A frustrating read: Connie Malamed’s Trends

It is Useful?

I chose to review Connie Malamed’s “Learning Technology Trends to Watch In 2011” list.   I found Connie’s list to be incredibly frustrating to read! It was not useful to me as an educator.  In most of the trend descriptions, there were always some good information, to be sure, about the status of various technologies but there was very little said about how teachers would actually use the technologies with students in their instructional designs.  The trends were portrayed simplistically and superficially.

I was continually frustrated because I would be reading the description of the ‘trends’ and it would be very interesting… then, the voice in my head would start saying, “okay, so now explain specifically how you think this will impact learning.”  There is very little of this.  She uses phrases such as “…because ____ is showing raid growth, and because _____ is one of its most compelling uses, look for rapid growth in the next five years in learning applications that use ____…” but then never follows with any specifics.

Then, it occurred to me that maybe this web page is more the “People magazine” version of these kinds of hip edutech web sites.  I don’t mean to sound snobby about her blog… or condescending.  I think it comes down to what audience she is intending to write forThe article just seems rather fluffy, with lots of pictures, colours, lots of hyperbolic chat, and loads of throw away phases such as the one I included above.  I want to know more about which technologies will have the best shot at being used by teachers to facilitate self-regulated learning or concept development, or even authentic collaboration.  I wanted more specifics, more research, more reflections from early adopting teachers… But, alas… the site was more of a “beach read.” 

Recommend to others?

This might be a site I would recommend to someone with a beginning level of knowledge regarding the possible connections between learning and currently popular mobile gadgets, web 2.0 sites, and applications.

Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace