Last post I talked a bit about the “rising trends”. I’d like to continue looking that 2017 EdTech trends with the “waning” category. At least the ones that stood out for me.

  • Bring your own device
  • Gamification for gamification’s sake
  • “One size fits all” teacher professional development

Bring your own device

I’ve always thought that this one was interesting. I certainly understand the concept of getting devices into schools. The premise of getting this done for free (hey, kids already have devices, let them bring them) is always attractive. However, there are many things to consider. Do all kids really have devices to bring to school? Those educators who work in impoverished areas may have a different story to tell. Kids certainly don’t want to look poor. Sometimes if you ask them, they will say that they do have access to a computer or smart phone. It is not the same experience as many who come from well heeled economic areas.

Then you have the issue of usage. Having a teacher trying to troubleshoot issues with a wide variety of devices isn’t fair to the teacher at all. Each device can have a myriad of issues pop up. People who are really dedicated and interested in technology can sometimes need several minutes to troubleshoot issues. Asking a teacher who should be focused on pedagogy, student behavior and the learning process to also be an expert in troubleshooting never seemed really prudent.

Bring your own device always seemed to me to further inculcate that digital divide.


Here’s another one that I never understood. Gamification for the sake of gamification. Oooh, shiny! Now, gamification has a role in education. But not just purely for the sake of gamification. It is crucial that understand how technology can help the learning process. Just getting a kids attention isn’t enough.

I’m not completely convinced that this one is “waning”, but I hope so.

“One Size Fits All”

Ah, professional development. We’ve spent decades talking about making professional development relevant. We’ve spent the last couple of decades discussing the importance of customizing professional development to meet the needs of the individual teacher. I’ve seen great growth in professional development being much more customized and relevant for teachers. Truthly, that seems to vary by school too.

Like everything in education, there is no silver bullet in professional development. There is a time and place for “one size fits all” professional development, just not as much as we do.

We do now have some very powerful tools to provide much more customized relevant professional development. Here is one area where technology can make a huge impact. Chris Kenniburg has done some terrific work to assist in the creation and delivery process for professional development.

This is one area that I do hope is “waning”. It doesn’t need to go away, it just needs to not the only way that we provide and experience professional development.