There will always be the latest pedagogical or technological trend in education. Whether it’s research-based or just the latest fad, educational buzzwords crop up at every education conference or professional development session.
Here are five educational buzzwords that I think have outlived their usefulness. It’s not that the core concepts themselves are bad, but rather that the term has been overused, overhyped, or we’ve just simply moved on.
Sage on the stage or guide on the side? There is very little chance that you’re still gainfully employed in an educational institution if you’ve never considered whether your learning activities revolve around students. After all, if we were in it for the glory, there are hundreds of other career paths better for this than teaching.
Reason it’s losing its buzz? Oversaturation. Every learning activity should be student-centered, so kill the buzzword.
21st century learning skills
This might have sounded cool in the 1990s, but newsflash, we’re several years into the 21st century! I’m all for teaching digital citizenship and innovation – but let’s be honest, these are just essential life skills, and we happen to be living in the 21st century.
Reason it’s losing its buzz? Outdated. Awesome skills, outdated title.
Am I nuts? I work for a company called Edublogs and I think “blogs” are outdated?
But think about it. A blog, the truncated version of weblog, was once a simple tool designed to let people post text entries. Now blogging platforms have evolved for artists to share their artwork, businesses to sell their products, publishers to embed a wide variety of media.
Sure, you can continue to post blog entries for showcasing your writing, but the platforms themselves have grown to offer a much richer experience.
Reason it’s losing its buzz? Relevancy. Google searches for this term peaked in 2009. Interestingly enough, search data for the terms Edublogs and WordPress (the platform we’re built on) continue to grow year after year.
Almost every technology conference I presented at early in my teaching career focused on some sort of Web 2.0 tools. It was an exciting time – no longer were websites static html files that only offered a one way informational experience. With the advent of Web 2.0, we suddenly were exposed to interactive websites that hinted at the earliest forms of gamification in education.
But what was supposed to happen after this iteration of websites. Web 3.0? Yeah, some people went there. But it’s not like your latest iPhone 6. There was no clear differentiator between version numbers of the web. Other people still call just about everything “Web 2.0.”
Reason it’s losing its buzz? Outdated. The height of Web 2.0 was in 2007, and the web has continued to evolve in radical ways ever since the invention of the internet (Thanks, Al Gore!) Website creators will always be looking for new ways to innovate, even if we don’t have a name for it.
Yup, lots of words had e- i- and cyber- as added as prefixes a couple of decades ago. Some of the terms, such as email, ecommerce, and all of the Apple products, stuck around. Others have gone by the wayside.
Reason it’s losing its buzz? Showcasing student work is awesome, but I would argue that ePortfolios have become the standard over physical portfolios. Everything is electronic, so let’s just drop the e.
What do you think? Are these words outdated in educational jargon, or do they still serve a purpose? Are there other educational buzzwords you’d be happy to see disappear from our lexicon?