#MobilityShifts – 5 key trends for the future of education [guest post]

Mobility Shifts

I’m back in the UK after my first trip to the US for the Mobility Shifts conference in New York. This was made possible by Scott McLeod, Director of CASTLE and owner of Dangerously Irrelevant. Thanks Scott, it was fantastic!

5 key trends for the future of education

In this, my last post here about the conference, I want to give a quick overview of five trends which jumped out at me. These were mentioned by several speakers during the conference:

  1. Openness – This has been going on for a while, but there’s a real drive towards open access for academic research in particular.There is a feeling that education and public services should be open and transparent.
  2. Greater insight into the knowledge creation process – This is similar to openness but pertains to the creation of articles, books and other material. It’s not just the output that should be shared, but the context of how it was put together.
  3. Mobile learning. – The big movement at the moment outside the conference is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) but the focus at Mobility Shifts was upon mobile for ubiquitous learning. It’s not so much about the mobility of the device but the multiple ways in which the learner is mobile.
  4. Alternative forms of assessment – This is a big one with Mozilla’s Open Badges leading the way. Because assessment often drives the structure of learning, this is key.
  5. Rethinking the classroom environment – This goes hand-in-hand with the curricula redesign necessitated by alternative forms of assessment. How should we build new (or reorganise existing) classrooms?

Catch up with previous posts from #MobilityShifts:

3 random things I saw on my last day in New York

  1. Several grannies standing on a busy street corner holding pink pom-poms. They acted as cheerleaders giving everyone wearing a pink top and running shoes a ‘woop!’ as the latter (presumably) walked to the start line for a run to raise money for breast cancer research.
  2. Three separate tourists asked me for directions. And I knew the answers! I must look like I know what I’m doing.
  3. A proper game of cricket going on in Queens, with proper ‘whites’ and everything. Who said Americans weren’t cultured? ;-)


Encouraging clearer thinking in education, technology and productivity, Doug Belshaw is an educator and activist. He lives in the north of England with his wife and two young children. Doug is currently Researcher/Analyst at JISC infoNet (hosted by Northumbria University) after spending seven years as a teacher and senior leader in various UK schools. He has just submitted his doctoral thesis on the subject of ‘digital literacies’.

Blog: dougbelshaw.com/blog  
Twitter: @dajbelshaw / @dajbconf

2 Responses to “#MobilityShifts – 5 key trends for the future of education [guest post]”

  1. Dr. McLeod,
    My name is Morgan Clark I’m a student at the University of South Alabama. I’m also enrolled in Dr. Strange’s Edm 310 Class. I really enjoyed reading your blog posts. The conference you attended seemed really educational and a great experience. I read over the 5 key trends and relate a lot to the education being taught today. A few of them are seen being used in schools everywhere and play a huge role in Education. Thanks for the great read! I can’t wait to read the next post!

  2. Of the 5 key points, only one is not addressed by Montessori education, and that is because we Montessorians are still trying to figure out how to integrate technology, just as everyone else is.

    I would strongly encourage anyone who is really intersted in such educational reforms to see how they have been implemented so very effectively in our classrooms, all around the world, for over 100 years. We can help each other here.

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