K-12 Edtech Trends

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K-12 Edtech Trends

The Most Important EdTech Trends of 2016

Where Is This Data Coming From?

This data is generated by YOU, our readers, about what edtech trends are most important to you. Throughout this report we will ask what you think about each trend. Your responses will add to this graph as we go. The more people who share their thoughts, the richer our story will be. So, please read, contribute and help us understand what matters in this ever-changing world of education.


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It can be hard to keep up in US K-12 education these days. Coding and computer science are entering the core curriculum in the seven largest US districts. Teachers are sharing professional development lessons over Twitter. Schools are “wiring up" to meet high demands for devices and communication. Understanding these trends is critical because, for better or for worse, they shape how K-12 education is changing and at their core is a common thread: technology.

Education and education technology are NOT the same thing: technology is galvanizing ideas and innovation in education but offers no cure-all. The education technology trends that have emerged are responding to problems and forces that have shaped the world of education for decades. These problems range from the financial constraints faced by schools and districts to the changes in employment and skills opportunities, to the emerging factors that impede—or open up—access to high-quality education.

EdSurge has spent months researching the predominant edtech trends, exploring data and engaging many voices including educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, parents and policy-makers. We didn’t simply want to leave our readers with yet another “top 10” list. We wanted to share the perspectives, hopes and, at times, frustrations of others as we all move forward to shape the future of teaching and learning.

We’ve reviewed the major stories from 2015, polled the EdSurge audience and interviewed more than 90 education players. Our readers’ inputs led us to pinpoint the trends that have emerged as most critical over the past 12 to 24 months. Then we dove into the issues from different perspectives: teachers and administrators, even investors.

What’s in for 2016? Infrastructure, Learning Models, Computer Science, Student Assessments, Data Privacy, Professional Development, Edtech Business Models and Free Products.

Please share your thoughts on these trends by contributing to our polls, tweeting or even sending us an email (you know, the old-fashioned way). Explore why these edtech trends matter for you. And please let us know: Your input will shape and re-shape the research as we go—just as your voices and experiences are pushing forward the evolution of teaching and learning.