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Reflections of 2018 - Less iPads, Fortnite Dances, and No One is Safe #edtech

Well it is that time of year again. I will be taking some much needed time off during this holiday season. However, I will return on January 7, 2019 with new posts. Before I go here are some random thoughts and reflections on this year.

Year 1.5 of 1:1

In my school district this is the second year our 1:1 deployment. K-12 we have Chromebooks with 6-12 taking their devices home. The summer was a huge learning experience with having to sort and process an entire district worth of devices (over 1600) on top of a deployment of new desktop computers. I know more than I did last year, but not as much as I'll know next year. Overall I am amazed at the impact this has had on student learning and can't wait to see what the future holds.

No More PARCC, now IAR

This was the last year of PARCC testing in the state of Illinois. This school year, we are moving to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness. I have heard from the state that although the test will start very similar to PARCC, the technology behind it will be completely different. This should be up for reflection next year.

iPad Usage Decreases

iPads used to be the primary device in Elementary grades, but I have noticed a decrease in the use of iPads, not just in schools but also in personal/private use as well. All of this coming at the same time that Apple announced they will no longer report sales numbers of their devices, just revenue. Is the era of Apple's dominance in Education coming to a close? What will be the next viral device Apple needs to stay on top of the tech world.

Windows 10 Updates

Our school district made the leap to Windows 10 with our new Desktop Deployment and with that came a whole new group of management issues. With the October 2018 update delayed due to deleting files, I am not sure that Microsoft's seasonal feature updates will ever be a smooth process. It has always caused problems for our users. Lets hope for a better experience in 2019.

Fortnite Dances

At the beginning of this year, I was walking down a hallway in the Elementary School. I saw a student waiting in line to go the bathroom and he was "fidgeting." As soon as he saw me he froze and his face got really red. Assuming he got embarrassed, I just continued down the hallway and didn't say anything. When I got to the classroom, I asked one of the teachers about it as I thought it was strange. She replied, "Ah, yes. He was probably doing a '(Fortnite) Dance.' They have been told not to do that so he probably thought he was going to get in trouble."

What an age we live in.

All Tech Companies Know You (better than you do)

With the congressional hearings on Facebook's data leaks and increased interest on regulating internet companies, many are just starting to realize what tech giants do with your data. With many now relying on AI devices such as Alexa, Siri, and Google, tech companies try to guess what you need before you ask it. The scary thing, is they are doing a good job of that. Is this necessarily a good or bad thing? Is this the price we pay for the progress of technology?

All in all I did not cover everything. As I said this is just a random assembly of thoughts and reflections as the year closes out.

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

See you in 2019!

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