EdTech Global

Developing a global understanding of educational technology

Category: INF530 (page 1 of 4)

Task 7 Part B: Reflection

Over the past 14 weeks my knowledge and understandings of what it means to be an educational professional working in the digital environment has evolved significantly.  In one of my blog posts, I outlined some of the challenges I expected to face including overcoming my own knowledge gap and the lack of opportunities to engage in professional conversations about the concepts of digital education.

Surprisingly, I found using social media platforms such as Twitter vital to establishing and my own knowledge network in order to engage in professional conversations. I am currently following a range of edtech companies, educational leaders, schools, fellow masters students, government organisations, news outlets, researchers and edtech magazines. I realised how effective this network is and can be, was when I used it to investigate how much Google results can vary depending on the IP location. I was surprised with the feedback I got and was grateful, reaffirming social medias role in creating and sharing knowledge. I am still learning how to interact in this space, knowing what to post, who to tag, Twitter netiquette.

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Digital Essay Proposal Ready and Live!

I am very very happy to say I have finished my digital essay proposal. I have been inspired so far by Module 4 of the course particular the concepts of globalisation, geospatial learning and information ethics.

Always learning, anywhere, anytime.

These four words inspired me to look at my own school and examine some of the challenges we face. It became increasingly clear that there was certainly a need and place for online learning in our school. So after talking to colleagues and reflecting on my own practice I decided to explore this idea further.

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Task 2: Trends in Educational Technology

Who or what are determining the trends in Educational Technology?

The what?

I started writing this post with the intention of exploring the emerging trends we are seeing in EdTech today, such as cloud based learning, AR/VR, coding as literacy and many more. I enjoyed combing through the plethora of online blogs, opinion pieces and articles about the top upcoming EdTech trends. The blogosphere provided an over whelming and diverse insight into some of technologies and ideas that are being used or advocated for in schools.

  • https://elearningindustry.com/6-edtech-trends-watch-2017

    5 Top EdTech Trends To Watch In 2017 by Gagan Singh Shekhawat

  • Edtech 2018: 17 emerging trends by Charley Rogers

  • 6 Key Trends in Educational Technology by Eden Dahlstrom

  • 7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2018 by Rhea Kelly

  • Class Tech Tips

  • 21st Century Education Technology and Learning

The first issue I came across was defining what trend actually means. Oxford online dictionary provided three definitions and personally I find all three to mean very different things. What distinguishes a trend from being a direction of change to a short lived topic discussed online? Are the trends we are seeing in online communities like the ones referred to below, true directions of change or rather topical ideas?

 

trend
noun.
  • general direction in which something is developing or changing.

  • fashion.

  • topic that is the subject of many posts on a social media website or application within a short period of time.

    (Trend, n.d.)

 

The why?

Predictive Google search options of technology trends

As illustrated in the infographic (Boundless, 2013), educational trends have been reforming and reshaping the way we teach and learn for centuries. It seems as though there are several different ideas for the future of EdTech, we are still in the piloting stages of many programs and there seems to be a lack of communication between EdTech companies & educators (Selwyn, 2016).  I think to help us understand where we are heading we need to investigate how EdTech trends are established.

Technologies in all industries are rapidly developing and significant trends are starting to appear. Wearable technology in health (The Medical Futurist, 2017), connecting physical and online stores in retail (Sonsev, 2018) and artificial intelligence (AI) in banking. (Din, 2017). All of these industries have their own ‘drivers’ that are creating directional change.  I would assume that industries like retail, banking and construction would have ‘drivers’ that are geared towards providing economic gains. If we were to map out how trends in other industries are emerging would we find similar drivers in education?

The how?

I believe EdTech trends need to be based on best practice.   I found reports like the The Future Work Skills 2020 as beacon of hope for the future of EdTech trends. Reports like this are informing best practice and providing clear direction for EdTech stakeholders such as government bodies, educational institutions, educators and EdTech companies.

The who?

To further my exploration, I took advantage of the Twittersphere and used  to find recent articles, posts and discussions. I came across an interesting article by Caroline Wright discussing how the UAE’s push for EdTech in schools is promoting collaboration between UK EdTech companies and the UAE.  The article also mentions an innovative project that aims to create a ‘golden triangle’ between teachers, EdTech companies and researchers. I believe theses entities are the ones we should be turning to for direction. The ideas, products and concepts that emerge from these collaborative approaches to educational technology should be considered with due regard.

Final thoughts and questions
  • Who are the stakeholders To what extent are trends in other technology industries impacting on the decisions being made in education?
  • To what extent do the trends in EdTech impact on teaching and learning?
  • How do you APA cite a screen shot? Is this an example of digital literacy?

 

References

Boundless. (2013). The Past the Present and Future of Education. Retrieved from http://blog.boundless.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/history_of_education_infographic.jpg.

Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. . (2011). Future Work Skills 2020. Retrieved from http://www.iftf.org/uploads/media/SR-1382A_UPRI_future_work_skills_sm.pdf

Din, S. (28, December, 2017). Top bank tech trends for 2018. Retrieved from http://www.americanbanker.com/slideshow/top-bank-tech-trends-for-2018

Selwyn, N. (2016). Is technology good for education?. John Wiley & Sons.

Sonsev, V. (22, January, 2018) Retail Technology And Marketing Trends On The Rise For 2018. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/veronikasonsev/2018/01/22/retail-technology-and-marketing-trends-on-the-rise-for-2018/#6452803f64c0.

The Medical Futurist. (2017). The 10 Best Health Technology Innovations at CES 2017. Retrieved from http://medicalfuturist.com/10-best-health-technology-innovations-ces-2017/.

Trend. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionary Online, Retrieved March 24, 2018, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/trend.

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