How do we define emerging technologies?
Before this course began I pretty much had no idea what emerging technologies are besides what I could glean from schema knowledge that I have from the words emerging and technology. I assumed that emerging technologies were technologies that are new and up-and-coming. After reading the suggested articles and doing some research I now understand that the term has a pretty different, and specific meaning.
So, emerging technology refers to a type of technology that is be applied to educational settings. It does not necessarily have to be new type of technology, it can be somethings that has been around for a while, but it is being refined or adapted for educational use (Veletsianos, 2008). The article “A definition of emerging technologies for education” used Twitter as an example (Veletsianos, 2008). Twitter has existed for quite a while, but the program has been adapted and changed in many ways over the years. Facebook too could be another example because Facebook has existed for about a decade now, but the interface we use today would be completely unrecognizable to a user from 2004.
I like the Twitter example in particular because it applies to what we are doing in this class and what I did in a class last semester too. Though Twitter has been around for years, I never took a particular interest in it, but in my class last semester my teacher told us we had to have an account because we would be sharing our work with other through twitter and we had Twitter chats in that class, as we will in this one. So, even though Twitter had existed for a while, it was now becoming extremely applicable and functional for an education setting, even though it was not an original function in the initial design of the program.
Types of technologies that are being utilized by educators, like Twitter and WordPress are even more convenient because they can be used through another type of emerging technology, mobile computing. I can remember a few times where I had other commitments or was traveling, but I was able to submit work on time through mobile computing and apps. When it comes to students, I actually prefer mobile computing. Students are often slowed down by using full on computers, with having to type, navigate all the keys and icons. Types of mobile computing are becoming increasingly popular schools because of their facility to use (Davidson, 2013).
Emerging technologies are also types of technologies that are not fully understood and are often not fully utilized by educators. They are also susceptible to hype by others. For example, every classroom in the district I previously worked for has a SMART Board. About the time I was graduating from high school, in 2008 SMART Boards seemed to be the new cool thing for classrooms, but very few had them yet. By the time I started teaching, many classrooms had them, but few teachers actually were able to fully access the benefits of the SMART Board due to either lack of training, interest, or other issues such as internet connectivity (Frye, 2011). So in the district I worked for, they were definitely victims of the SMART Board hype.
Davidson, D. (2013, July 28). Mobile Computing In Education – COMMANDmobile. Retrieved May 25, 2015, from http://commandmobile.com/mobile-computing-in-education/
Frye, L. (2011, June 19). Do Smart Boards live up to the hype? | Intermission. Retrieved May 25, 2015, from http://intermissiononline.com/2011/06/19/do-smart-boards-live-up-to-the-hype/
Veletsianos, G. (2008, November 18). A definition of emerging technologies for education | George Veletsianos. Retrieved May 25, 2015, from http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/