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12 Ways the Web Might Change Education This Year

What to consider when planning lessons around the latest online trends.

If you’re an educator, or someone whose job it is to make technology work in the classroom, you’re no stranger to change. As the Internet and new software and hardware, from smartphones to netbooks to tablets, become ubiquitous in our schools — in many cases supplanting such back-to-school staples as lined notebook paper and No. 2 pencils — the art of education has also evolved.

Lesson plans, once replicated year after year in classrooms, now contain increasingly interactive components that change and grow alongside the technologies on which they are delivered.

At the crux of this seemingly perpetual arc of motion is the Internet — that constantly evolving omnipresent resource so adept at creating both opportunities and potential headaches for educators and IT staff.

As we reach the halfway mark of 2012 and another summer break approaches, Jeff Dunn, executive editor of Edudemic, offers this Slideshare presentation from branding firm Millward Brown, which proposes 12 Ways the Web Will Change This Year. (The list below is excerpted from Millward Brown’s presentation.)

1. Gamification. Games will become an even bigger part of how people and businesses interact online.

2. Mobile Payments. People will start to use their smartphones like their wallets. An increasing number of mobile payment applications mean more people will pay for goods and services with their phones.

3. Social Media. A growing appetite for social media and online video foreshadows an explosion in online platforms and tools for interaction and research.

4. Online Video. Video used to be something students and other users streamed in little buffering boxes to their desktops. Now, experts say, online video will be streamed more on television screens in living rooms and classrooms for widespread viewing.

5. Mobile Marketing. With the rise of mobile devices, companies will use the Web to target consumers locally and on a more individual basis than ever before.

6. Platform-agnostic apps. Analysts contend the growing app market will develop across platforms, allowing users to take advantage of products from different manufacturers, regardless of service or hardware provider.

7. E-commerce growth. As online marketing and ordering options grow, so does the market for consumer packaged goods. 

8. Metrics. Social media brands and other companies will use analytics and user data to further target their services.

9. Personal information management. Companies will begin to use personal data to establish consumer profiles, and more attention will be paid to how personal data is managed, stored and used across the broader Internet.

10. Seamless sharing. More attention will be given to how users share information across social applications. Web traffic will be content-driven, as opposed to platform-driven.

11. One-stop shop. Web users, particularly in growing or developing nations such as China, will look for resources that provide a single point of entry or convergence for blogging, messaging, e-commerce and other needs.

12. Real-time data. Advertisers and others will rely more on real-time data collected online to make decisions and immediately reach out to and interact with potential users and customers.

From gamification to the growing presence of mobile devices to the impact of television, video and multimedia, the Internet — and how students and teachers use it — stands to change in myriad ways by the time school opens again next fall.

The question is: Will you be ready?

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May 17 2012 Spice IT

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