For nearly 12 years now I have had a very deep interest in the possibilities of collaborative web technology in education. When I started creating these tool of my own 4-5 years ago a few of these technologies seemed obvious to make their way into the mainstream classroom (eventually o.O), namely open source educational software, open source (if you will) learning content (think open courseware), collaborative learning tools (almost all of the web 2.o tools out there now) , and 3D immersive environments (with natural user interfaces ala the Ipad ;) ). Over the past few years much of these technologies seem to be making good progress towards common classroom adoption, and in some cases even approaching main stream.
As I follow these trends I take particular note of just how main stream some of these technologies are becoming, in a article today in ars technica a few of these technologies are discussed (via http://nextgenlearning.org).
In the first of two rounds, The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) awarded $10.6 million to 29 organizations, with the potential for an additional $5.4 million to be doled out later. Close to half of the initial $10.6 million went to open courseware projects that seek to publish adaptable Web-based courses for the public.
The funded initiatives focus on four areas:
- Open courseware
- “Blended learning,” the mixture of in-class time with online learning
- “Deeper learning,” the use of social media and virtual worlds to increase student engagement
- “Learner analytics,” analytical software to retain and use student data
Other projects of interest: