesome students” who are successful in school, college, career and life, we must support and invest in teachers. If this prediction comes true, then from my perspective as the parent of two middle-schoolers, I think 2015 will be a year of continued improvement in learning outcomes for our country’s K-12 students.