Nonesense Theory

Reviewing 2022 Bold Predictions

Every year I make a few predictions about what the future holds for our industry and more. Some years are better than others but it’s wild to think I’ve been doing this for 10 years. Before I post my 2023 predictions, I always like to look back and rate how I did the year before. Take a gander at the original predictions one year ago here. That said, here’s my review of last year’s predictions and how close I got:

Prediction: The Great Edtech Buy Out Continues

Outcome: Cha-Ching!

The 2022 Edtech Global Market Report recently shared that the industry would be worth $396 BILLION dollars by 2027. With all that cheddar floating around and RFPs from schools getting broader and broader, it only makes sense that more companies start to combine forces. Lightspeed bought CatchOn. Linewize bought Qustodio. Even Lego got involved, buying out long-time edtech video learning platform BrainPop for $875 million. As ESSER funds begin to wind down into 2024, this buy-out trend will continue to grow.

Prediction: The Great Resignation Will Force Schools to Think Differently About Online Teachers

Outcome: Still a remote possibility (see what I did there?)

With over 300,000 teachers leaving the industry in the last 2 years, teacher burn out is a real thing. I don’t think this trend is going away anytime soon. It’s actually the major driving force behind my latest podcast Forward to Different. There has been some growth in remote teaching but the market slowed quite a bit once the 2022 school year got kicked off. I still think we will continue to see a decrease in those entering our profession that will force leaders to think differently about how we educate kids.

Prediction: A New Social Media Platform for Educators Emerges

Outcome: Trending Upward

When we launched K12Leaders.com last January, I wasn’t sure what would happen. We were in the infant stages of growing a social platform that would be a safe space for educators to share ideas, have book studies, and hold gamified contests. With the changes going on at Twitter recently, I do think our platform will continue to grow. While we didn’t hit the 10,000 members that I predicted last year, we do have over 1000 regular users of the platform and more joining every day. Hope springs eternal in 2023…

Prediction: TikTok University Will Launch

Outcome: Not Viral Yet

According to the 2022 Pew Internet Research study, TikTok continues to grow as a platform especially with teen users. Even I got into the act this year posting some random recap videos of fun events this past year. (see QR code below) While no one has launched TikTokU just yet, more and more teachers are also using the platform to showcase student learning or teaching new concepts. Not everyone is on board with this trend as some states have moved to ban the platform on all school devices. Banning something tends to increase the draw to it, but in this case I predict the more teachers that get on the platform, the more likely students will run from it to sites like Be Real and the like.

Prediction: ISTE22 Will Feel Like A High School Reunion

Outcome: We all won

Starting with Tech & Learning’s pre-ISTE event dinner to the ending keynote, it was obvious to me, this past year wasn’t a normal ISTE. There were smiles, hugs and high fives galore as educators around the country gathered at the largest national edtech conference for the first time in-person since 2019. While I also predicted that it would be a bit of a train wreck as the location (New Orleans) could lead to some…eh hem…interesting interactions, the truth was it was an amazing (and hot) several days in June that partially signaled the end of the pandemic.

Prediction: An Amazon “Alexa” Academy Will Be Established

Outcome: “Sorry, I didn’t get that”

I missed on the Alexa academy but near the end of 2022 we did see a trend in AI emerge. When ChatGPT and avatar art programs like Lensa went viral last month, many educators wondered what artificial intelligence would mean to education. Some embraced it while others felt like it would make them obsolete. As this article suggests, it has started “an existential crisis” of sorts as students can use the platform to help them answer simple essay questions or tasks. The smart classroom movement may not be here yet, but I do predict that in a few years, we’ll be wondering how we survived without this kind of AI.

Prediction: A New Digital Divide Emerges

Outcome: Still processing

My thinking with this is that how we are using technology will become a gap between districts and demographics. Early trends following the pandemic did seem to point to some schools sticking their devices back in closets as they tried to go “back to normal”. However, until I can gather more than anecdotal data on the usage of digital tools and purpose for technology in schools, this prediction is still fuzzy.

Prediction: Augmented Reality Will Push the Need for NFT Education

Outcome: Low returns on investment

It’s funny how something so ever-present in January of 2022 like NFTs would slowly give way to AI tools and other trends. While NFTs are still a thing (just ask our former president), I haven’t really seen a huge push for education around this in schools, especially when coupled with Augmented Reality (AR). Does this mean the end for NFTs in schools? Not likely. But I do think it’ll take someone or some company with the right mission and idea for application to make this stick.

Prediction: The Metaverse Will Be a Not-So-Fun Version of Ready Player One. 

Outcome: Failed to upload

Another massive trend at the turn of the calendar last year was all the news about the Metaverse. We’ll have meetings on there, conferences, and potentially schools that bring students from all walks of life together. I do think the Metaverse will play a role in education before everything is done but think it’ll be a few years from now until we can really realize it.

Prediction: My New Book Will Be a Success Because of Failure 

Outcome: Ready, Set, Success?

I took a big risk in 2022 deciding to publish my book with a small, start-up publishing house. But like XFactorEDU, the book has been a great success so far. One of the most interesting things that has come as a result of Ready,Set, FAIL! are the stories that people from around the country have shared with me of their own risks and failures. It seems that we all have something in common with failure but it’s interesting how we tend to dismiss or even try and cover up our mistakes in life. The truth is, failure is a great teacher. (as witness by my prediction blog every year)

Ready, Set, FAIL! book signing at ISTE

!Overall, I’d say my predications for this past year either hit or have potential to hit in future years. However, if I’m being honest with myself, I didn’t take as many risks as I have in the past. So, for this year’s post (coming soon!), I’ll really have to step up the “boldness” and see how bad I can mess things up. Happy 2023!

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