Not sure if this is nuts again but here I go. Here are some general 2011 predictions for the U.S. and educational technology in general.
1. Credit recovery and self-directed learning - which is not just now about learning what you want but about earning credits you want/need that maybe you didn't get the right way or missed or lost somehow - will be even more important. Just like many people take longer than 4 years to get a college degree, there will be more ways to get a high school diploma outside of the traditional/same school for 4 years/route. It won't be as easy for students as it seems, though, because independent learning takes a lot of self-motivation.
2. Chrome PC will take off even more - and others will enter the foray of cloud-based computing devices. Privacy concerns will become factors, though, as people who are now beta testing start to realize that everywhere they are going is being tracked in even greater detail than before. Still, it will make sense to not be tied to hardware operating systems so closely. Apple, Microsoft, Dell, IBM and the big players will take serious note.
3. Tablets, eReaders - tipped! Everywhere! Just look around on any airplane now. This will continue and the devices and offerings will get better.
4. Nearly everyone with a smart phone. Just as you can't hardly find a soul older than about 15 without a cell phone, you won't be able to hardly find anyone without a smart phone.
5. Schools start looking around and worrying about 1-to-1. Yes, people like me have been advocates and many have gotten on the bandwagon. But have they followed what ought to be in place in my book, or with what Project Red recommends? Well ... not exactly ... so time to regroup, rethink and restrategize.
6. The economy grows a bit but not enough.
7. More contract work takes off, more people realize they need to go back to college and learn more skills, and the shrinking of fulltime jobs continues as I blogged previously.
8. Fewer service workers, everywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, bookstores, retail, etc. will see shrinking needs for humans as online offerings plus in-store automation appeal to everyone wanting quick results without waiting on line.
9. Employers will start getting more interested in where applicants went to high school, not just college, and will start asking questions about how technology was used throughout applicants' educational journey. Graduates of schools known for integrating technology will start promoting themselves as such.
10. The move towards utility-based technology without centralized technology departments will grow with co-lo, offsite support increasing. Schools preventing Web 2.0 activities will find educators have a better approach in their student-centered classrooms empowered by open-ended emerging technologies.
Of course I could be all wrong!