Technology seems to be in a constant state of adaptation and is still being tested for validity. The term emerging, in my opinion, means the current technology being presented may not be used to its fullest extent. It is a way of labeling a technology that is coming into its own time. A large learning curve comes with new or improved technological tool. Educators want to make sure any emerging technologies brought into their teaching/learning environment will be beneficial to their students’ learning goals as well as continuing to provide a meaningful education, in this fast paced, digital world.
The NMC Horizon Report (Johnson & Adams, 2015) delves into the types of trends most noted in the world of Emerging Technologies (ET). The first, short-term trend, states the use of blended learning for the students with the integration of technology into teacher professional development trainings. The short term trends seem to fade into non-existence if not made mainstream. Mid-term trends are still around and effecting decisions made by educational stakeholders. The current long-term trends are affecting decisions of what school districts and state governments are looking to be taught in schools. The term “trends” seems to jump out as a descriptive word through this article as a trend is something that comes and goes and may come back only to go again.
Can all Emerging Technologies be so cut and dried to fit exactly into one of these categories? I believe it would be most difficult to sort some emerging technologies into these defined trends. Veletsianos (2016) notes a characteristic of ET as not being caught in “hype cycles”. Understanding the reason in the emergence of a technological improvement, shows a large amount of information as to what type of trend, as stated earlier by the NMC Horizon Report, that a particular ET could be placed.
Social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become an avenue for communication across the world. People can share ideas and thoughts, collaborate with others and gain differing perspectives on important topics. It could be stated that these platforms were solely created just as a quick and simple way to communicate great distances. People like to communicate and will do so more often if it is convenient and easy to use. Why would schools not jump into a similar platform if one has already become “mainstream” and used by so many people?
I have found a few great articles about using social media within a classroom environment. (www.edutopia.org/blog/making-case-social-media-in-schools-jim-asher, 2015) Within an educational context, there are many opportunities to communicate with others around the world. Students are able to communicate anywhere with their classroom quickly through the simple use of the internet.
Here is another good article about policies within schools pertaining to the use of social media.(Varlas, 2011) This is a springboard article to read if looking into proposing a change to your district for more technology usage.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015) NMC Horizon Report:K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Varlas, Laura (2011) Vol.17,n.4 Can Social Media and School Policies Be “Friends”?”
Veletsianos, George (November, 2016) http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/