A Tale Of Two Stories

This is a look at the eLearning coach (Connie Malamed)’s Learning Technology Trends To Watch In 2011. Done in December of 2010, some of it may be dated or evolving already (as the article alludes to, as an “artificial” end-of-year piece), but as a static document, I took it at its face value right now.

Long story short:
How (and how much) is it useful / valuable to educators, tech. specialists, and venturers? I mostly see this article as just adding to a larger Internet consensus. I don’t feel it is a definitive or go-to list, but I feel it is an opinion piece that can rub shoulders with others on the same topic online (since it shared many similar ideas, that appears to be the case, anyway).

Do I expect to seek this out again, use it for personal success, or recommend it to others? In short, not really. I may make reference to it at some point, but as it’s not instantly useful / applicable to my job / career now, it will probably fall into the e-ether among so many other visited sites and forgotten bookmarks.

Short story long… some thoughts on notes I took as I read it:
At first, I looked to see where these items were compiled from… some sources, perhaps. Save for a couple of in-text references, it seems like the article is based just on opinion. Nothing against opinion, but I was curious to see where all this was coming from, and wanted a little background / tracks to follow.

I noticed my own bias when I read it – that of an intermediate teacher. I kept on thinking, “Well, that’s not going to work for me this year,” but when I thought of other scenarios around the world and of different levels / age ranges, some things seemed more practical or possible. Still, I wondered what her target audience / educational level was.

Under social media, when it was mentioned about sharing posts throughout the day and night… I wondered if it was good to do so. Should the line between teacher and civilian get blurred? Why should a teacher do something like message a student when they wouldn’t think of calling their home at the same time of day / night? Again, my bias was at play here. The way social media shrinks distances is great, though.

With regards to LMS, this activity was the first time that I heard there were chinks in its armour, really. It helped to clarify a potential rationale with regards to putting this course into blog form.

Mobiles – paring down media elements and going with less is more… I thought that matched well with the current trend of shrinking curriculum outcomes or at least streamlining them… to make things (in general) in a more essential form. It had me thinking of downloadable courses, modules on SD cards…

Tablets – after desktops & laptops, are they the next “natural” step before mobiles?

With regards to 3D, I can see applications for it, but just not in my own workplace. I have seen 3D spaces used in schools here (with varying success), but I just don’t see how (today, anyway) they will be extremely useful / beneficial. Perhaps they will become more normal or common in things like social studies courses or other situations where you’d like to be in another place.

I hadn’t heard the term augmented reality before this, but I had seen it in action online (Mistry’s Sixth Sense technology), and was rather blown away by it. In terms of possible listed uses, though, it raised a lot of questions. It could be used to see the tenants of a building? How will someone protect or sort that information? How will privacy settings on some information get turned on or off? Will content be sortable like in Google Maps? Who can add to it… everyone? While I do like the idea of informative tours and historical data, this technology seems the farthest away from current day, I think.

The mention of blogs becoming like a social network and how sharing of them is done a lot through social networks was very true, I thought. Through my own blog / website, I have connected with various new people, and I have advertised it myself on places like Facebook.

eBooks? I think they are a great idea for many reasons (features, costs, age, etc.). I see their use in schools more on tablets, though, not e-readers (looking for an all-in-one device).

I can’t see QR codes lasting for long. I think that as soon as augmented reality becomes more common, you’ll be able to stick an e-fork into them.


Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace