What will Special Education look like in 10 Years?

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When the Flip camcorder was introduced I was excited at how much this little device could do, and with exceptional quality.  No more big bulky camcorders that you need to carry around in a case which takes a few minutes to get out, turn on, and starting filming. With the Flip you can just throw it in your pocket and use it like your phone but for videotaping. The Flip was also great for my blog.  I shot some video, loaded the flip software on my computer, downloaded the video, uploaded it to my blog and inserted into my post and I was done.

Then, I get an iphone.  Only one device. I take video and send straight to my blog and done! How easy and quick is that compared to the Flip! This technology happened within 6 months.

The pace of technological advances is incredible and continues to be progressing.  Most districts in Massachusetts are now currently learning about,  considering or implementing 1:1 devices in their schools, and this is increasing significantly. Last year I sat in on a meeting with approximately 20 district Directors of Technology from the Greater Boston area and every one of them stated that their district wants to go to a 1:1 device for every student.  This was a year and half ago, just imagine how many districts are now considering this today. This change, whether you agree with it or not,  is eventually going to happen in all districts. What has also been gaining momentum is virtual schools and on-line academies? This will also be an option for every student and this is only the beginning.  Now try and imagine what our schools will be like in the next 5 years.

I am particularly interested in what is going to happen in special education? How will it change? It cannot remain the same…can it?  Will technology have the same impact on special education? Can special education change with all our regulations, mandates and paperwork that keeps on increasing? I would really like to hear comments and feedback on this.   If special education, 10 years from now, looks like it does today, then we need to really evaluate what we are doing. On the other hand, we don’t have time to wait 10 years, here and now is when we need to change. I will end this post with this statement, but I will write future posts on my views on what needs to happen for change and progress to happen in special education.


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