Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thoughts on Emerging Technologies in Education
Kind of ironic that my last course in my masters in Educational Technology is one titled "emerging technologies." The challenge, after two years of study, is the difficulty in coming up with something I have not already been exposed to, or have discovered on my own. Looking to gain more insight into ed-tech than just the newest passing gadget, I've been trying to figure out just what is the emerging technology that will be facing educations near future. After watching Jimmy Wales 2005 TED talk discussing how Wikipedia works, I reflect on the comment he made right at the end - "But freely licensed textbooks are the next big thing in education." You would think that in the 4 years since this talk that we'd be there by now, but I think we're just getting going (educational inertia to blame, I suppose). It's not going to be the latest gadget - Kindle, Iphone, etc, but that information is more available to all. Organizations like Connexions and Curriki are working diligently in that direction. Now all that's left is for education to follow. So, what is the "emerging technology" in education, well, I think it's going to be the further breakdown of the digital divide and participation gap through the availability of shared collaborative resources for student and educators alike.