Research Question 3: Key Trends

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which learning-focused institutions approach their core mission of teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in international schools in Asia?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

NOTE: The Key Trends are sorted into three categories: short-term, mid-term, and long-term.

Short-Term Impact Trends
These are trends that are driving edtech adoption now, but will likely remain important for only next one to two years. Virtual Worlds was an example of a fast trend that swept up attention in 2007-8.

Mid-Term Impact Trends
These trends will be important in decision-making for a longer term, and will likely continue to be a factor in decision-making for the next three to five years.

Long-Term Impact Trends
These are trends that will continue to have impact on our decisions for a very long time. Many of them have been important for years, and continue to be so. These are the trends -- like mobile or social media -- that continue to develop in capability year over year.

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this:- Vic Vic Sep 16, 2015

Compose your entries like this:

Challenge Name
Add your ideas here, with few complete sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation
Many thought leaders have long believed that schools can play a major role in the growth of national economies. In order to breed innovation and adapt to economic needs, schools must be structured in ways that allow for flexibility, and spur creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. There is a growing consensus among many thought leaders that school leadership and curricula could benefit from agile startup models. Educators are working to develop new approaches and programs based on these models that stimulate top-down change and can be implemented across a broad range of institutional settings. In the business realm, the Lean Startup movement uses technology as a catalyst for promoting a culture of innovation in a more widespread, cost-effective manner, and provides compelling models for school leaders to consider. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 13, 2015 believes we need to move beyond 'previous century thinking.' Schools in Asia are increasingly exploring methods to dampen leadership structures and enablebottom up change. These include implementing hackathons to boost learner agency (, exploring emergent professional learning models (Edcamps, Pecha Kucha, etc) to challenge traditional PD and leveraging social media platforms to explore new learning connections ( - john.burns john.burns Oct 14, 2015 Another idea is the Skynet economy where low-altitude satellites will give affordable broadband access to the unconnected billions...Facebook is moving in this direction. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 17, 2015 Alphabet's Project Loon is making inroads for this in Indonesia. - kurt.wittig kurt.wittig Nov 10, 2015 Additionally, schools in Asia are often fighting against a top-down culture which makes this model even more revolutionary in a sense. However, if these models are able to prove their legitimacy, by perhaps identifying with the business models, they will certainly get a buy-in from necessary stakeholders. - jessica.hale jessica.hale Oct 26, 2015 - carlene.hamley carlene.hamley Nov 8, 2015 Currently at NIST we are working to create student run social entrepreneurship programs that are based on 'Dragon's Den' or 'Start-up EDU' challenges. By enabling students to authentically create small business for, and not-for-profit and make them happen in 'real world' application, students are able to leverage social media and tech to connect with small local business, develop empathy and hone creative problem solving skills. This focus on entrepreneurship and social empathy is a trend we see in many learning institutions such as NIST & UWCSEA- tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 UWCSEA is in the beginning stages of creating a student run bank. Global Concern groups (UWCSEA student run groups working on projects around the world) will be able to borrow money from the bank for development projects and seed money. As many of the students' parents are financiers, mentorship and volunteerism will be available. The initiative is coming out of the business management department of the Diploma Program. - kurt.wittig kurt.wittig Nov 10, 2015 To follow up on Kurt's comment above, UWCSEA's East Campus is also doing this via an Enterprise course at the HS (GCSE) level, in collaboration with the service department. - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015 Fostering a culture of change and innovation within international schools in Asia is challenging on many fronts. At the heart of innovation is the importance of failure and learning to fail well. Failing well requires time and for many parents failure carries with it to many negative associations. Without visionary leadership, well articulated guiding principles, a flexible timetable with time for collaborative vertical and horizontal curriculum planning, continuos professional development, close partnerships the private sector and higher learning institutions, change and innovation tends to be an extra-curricular pursuit or special project. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 10, 2015

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
There is an increasing interest in using new sources of data for personalizing the learning experience, for ongoing formative assessment of learning, and for performance measurement; this interest is spurring the development of a relatively new field — data-driven learning and assessment. A key element of this trend is learning analytics, the application of web analytics, a science used by businesses to analyze commercial activities that leverages big data to identify spending trends and predict consumer behavior. Education is embarking on a similar pursuit into data science with the aim of learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing large amounts of detail about individual student interactions in online learning activities. The goal is to build better pedagogies, empower students to take an active part in their learning, target at-risk student populations, and assess factors affecting completion and student success. For learners, educators, and researchers, learning analytics is already starting to provide crucial insights into student progress and interaction with online texts, courseware, and learning environments used to deliver instruction. Data-driven learning and assessment will build on those early efforts. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 13, 2015 wonders that, "Some brains are better than others at certain things, simply because of the way they’re wired. And now, scientists are closer to being able to determine precisely which brains those are...." - Chris.carter Chris.carter Nov 4, 2015Right now the challenge is not data collection but data analysis. As data analysis is pushed, mostly through automation, then the real challenge will hit. That challenge is actually turning the analysis into changed teacher behaviors. - nathan.pither nathan.pither Nov 8, 2015 Data is a big focus at NIST this year in elementary. As a PYP school, we are uninterested in more testing but rather are focused examining how we gather data on students to give them real time feedback on their personalized learning journey. We have developed protocols for gathering qualitative data from students through video discussions as well as protocols for the analysis of the video by moderated groups. We hypothesize that this data will help us understand if individualized and personalized learning is as rich as more guided forms of inquiry. Although the analytics of this data collection seems 'old skool' the use of video, vlogging, and social media for data collection and is very much a new trend.- tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 A growing trends for schools in Asia is adoption and reliance Software as a Service (SaaS), Platforms as Service (PaaS) and Infrastruture as a Service (IaaS). Coupled with increasing personal preferences of Apps by teachers vs. standardised institutional offerings school-wide measurement of learning facing a myriad of challenges. Busy teachers, educational assistants and administrators need accessible, intelligible, customisable and elegant reports in order truly realise the value of learning analytics. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 10, 2015

Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration
Collective action among schools and districts is growing in importance for the future of higher education. More and more, institutions are joining consortia — associations of two or more organizations — to combine resources or to align themselves strategically with innovation in K-12 education. Today’s global environment is allowing universities to unite across international borders and work toward common goals concerning technology, research, or shared values. Support behind technology-enabled learning in classrooms has reinforced the trend toward open communities and university consortia, as educators and administrators recognize collective action as a sustainable method of supporting upgrades in technological infrastructure and IT services. -- I agree with this as being a medium to long term trend. Already you see online academies cropping up like this: where students can enroll and learn online. The idea of having student be able to take course from other institutions seems like a golden opportunity to increase partnership between schools of similar backgrounds and help widen the scope of offerings to students. I think this would allow the expansion of student choice and also benefit the institution as it would allow for cost savings when offering courses for a few students is impractical and so avoided. - David.collett David.collett Nov 6, 2015 Fierce competition will grow. Edupreneurs are seeking business opportunities. Alliances continue to form and grow. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Nov 7, 2015 Since the population of teachers in international schools around Asia is fairly transient, it seems likely that learning connections will naturally form and, when the technology truly allows for cross-institutional collaboration, this will grow organically and spread quickly. I agree this is a long-term trend as we continue to de-privatise education. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 This point would allow for schools to get deeper into learning and supporting the needs of students rather than spending so much time on reinventing already proven ways of working and documentation of learning. Collaborating with agencies, groups and consortia outside of the local school environment can only open up many new doors of learning for our students. - carlene.hamley carlene.hamley Nov 8, 2015 A struggle that (unfortunately) comes up from time to time is the idea that our students are somehow 'exposed' when cross-institutional endeavors occur. An ongoing conversation needs to center around the elimination of the idea that an 'open' conversation online necessarily translates into a 'dangerous' conversation. - brian.duffy brian.duffy Nov 9, 2015 As an immediate trend we see the use of social media for collaboration between schools, classes, teachers and students. In my experience this is still ad hoc and not used systemically in education to show a trend that we can say 'has stuck'. At NIST we have 25 Twitter accounts but only about 10% of the accounts are actively, independently (without me moderating and tweeting from the back-end) engaged with other learners, classes and schools. Before we look at schools to collaborate on lessons, innovations, ideas or shared learning experiences etc.. such as higher ed institutions have started to do- I would postit that we need to develop true collaborative spirit from the bottom-up. As students begin to share and grow from a global network, teachers immediately see the benefits of social media connections. This will organically grow into teachers collaborating on unit planners and resources with greater intention than what is happening on Twitter currently. From that schools and institutions will begin to collaborate and then we see exchange of learning between schools. At NIST, we have begun to not only share our websites but create them with the thought of global collaboration. Sites like are iterative documents with teachers contributing to lessons that have worked for them from all over the globe. Similar to TEDEd, Education is becoming crowd-sourced and shared within international teaching communities. - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Nov 10, 2015 Excellent points made by Tosca (above). At UWCSEA, a collaborative spirit begins with the younger grades; whether it's cross-grade or cross-curricular, students are exposed at a young age to the concept of learning from others and bringing their new knowledge to their own classroom. Our teachers are very collaborative, exchanging ideas and lessons on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to work together and bring their knowledge from other subjects into their current classes. My mentor class is a group of G11 students; they are currently collaborating with a KG1 class to create a map that leads from our classroom to theirs. Students may not realise that they are learning something, but it's taking place. This is one of the reasons why I believe collaborative learning needs to begin at the younger grade levels. - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Nov 10, 2015 Yes to everything mentioned above. UWCSEA has forged relationships with other institutions and is looking for more, as we see fits our needs. We have established collaborative relationships with Singapore American School, Jakarta Intercultural School, International School of Bangkok, NIST, not to mention other schools in the UWC network. The non-UWC school partnerships are important because of shared resources, visions, and innovation strategies. Sometimes it is curriculum-specific (e.g. the partnership with JIS is primarily around TCWRP), but other times it is general. - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015

Increasing Use of Hybrid/Blended Learning Designs
Over the past several years, perceptions of online learning have been shifting in its favor as more learners and educators see it as a viable alternative to some forms of face-to-face learning. Drawing from best practices in online and face-to-face methods, blended learning is on the rise at schools. The affordances of blended learning offers are now well understood, and its flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies are high among the list of appeals. Recent developments of business models for universities are upping the ante of innovation in these digital environments, which are now widely considered to be ripe for new ideas, services, and products. While growing steadily, the recent focus in many education circles on the rapid rise and burnout of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has led to the view that these sorts of offerings may be fad-like. However, progress in learning analytics; adaptive learning; and a combination of cutting-edge asynchronous and synchronous tools will continue to advance the state of online learning and keep it compelling, though many of these methods are still the subjects of experiments and research by online learning providers and schools. - Chris.carter Chris.carter Nov 4, 2015Blended is already here and is so broadly defined that it is perhaps helpful to group "blended" into categories as per the Christensen Institute's models approach: International schools in Asia have been swimming in these waters for years. Being conscious of that fact, and having a willingness to research and apply best practices through that lens may be where we can most productively focus our energies. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Nov 7, 2015 This is a big area of focus at UWCSEA as we have been using Teamie as a blended learning platform for the last year and a little bit. Teachers, parents, and admin are equally interested in this area and so it's become an area of inquiry. Getting it to become something beyond "a place to load my resources" is a challenge for some. Students, however, express that they want it to be a place for communication and learning. Myself and my digital literacy coach partner (Jeff Plaman) are working on a white paper with a summary of our first year's worth of learning about our online learning platform at one campus. Coming soon. - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015 Blended Learning: more than just Flipping the Classroom, or provision of a Technology-Rich Environment, Blended Learning as described by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker (authors of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools) requires traditional Brick and Mortar spaces, a guide or facilitator, and the ability to access a learning management system that allows for facilitated feedback, a la Khan Academy. The research is compelling on how Blended Learning initiatives across the US and around the world are showing increases in student learning, scalability for relatively low cost, and most importantly increasing student engagement as they choose time, space, place and pace of their own learning. There are a variety of models of blended learning with subtle differences. Nurturing, face-to-face adults are of critical importance to children's success, but these models begin to encourage maturity and independence by allowing students to participate in the management of their own learning. As something to watch for in the future, it doesn't get bigger than Blended Learning.- maninder.kalsi maninder.kalsi Nov 4, 2015 This is the biggest possibility for truly having individualized learning as well as school structure. Class sizes don't have to be the limit, teachers can be in charge of focussed learning activities and facilitating personalized lessons to small sections of a huge cohort. Content delivery can be attained by multiple methods, but the application can be facilitated by teachers, experts in a field, or professionals in said field. Agree with Maninder, teachers will have to be flexible to work with multiple different group dynamics from year to year. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 9, 2015 In order to help teachers struggling with teaching digital citizenship and digital literacy, I created a blended learning space for teachers to use an online flipped model found in such places as TEDEd lessons. This was to help create individualized learning for the students as they often enter the classroom with disparate knowledge of tech. Teachers are invited to access children's abilities based on a phase document then mini lessons are set up for children to access content and complete tasks on-line. The system doesn't have the sophisticated feedback or LMS of Khan academy, but it is an example of the move towards blended learning by international schools in the region. tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 I think with the recently (cheaper) technological advances as of late, the blended classroom has much to offer and has not been exploited as such. And attention should be given to content equally, because poor content can deflate the the concept of flipping classrooms quite quickly. - patrick.mcmahon patrick.mcmahon Nov 9, 2015 In the last three years the blended learning landscape has undoubtably shifting with the rapid rise of smart phones, free/inexpensive storage, a focus on user interface design and 'an app or third-party extension for just about everything'. I think the challenge for schools lays in developing a shared vision complemented by investment in infrastructure and professional learning for faculty around digital pedagogies and instructional design. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 10, 2015 I agree with what's been said above about how Blended Learning is making itself more and more into the "average" school. Particularly in places which might have to worry about security threats (e.g. bombing in Bangkok), or weather (e.g. haze in Singapore and Malaysia), schools are now starting to think about how they can continue to operate within contingency plans. Many schools at the moment seem to think it's just about putting a platform of some kind in place, however, when the reality is that Blended Learning requires much more forethought, planning, and training. It doesn't simply replace what's been done before, and we also cannot just assume that because there is a platform, that learning is actually happening there. If we are going to look properly at Blended Learning -- and I believe schools want to -- we will have to look at how the learning will happen in blended environments. The Christensen institute has some great research and definitions on this topic: and - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015 [Editor's Note: Moved over from RQ2] - Vic Vic Nov 12, 2015

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
Defined by the Hewlett Foundation in 2002, open educational resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.” Momentum behind OER began early on, getting a major boost when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded the MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative in 2001, making MIT instruction materials for over 2,200 of its courses available online, free of charge. Soon after, prestigious universities including Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University, among others, pushed forward their own open learning initiatives. Understanding that the term “open” is a multifaceted concept is essential to following this trend in higher education; often mistaken to simply mean “free of charge,” advocates of openness have worked towards a common vision that defines it more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but also in terms of ownership and usage rights. -- I'd love to see resources like this open up for educators and tech coaches as an alternative to collecting credentials from tech companies like Apple and Google. Tech companies specialize in developing, marketing, and selling technology: why are we asking for them to certify us as educators? These programs can provide good networking and might be good for resume-building, but with open access to resources our time might be better spent exploring these tools in practice, working on collaborative projects and sharing the great things we're doing. This can all happen without jumping through Apple or Google's hoops (i.e. the hours I spent reading PDFs and taking Google's online "tests" could have been better spent elsewhere). There's some good pros and cons in this ISTE piece.- JasonTiefel JasonTiefel Nov 5, 2015 Word- tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015

Redesigning Learning Spaces
Some thought leaders believe that new forms of teaching and learning require new spaces for teaching and learning. More universities are helping to facilitate these emerging models of education, such as the flipped classroom, by rearranging learning environments to accommodate more active learning. Educational settings are increasingly designed to facilitate project-based interactions with attention to mobility, flexibility, and multiple device usage. Wireless bandwidth is being upgraded in institutions to create “smart rooms” that support web conferencing and other methods of remote, collaborative communication. Large displays and screens are being installed to enable collaboration on digital projects and informal presentations. As higher education continues to move away from traditional lecture-based programming and to more hands-on scenarios, university classrooms will start to resemble real-world work and social environments that facilitate organic interactions and cross-disciplinary problem solving. - jessica.hale jessica.hale Oct 26, 2015I have a literature review of resources on the topic of flexible learning spaces in K-12 topic schools and am in the process of designing a school with flexible learning spaces on a tight budget. Of relevance to schools could be how to design/redesign learning spaces to be flexible and accommodate 'active' learning with limited resources and research based literature on student learning in these environments. A couple of pieces from OECD on the topic:
Technology-enabled active learning environments: an appraisal:
- Chris.carter Chris.carter Nov 4, 2015A Learning Commons, especially when a school's schedule already budgets for Study Hall time, is first on my list of things to include in any future build-out/up/in. The very concept of a rectangular, closed classroom has already morphed into varied levels of blended learning spaces. Taking what I see as the next logical step is the creation of flexible space that provides learners with access to a "Genius Bar" of teachers and tech-types, fellow students who are pursuing similar lines of inquiry and investigation, and surroundings (furniture, tech, and architecture that inspire creativity and cooperative learning. Teachers already oversee students in Study Hall settings. Why not allow teachers to collaborate collegially at a "Genius Bar" in a Learning Commons while still being accessible to students? In this way ideas can be shared and inspirations born. With a Learning Commons kids can work with other kids who share a class but not a Study Hall, and students can have access to more than one teacher at a time. Also, by making sure that tech-types are also in the "Genius Bar" students and teachers can access information and examples of tools that advance teaching/learning practices through effective, efficient application of proper tools to proper tasks. We should also rethink learning spaces to extend beyond the walls of the classroom/school. There's an immediate shift in energy when students get to be outside of a classroom, whether it's going to other spaces on campus (i.e. Chris's Learning Commons idea above) or going out into their community. I've been intrigued by outdoor learning schools for a while, which make the outdoors the primary learning space as opposed to the place where kids go a few times a year on school trips. We're taking our year 8 students out around Bangkok for a week of project based learning, which will hopefully allow them to make connections with what's going on in the classroom.- JasonTiefel JasonTiefel Nov 5, 2015 Would love to see more. I am starting to see some focus on meeting the sensory needs of students in classrooms today. Our students are not designed to sit for long hours at a desk and the use of laptops and other devices also has its own concomitant ergonomic issues. Simple things like stand up desks, chairs that force a child to sue their core, pressure pedals on desks, etc. are starting to become a little more common place. Hopefully this trend will continue as we come to a common understanding that a well regulated sensory system allows the brain to devote more time and energy to learning. - michael.boll michael.boll Nov 7, 2015 - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Nov 10, 2015 The exploration of new agile spaces needs to be coupled with the exploration of contemporary pedagogical practice. Once you can identify the type of learning you would like to see, then you can design the space. Books like the 'The Language of School Design', 'Make Space' and 'The Third Teacher' have provided schools with a framework for reimagining their spaces. Schools in SE Asia like Shekou International School have completely reimagined their learning spaces International Schools Services (ISS) has also created a new space in China that will bring the community, industry and schools together to explore new learning pathways beyond the traditional bounds of the classroom - john.burns john.burns Nov 8, 2015 This is a question that I have been grappling with since 2012 when I created the website ReBrand Teaching which was supposed to be my doctoral dissertation (LOL). The idea of changing spaces and creating open areas for the flow of modern learning was always been stinted by the schedules, logistics and parent expectations of schools. In 2012 I wrote: "Anne Kreamer at the Harvard Business School discusses the rise of Coworking spaces as integral to the 21st century workforce. Benjamin Dyett, one of Grind's three founders, describes the new workforce full of people who "network endlessly and collaborate constantly. They choose when and how they do what they do, on their own terms. They don't want job security, they want career fluidity." These co-working spaces represent a cultural shift that focuses on collaborative networks, built-in resources, a dynamic ecosystem and innovation. At ReBrand Teaching we would like to reexamine the physical space of learning communities. We recognize although our learning spaces have changed significantly in the last 100 years we need a new push towards innovative thinking and practice." NIST has recently completed the Mechai Learning Commons in the space the old library would occupy. This space is filled with provocations, rich in tech and little niches for students to have cool places to learn. It has a coffee shop for parents, a theater for drama, and of course, books. Truthfully, the space is still used as a traditional library. So the field of dreams moment for me is not, “If you build it they will come” but rather the conceptual shift in thinking about learning and space will come when we provide opportunities for students to design and create their own learning environments. - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 We have a movement of teachers in Primary and MS at UWCSEA (East) who are spending considerable time looking at the design of physical learning spaces and how it impacts / reflects the design of online learning spaces. Look particularly for Paula Guinto's work -- she will be presenting at L2 in Milan on this very topic. - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015 - chris.bell chris.bell Nov 10, 2015Chris' idea above has finally come to fruition at ISB. We redesigned and relocated our Ed Tech staff which has typically been local Thai staff with expat management and very little student involvement. 3 years ago we started the HS Tech Team. Since then they have become a 'household name' at ISB for software and tech support. They also carry out their own refurbishing and computer donation program. THEY changed the thinking about learning spaces. They were so successful in working with staff and students that new staff thought that these Tech Team members were actually part of Ed Tech. Now this year the line has been completely blurred as our HS Tech Team members are the front face for Ed Tech. When you walk into 'Ed Tech' now students great you, work with you to identify/diagnose the issue and then either fix or port to the proper Technician. They are managing individual teacher projects, providing tech support and learning from the actual Technicians all because the Ed Tech space has become an inviting place and as it turns out has a 'Genius Bar' that people can see from the outside (all glass walls in the front) and are encouraged to come in and seek help or just check out what is going on. These students (and the number grows every year - we are currently at 86 student members) are getting real world experience, leadership and having fun all at the same time.

Rethinking How Schools Work
There is a focused movement to reinvent the traditional classroom paradigm and rearrange the entire school experience — a trend that is largely being driven by the influence of innovative learning approaches. Methods such as project- and challenge-based learning call for school structures that enable students to move from one learning activity to another more organically, removing the limitations of the traditional bell schedule. Moreover, these novel arrangements encourage renovation of classroom layouts to with the express focus of facilitating more group interaction. Century old practices in which students learn subject bysubject while uniformly facing the front of the classroom are perceived by many as an antiquated approach to teaching and learning. The multidisciplinary nature of project-based learning and other contemporary approaches has brought attention to innovative designs of the school atmosphere that link each class and subject matter to eachother.. As learning becomes more fluid and student-centered, some teachers and administrators believe that schedules should be more flexible to allow opportunities for more authentic learning to take place and ample room for independent study. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 13, 2015 asks a question that others have asked as well: Have we reached the limits of our traditional school system’s capacity to deal with the diversity of learners that come into our schools today? This rethinking needs to consider the rethinking of outcomes. Instead of hours completed and grades earned, the metrics used should include concepts demonstrated, skills mastered, and communities built and supported. This shift puts the focus on the student being responsible for their learning instead of the teacher being responsible for ensuring the students getting what they want and need. By shifting this focus there should be a significant change in the look and feel of what we know as a school. Digital tech should play a significant role in this shift. - ibeeckmans ibeeckmans Nov 6, 2015 I hope that school will begin looking more like exploratory workspaces. Instead of grouping students into grades or levels and standardized test results, they will be partnered in activities that are based on their own interests and include a focus on useful skills rather than content. It will be the job of teachers to make the practicing and learning of these skills relevant to selected interests. Technology tools will allow a greater exploration since schools will be less handcuffed by budgets or equipment available. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 YES!- tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 In terms of tangible examples of this in SE Asia it could be worthwhile highlighting the Futures Academy at International School of Beijing who are leading the charge with a 'School in a school' model. We could also reference the work of Education-Reimagined as they work to create a transformational vision of schooling which incorporates competencies, personalisation, learner agency, socially embedded and open walled opportunities. - john.burns john.burns Nov 9, 2015 Word. John highlighted the two schools I was going to mention that have taken the first steps in the testing out of a new learning paradigm. Perhaps also of note is how the homeschooling network's vibe of unwarehousing children (based on a need from the industrial revolution) has started to sink into educators dialogues. Why do kids go to school at these times? Why are they learning in this schedule? The PYP started the trend of inquiry-based more student driven inquiry- but I would argue it's time has come and gone. We are now looking at leveraging tech for truly individualized learning and a shift will have to happen as to how teachers view/label themselves for this to become a real trend. - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Nov 10, 2015

Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies
According to the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, multidisciplinary research refers to concurrent exploration and activities in seemingly disparate fields. Digital humanities and computational social science research approaches are opening up pioneering areas of multidisciplinary research at libraries and innovative forms of scholarship and publication. Researchers, along with academic technologists and developers, are breaking new ground with data structures, visualization, geospatial applications, and innovative uses of open-source tools. At the same time, they are pioneering new forms of scholarly publication that combine traditional static print style scholarship with dynamic and interactive tools, which enables real-time manipulation of research data. Applying quantitative methods to traditionally qualitative disciplines has led to new research categories such as Distant Reading and Macroanalysis — the study of large corpuses of texts as opposed to close reading of a few texts. These emerging areas could lead to exciting new developments in education, but effective organizational structures will need to be in place to support this collaboration. In terms of how this looks 'on the ground', the ideas of app-smashing and other interdisciplinary strategies has already yielded tangible results in the form of new and innovative ways students can show their learning (ie. multimedia presentations, math-music crossovers, etc). The challenges, as mentioned, involve the organizational structures (timetables, for instance) and the assessment considerations. - brian.duffy brian.duffy Nov 9, 2015

Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators
A shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice in schools all over the world as students in across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content. Creativity, as illustrated by the growth of user-generated videos, maker communities, and crowdfunded projects in the past couple years, is increasingly the means for active, hands-on learning.
- Chris.carter Chris.carter Nov 4, 2015Without a doubt this trend is alive and well, at leat at my school. As a History teacher I find myself teaching the skills of historical thinking through the use of content, with the skills being the true focus of my courses. Stanford History Education Group is a leader in this area ( Many "How to" video shorts that walk History teachers through the process of employing this approach can be found at In the search window type"reading like a historian". - - sarahhodgson sarahhodgson Nov 5, 2015 I agree that this trend is alive and well! Many of the teachers at Canadian International School of Hong Kong place a focus on students as creators, rather than consumers. For example, our Grade 1 team work in a 1:1 iPad environment where students are constantly creating blog posts to document and reflect upon their learning. Students independently create videos, written work, images, and audio recordings to share electronically with parents and teachers. When I hear about this kind of innovation it's almost always at the elementary or middle school level - how do we drive this kind of innovation within the academic restrictions of a program like the IB Diploma?- JasonTiefel JasonTiefel Nov 5, 2015 - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 9, 2015 I echo Jason's question, as many upper school teachers do. However, perhaps that's the point: There needs to be that sort of a shift, that desire to see programs such as IB for its theory of creating holistic individuals who are going to be meaningful contributors to, and creators within, our society rather than seeing such programs as inhibitors. ISHCMC is creating a new secondary campus ( with the vision to break the mold of traditional education, albeit being an IB school, in the hopes that interdisciplinary learning and innovative practices will be inspired because that is exactly what we need in our education system. Universities such as Olin ( are particularly looking for students who can create (and doing an awesome job), and Tony Wagner addresses this idea compellingly in his book Creating Innovators: At NIST we have taken the time to work with the early adopter teachers who are willing to give up time for students to engage in projects they are passionate about. One of the projects that has shifted mere consumption to creation of content is NIST TV Each 'channel' is operated, scripted, created, edited, acted, directed, filmed and produced by elementary students for other students to interact with and learn from. We would like to see blogs at NIST become this enthusiastic, interactive and student-generated content rich. On a small scale for elementary this sets the stage for students as they begin to develop content throughout their learning journey. Dr. Scott McLeod has a great talk about allowing students to use tech with voice and choice to create content. tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015
As educators, we've shifted from being the holders of content to facilitators helping our students learn to manage the vast amount of information available to them through digital resources. Just as we want our students to develop skills and strategies in critical thinking and media/visual literacy and around ethical issues related to the content they 'consume' for learning, we must also consider how we're supporting and guiding our students as creators of content. How do we encourage and support student creativity in creating and sharing content effectively and productively? - dbeabout dbeabout Nov 9, 2015

Shift to Deep Learning Approaches
There is a new emphasis in the classroom on deeper learning approaches, defined by the Alliance for Excellent Education as the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned. Project-based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning, Challenge-Based Learning and similar methods foster more active learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. As technologies such as tablets and smartphones are more readily accepted in schools, educators are leveraging these tools, which students already use, to connect the curriculum with real life applications. These active learning approaches are decidedly more student-centered, allowing learners to take control of how they engage with a subject and to brainstorm and implement solutions to pressing local and global problems. The hope is that if learners can connect the course material with their own lives and their surrounding communities, then they will become more excited to learn and immerse themselves in the subject matter. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 16, 2015 thinks we need to create courses with the idea of "Mobile First." We need to meet the student, not the student come to us...some we need to shift out of 'previous century thinking' believing exams are the focus. This is a trend that will allow students to become more richly engaged in their learning. After all, it is a major goal to help students be highly metacognitive and these types of deep learning that doesn't necessarily have a content focus is hugely important. If students are allowed to plan out their own learning, explore in meaningful ways and then reflect on their journey, the learning is far more authentic. I'm interested in how the exam heavy post graduate education will respond if k-12 institutions begin primarily working in this way. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 Here is an example of student driven learning: still in the early stages - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 Here are a set of starters for projects that can help facilitate this type of learning - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 Personalized Learning, as described by Alison Zmuda (, and the idea of Genius Hour or 20% time are being explored in schools already. These ideas genuinely allow students to take control of how they engage with their learning. By allowing students to choose how they engage with curriculum, we as educators can become the conceptual coaches who guide them toward making conceptual connections and deepening their learning. Students autonomy over learning leads to deep understanding. Cathryn Berger Kaye's 4 Corner model for Service Learning (example on page 7 here) provides a simple example of how we can guide students to identify issues, ask real questions, diversify their research (through leveraging technology and the new experts available to them through social media) and take action. The traditional learning outcomes for many subjects can be met through these experiences while allowing students to act on real issues in a deep and meaningful way. - sara.schneeberg sara.schneeberg Nov 10, 2015

New Trends Added by Panel

Increased Use of Digital Learning Journals - nathan.pither nathan.pither Nov 8, 2015
Portfolios of student work are nothing new. We have had paper based, digital based and more recently online based portfolios of student work. Not until now have there been easily accessible tools that totally change this experience. With these new tools students from a very young age can now demonstrate true real time examples of their learning. The new tools replace the collecting, selecting and directing tasks attributed to the previous portfolio designs with connecting, responding, sharing, linking/thinking, collaborating and publishing. They inspire intrinsic motivation (autonomy and purpose) in students. Allow for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable (Redefinition - SAMR Model). Allow for significant redesign of learning tasks (Modification - SAMR Model). Include learning evidence that is easily shared with a real meaningful audience. The new journals allow educators to build a community of learners that are sharing, collaborating and supporting each other’s learning journey over time. They are student-centered and include a variety of apps to show transdisciplinary learning. They also create an authentic learning environment and space for students to share learning by telling a natural personal story. - nathan.pither nathan.pither Nov 8, 2015 [Editor's note: I tweaked the title of this trend.] - Vic Vic Nov 12, 2015 The two best examples are: Three Ring - and Seesaw - - nathan.pither nathan.pither Nov 8, 2015 Interesting NIST has moved from on-line portfolios, to blogs, to learning stories. Using Blogger & WordPress we have quite an established blogging community in the elementary school at NIST. However, our journey is about finding the balance between blogging merely to document journey and the use of social media in tandem with blogs to enrich the discussion around the posts. I would like us to move away from the idea of blogging at NIST as: post of a picture and text or a video and forget forever- towards more forms of micro-blogging such as SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram or micro-vlogging such as Vine, Meerkat, or Instagram. From my research I believe blogs are not the most effective ways to have students share their ideas as they often become encased in the vacuum of the #WhoReallyGivesaDamnASphere. By contrast, social media micro-blogging enables kids to share voraciously and get feedback immediately from a large variety of sources... - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015 As Tosca put it 'Interesting' ISB has also moved from paper portfolios, to blogs, to student selected and now to sites or wikis for publishing. At the Elementary level and to a lesser degree at the MS level they are using Wordpress blogs but we have seen a massive drop off over the last couple of years. The use of Google Sites has become much more prolific. The best example is our current Freshmen Seminar builds a site dedicated to themselves as a learner. They use it for highlighting their interests, they take and post learning style findings and they test out other technologies. They are also using it to create. For most of the elements on the site the students are encouraged by the Tech Coordinator (me) and the Counselor to think of how they want to represent their findings from some protocol (ex. What color is your personality?) and then select a technology to do that. The other uses are in Science and Social studies they use a Google Doc that is shared and 'hosted' on a teacher site for their lab notes. The doc is a template we purpose built. English uses a wiki built into our LMS (Haiku) as a reading journal. It seems that rather than forcing one tool on everyone the organic application of technologies is showing value in use. This gives choice to the students but it also gives choice to teachers.

Added to RQ4: Challenges

Long-Term Trend
Standardized Testing in Asia: online access to bootleg tests
Widespread access to information is without a doubt a key element is today's schooling but what about access to standardized tests; such tests that may/can determine the "fate" of some students post-secondary education location. The enormous pressure of many Asian students is common knowledge and with stats revealing they're at the top of the scores, there is continued pressure to maintain and sustain that top ranking. Remember that the context for this inquiry is Asia and this assertion does not in anyway exclude that other students in the world i.,e European/North American are not under similar pressures. Nonetheless, access to bootlegged standardized tests seems to be an issue worth investing some time into because as access/connectivity increases, security increases and hacking tactics get better and so on. What impact might this issue have on Asian International schools Acceptable use Policy's (AUPS), server use etc? Here's an article to consider: - simon.gauci simon.gauci Oct 21, 2015 [Editor's Note: This fits in better as a new challenge, so I have added it to RQ4.] - Vic Vic Nov 12, 2015

Other Insights

Digital Mentors: Parents: Rejecting Tech Shame (article here) - patrick.mcmahon patrick.mcmahon Nov 10, 2015
This is a great piece suggested by my colleague Jørgen Mortensen in "The Atlantic." The article basically breaks down parents into four roles: digital enablers, digital limiters, digital "off means off," and digital mentors. Here's a quote: "Mentors, in fact, may be the parents who are most successful in preparing their kids for a world filled with screens, working actively to shape their kids’ online skills and experiences." I think the time has come to make it a top priority to help educate parents (and teachers) help their children and students navigate the tricky waters of tech and the online world. We are making strides at Renaissance with Parent University courses.

New Trend Name
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Retired Trends from Previous NMC Horizon Projects
Digital Delivery is Increasingly the Norm (combined with Blended/Hybrid Learning Trend)
Evolution of Online Learning (combined with Hybrid Learning Trend) Growing Ubiquity of Social Media (Social Media is a tech topic)
Importance of Content Curation
Increasing Preference for Personal Technology (overlaps too much with BYOD)
Reinvention of the Personal Computer