TRENDS IN EDUCATION
A trend is a shift or tendency within a system, for example schools, that is likely to grow in importance and influence how the system operates. Examples include economic developments, changes in society or in employment, or in attitudes and behaviour. Some trends are opportunities, others disruptive, a challenge or threat; some turn out to be a short-lived novelty (an innovation can develop into a trend, or die out), others slow-burning, even barely noticeable but seismic and enduring over the long term. Many trends are of course outside the control of schools, but others can be taken into account in school development planning and designing effective teaching and learning. A trend may emerge in one country but not another, another may be global.
A trend can also be related to the emergence of technologies that potentially support change in education institutions and in the organisation of learning; for example, 1:1 computing (using tablets), or improving internet access (e.g. in every classroom and not just a computer lab). However, a technological trend does not in itself cause educational change, but can be a necessary condition for innovation in teaching and learning.
Some key trends
Outlined below are a number of trends in educational technology and practice that, consensus suggests, will have an impact on teaching and learning in the next five years.
Open University UK
New Media Consortium (www.nmc.org)
European Schoolnet (www.europeanschoolnet.org)
Oxford Economics Forecasts
Partnership for 21st century skills (www.p21.org/)