Top Five Über Themes for 2012

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über themes

I keep my list of things that I am absolutely certain about very short.  I am happy to share that I am 100% certain that the Mayans were wrong about 2012.  So to kick off the year, I wanted to share my top five über themes for education and technology for 2012 that will echo throughout the rest of the decade.  These themes will show up frequently in my writing and videos, so here is a preview.

#5: Social, Search, Presence, + Mobile Are The New Sexy
Most conversations about Search, Social, Mobile, and Presence treat them as exclusive topics.  The secret potency of these areas of technology are in their confluence.  This is the new collaboration.  The impact will be nothing short of changing the capital funding for institutions across the nation. We will talk more throughout the year.

#4: Innovation at Scale Requires Standardization
What is the one educational solution, insight, or reform effort that can change everything for each learner in a positive way? Do these solutions exist? Why have the best reform efforts failed to catch on nationwide and improve the learning lots for our students? The answer is as old as the wheel.

#3: My Data Trumps My Devices Rhetoric
The Bring Your Own Devices mantra will die a horrible death in December 2012.  The device demise is related to my number one and number four themes.  In the ashes of the device dilemma, data will become to the core focus of our nation’s institutions efforts to enable personalized and persistent learning.

#2: Immersive Learning Becomes Practical
In 2012, the learning continuum expands to include immersive learning as a practical and integral part of educating students. Up until recently, immersion has been cost-prohibitive and lacked the feedback mechanisms needed to inform instruction.  All of the pieces of the gaming in education puzzle come together in 2012. I would recommend you get a Live ID.

#1: Consumerization versus Craftsmanship
As a society, we are deep into the consumerization of everything.  While consumerization allows everyone to participate and choose how they participate in almost all experiences, consumerization is going to hit a wall in 2012.  That wall is craftsmanship. The craftsman is not a hobbyist.  She understands not only how to use the tools of her profession, but also the “when” and “why” the appropriate application will make all the difference. In 2012, I will explore the benefits and limits of consumerization and why we must be smart about the role it plays in teaching and learning.


As I look towards the next twelve months, I submit that these themes will have a significant influence on our classrooms and student lifestyles, the teaching practice and the profession of education, and effective leadership and the economics of learning. At times, these themes are paradoxical and competing.  In the end, I think 2012 may be the year that technology becomes so saturated into our daily lives, that talking about technology as a thing, will just seem weird.

Welcome to 2012. Finish something new this year.

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