What tools do teachers find useful for learning and teaching? The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies out of the UK conducted a survey in 2007 that asked people to submit their top 10 tools – they then came up with a list of the top 100.
If you are an educational software publisher the results may not be what you want to hear. Not 1 of the top 10 is an education specific title and only 5 of the top 50 are (if we include Wikipedia). All the rest are general productivity tools and range from Office apps, search tools, social networking sites, mind mappers, RSS readers to name just a few categories. In an even more interesting twist 37 of the top 50 are free.
This survey is very unscientific, 107 self selected responses. Take it with a large grain of salt. On the other hand the questions it raises are fascinating.
- Could it be that the age of education specific software is coming to an end?
- Are educators embracing general productivity tools as the solution?
- Will they need scaffolding to bring these tools into the classroom effectively?
- What will be the business model to support this trend – will it be Professional Development instead of Software Systems?
- Will schools tolerate or even encourage “free” products that are advertising or sponsorship driven?
- If schools do move to a sponsorship model what implications does that have for traditional media like textbooks?
Comment away if you have thoughts on any of this.