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Looking Towards The Horizon

In their annual Horizon Report, the researchers at New Media Consortium have selected the emerging technologies they believe will have a large impact on “teaching, learning, or creative expression” in the next five years.

So, which technologies made their list?

User-created content
Social networking
Mobile phone integration
Virtual worlds for learning
New forms of scholarly publication including Wikis
Massively multiplayer educational gaming

The focus of the study is on the college and university level, but let’s face it, some of this stuff is already leaking into what we do in K12.

However, I’m not so sure most of these technologies will have a big direct impact on our classroom in the next five years.

The larger influence at the K12 level will come from the way that students are using them outside of school. While many educators view what their students are doing with these new tools as play, the kids are learning.

And what they’re learning about communications, collaboration, and more will have an impact on our traditional educational system whether we like it or not.

Not everything they learn while connected on their own is good, of course. But without adult guidance on using the web, they will get their information from each other.

When do we start incorporating all this stuff into our teaching and learning? How much time do we have?

How much longer will our kids tolerate being disconnected from their personal learning networks for seven hours a day, 180 days out of the year?

How long would you stand for it?

Lots of questions. Few answers.

horizon report, education, technologies

1 Comment

  1. Mike Maryanski

    During my school days, I was like many kids are and have been for a long time; willing to do what school tells us to becasue we know it is the most effective way to to be successful and it pleases our parents. Maybe we pushed on the boundaries once in a while for fun, but mostly we played by the “rules” the adults give us.

    Are most kids any different today? Has the technology they use so profoundly changed their lives that it will change what we have come to expect from kids in schools? I beleive that it will. I have no crystal ball as to when, but trying to contain learning in the traditional school environment will not be successful, nor will it provide them with the opportunity to learn that we can if we find effective ways to change our practice. We are good at the work we do, we just need to enhance the way we do it with new resources.

    Now that I am a public school administrator, I wonder if I’m still doing the same; making decisions that are expected under the unwritten rules of what school should look and sound like? Our schools are slowly attempting to bring the student’s out of school experiences into the classroom and system, but very slowly. Unfortunately, it is not just the lack of resources that drive the timeline. It is lack of knowledge, understanding, and experience that also contribute. We should not be waiting for kids to rebel we should be collaboratively identifying how to make this happen. How do we start?

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