Internet trends emerging in 2013 and their impact upon schools

Two entirely separate events over the last 10 days have brought to the fore the major emerging trends on the Internet. Don’t expect any major conclusions, though I feel the Higher Education developments in the UK are really quite interesting.

  • One is the global Google I/O event, broadcast live across the world to packed houses, at which Google inventors introduce their thoughts for the future 12 months – here’s the Verge’s 3 minute summary – –  (many thanks to Doug Belshaw). read more here

  • The other is Slicon Valley’s geek guru, Mary Meeker’s annual presentation – read my summary here or  more in the Guardian –

Thoughts for the future: 

Employment: The shortage of high skill technology workers will only grow – you’ll need to think about your secondary school curriculum offer – how can you encourage a technological approach?

On-line degrees are coming: With the World economic crisis remaining with us for a number of years to come, it seems to me time we started looking at the arrival of the UK version of home based, on-line degrees.  Now the series world lead we have with the Open University is indicative we will do this well, specifically because the OU is leading the implementation of degree level MOOCs from this autumn.

Stateside, on-line degree courses have already become much more credible. In the UK, the following universities plan to offer on-line degrees through the OU Futurelearn portal. Here’s a Daily Telegraph article from last December on the matter –

Futurelearn is partnering with the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum and 21 of the UK’s top universities* and will launch their first courses later this year.

*University of Bath, University of Birmingham, Bristol University, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, King’s College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Reading, The University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of St Andrews, University of Strathclyde, University of Warwick.

Forgive me, but I reckon here is a real opportunity for top secondary schools to consider how they might play a part. Could for example we open our resources centres and study areas over the weekend to permit on-line graduates a centre for study?

The relentless rise of social media, driven by both internet access and hardware: 

  • General info on social media: Facebook leads (1.1 billion active users), then youtube, twitter and google+, linked in, instagram and tumblr rapidly rising. Tumblr allows for miniposts, so for those marketeers short on words, this may work more effectively linking from the school website. These are huge populations, and education is right there in the mix.

  • 15% of all internet traffic is now through mobile, likely to be 25% by Christmas 2014. More Chinese access the internet via mobile than by PC this year.

  • UK is no 6 in the world for Smatrtphones signup (43 million accounts) – over 1.4 billion users, compared with over 5 billion mobile phone users.

  • Tablets are now competing in equal numbers with laptops and PCs.

  • Shopping inexorably moves to the web – Alibaba in China has now more customers that Amazon and eBay combined throughout the world. In my experience, warranties aren’t so easy to chase through!

What does the next hardware look like?If smartphones and tablets were the new computing of the noughties/teens, in this decade we now have moving into Wearables, Driveables, Flyables, Scannables.

Wearable: Don’t laugh about Google Glasses, because as recently as the 1970s, computing experts could not conceive us having a computer in our home. You’ll be wearing something soon, even if it is to keep track of you! Dogs have chips, anyway!

Driveable: Most have a computer on their car, but the new stuff is doing more than just monitor the ignition. What is happening in China now will come to the UK next year… Taxi apps – connecting you and available cabs in real time

Flyable: As for mobile drones, unless the government steps in, expect to  see them down your street this Christmas!   I remember glow-plug planes on the park, here we have a return of the amateur flier, but with gps, webcams and other peripherals to boot.

Scannable: Scanning is entering school dinner queues as they go cashless, and mobile phones in other countries are already their access to cash. QR codes are coming to businesses everywhere.

In summary from the global events: 

from Google coming soon: 

  • ‘OK Google’ – a speech recognition version for searching, plus for much of the google interface to follow
  • Google Play Music giving you on-demand music
  • Google Play for Education – a custom app store filled with curated apps specifically for students and educators, going live this summer to assist schools going Android rather than iPad
  • Google Hangouts – collaborative video networking – allows up to 4 hours of live broadcast
  • Google+ – now to handle pictures effectively, like Flickr
  • Google Maps are to be integrated with Google Earth and vector maps – critics aren’t certain that this is a good thing
  • GMail to carry money…using Google wallet –

More generally, other Apps from Mary Meeker: 

  • snapchat – instant messaging with pictures that ‘disappear’
  • Dropcam – webased camera service, stay in touch whilst you’re on tour
  • Soundcloud – musician based distribution service
  • wechat –  mobile phone text and voice messaging communication service – allows for multiple users to video chat on mobile
  • waze – social traffic navigation
  • jawbone up – fitness tracking bracelet and app that tracks and feeds back what you do
  • yelp – app based local business directory service and review site with social networking features. Time to ensure your school has the right info about it in its entry!
  • Twitter vine only on apple kit – but still huge – 6 second mini-videos moments

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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3 Responses to Internet trends emerging in 2013 and their impact upon schools

  1. Great post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired!
    Very helpful info specially the closing section 🙂 I take care of such information much.
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  2. Stuart Hall says:

    Thought provoking Blog as always. I read an article the other week about Deutsche Bahn using drones to catch graffiti “artists” link below.

    As with all technology it is not the technology per se that is the issue but how it is used.

  3. What’s up to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your views are good for new people.

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