The article you are reading is an example of emerging educational technologies, these technologies are just starting to be used widely in educational institutions. One of the most famous emerging educational technologies is the MOOC…
The technology landscape in the classroom is constantly changing. Schools across the United States are embracing new technologies to boost student performance and help teachers to teach more effectively.
10 concrete examples of educational technology development
Note that these are examples of emerging technologies that are not yet widely used or are still far in the future. Many continue to evolve years after their first appearance
1. Augmented reality
2. Virtual reality
3. 3D printing
5. Adaptive learning algorithms
6. Asynchronous learning and microlearning (and associated microcredits)
7. Live broadcasting (school to school, school to expert, distance learning, etc.)
8. Artificial Intelligence
9. social learning (of course closely related to synchronous and asynchronous learning)
10. Educational games and simulations
Other: Privacy tools. High definition video (this doesn’t sound like a huge leap from what has been used in classrooms for decades, but 4K images and video and more have a whole different currency in a largely digital world; slow motion video; professional audio and video editing software; blockchain, haptic feedback, personalized learning based on recommendation mechanisms.
First published in 2013
For more than a decade, the Consortium for New Media (NMC) has overseen the development of new technologies in teaching, learning and creative research worldwide. NMC’s advisory board consists of 750 technology experts and educators from colleges and universities in 40 countries. It is supported by the Consortium of School Networks (CoSN) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
The latest NMC study, the NMC Horizon Report: Edition 2013 K-12 and the NMC Horizon Report: 201 Higher Education Editions, published this spring, highlights ten emerging technologies that will impact education over the next five years: Cloud computing, mobile learning, learning analytics, open content, 3D printing, MOOCs, virtual and remote labs, gaming and gamification, tablets and wearable technologies.
As an educator, you have probably heard of many, if not all, of these techniques. But the draft Horizon report takes the discussion into new territory by setting out a timetable for introducing these technologies into general education and presenting an impressive list of institutions and individuals already using them in every conceivable discipline.
Too often it is educational practices that limit the wider use of new technologies. Whether it is a lack of professional development or an unwillingness to see the need for digital media literacy, there are serious barriers to smooth implementation.
But the Horizons reports show not only the emerging technologies, but also that seamless assimilation is possible, and that countless educators are taking the plunge in creative ways and with admirable conviction. Here are some examples of people doing it right.
In 2011, cloud computing was included in the 12 months or less category, mainly because it has become an integral part of collaboration, both at school and at work. This year, the theme of cloud computing was on the agenda for the second time, clearly showing that the impact of this technology continues to be felt in an unprecedented way.
Language : This Brazilian cloud-based online learning facilitator helps foreign language teachers create and share digital learning objects and activities for their students. Learning objects are created by the teacher or collected from a repository of resources created by other teachers in the network.
Science: California State University, Northridge, has launched the Collaborative Science with Computing initiative to help science teachers in Los Angeles’ neediest schools engage students in authentic inquiry using cloud-based tools.
Social Studies: The cloud-based Global Curriculum Project allows students to participate in a virtual exchange program with schools in five different countries. Students choose and explore their own subjects, including cooking and ambition.
By the end of this year, the mobile device market is expected to have more than 7 billion accounts (or about 3.4 billion users, or one in every two people on the planet); mobile Internet traffic is expected to surpass desktop traffic; and mobile device users will download 70 billion apps on smartphones and tablets. Across all categories, educational apps are the second most downloaded apps in iTunes, ahead of entertainment and business apps.
Math: Group 4 students at St. Mary’s St. Leonard’s College, a primary school in Australia, use tablets with math applications and electronic textbooks to access information, learn, record measurements and conduct research.
Music: Students at the Lancy International Institute in Switzerland use their tablets to make music in the school’s first iPad orchestra. The iPads offered students with minimal education the chance to create their own music with their classmates.
Telling stories: Ringwood North Primary School in Australia participated in the Epic Citadel Challenge, where students and teachers worked together to write a digital story based on the Epic Citadel environment and turn it into an app accessible through iOS mobile devices.
It’s so easy for students to take tablets from one classroom to another, and seamlessly access textbooks and other learning materials when needed, that schools and universities are rethinking the need for computer labs or even personal laptops. Choosing applications for students makes it easy to create a personalized learning environment with all the resources and tools they need on a single device.
With a growing number of features, tablets are giving a boost to other educational technologies, from the simple real-time data collection needed to support learning analytics to a variety of game-based learning applications.
Art: At the University of Plymouth in the UK, students use illustration iPads equipped with the Brushes application to create drawings that can be played back on video. This activity encourages reflection and discussion on the drawing process and allows students to compare techniques, highlight and correct bad habits.
Science: Students at the College of Redlands in Australia use the tablets to collect and share rock data; geology students at the College of Wooster in Ohio use them to capture and annotate photos of terrain in Iceland; professors at Yale University send images from their digital microscopes to students with iPads via mobile apps, allowing them to take notes and capture the images for later use.
Journalism: Professor Messner of Virginia Commonwealth University purchased iPads so his students could create multimedia messages about events on campus and in the surrounding community. Students learned about the importance of social media in journalism and found the iPads useful for gathering information and sources.
Special Needs: PhD students at Vanderbilt University are developing an Android app to help visually impaired students learn math. With haptic technology built into the new touchscreen devices, vibration and audio feedback help students feel and hear shapes and diagrams.
Some respected thinkers believe that the current MOOC model deviates significantly from the original premise laid out by George Siemens and Stephen Downs in 2008 by emphasizing lectures rather than communication, but regardless, educators around the world are doing amazing things with MOOCs. We hope they will eventually find a balance between automating the assessment process and providing personalized and authentic learning opportunities.
Music: This spring, Indiana University-Purdue Indianapolis and Purdue University’s Department of Music and Arts Technology offered their first MOOC Music for the Listener, which can be converted into college credits. The learning environment is provided by Course Networking, with full translation capabilities, rich media and social media tools.
Physics: A MOOC called Landmarks in Physics, developed by an MIT graduate student and run by Udacity, takes students on a virtual tour of Italy, the Netherlands and England, explaining basic physics concepts at the places where important discoveries have taken place in world history.
Writing: Ohio State University has partnered with Coursera to develop a course that engages participants as writers, editors, and publishers in a series of interactive reading, writing, and research courses with assignments designed to help them become more effective consumers and producers of literary, visual, and multimodal texts.
Although open content has been available for some time, this issue has received more attention in recent years. The use of open content promotes the development of skills that are essential to remaining relevant in any field of knowledge – the ability to find, evaluate and use new information. The same cannot be said for many textbooks, which are cumbersome, slow to update and extremely expensive for primary and secondary schools. More and more teachers are taking advantage of the wealth of content available in open source repositories and becoming familiar with the Creative Commons protocol.
History: Learn NC is a program developed by the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to provide free and widespread access to resources and best practices for K-12. Your digital history textbook for grade 8 contains a collection of primary sources, reading materials, and multimedia that can be searched and reorganized.
Math: James Souza, an Arizona teacher who has been teaching math for 15 years at community colleges as well as elementary and middle schools, has developed more than 2,600 video lessons on topics ranging from arithmetic to calculus, all under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
Science: A partnership between David Wiley of Bringham Young University and the Hewlett Foundation led to a project in which teachers from 18 districts and four Utah charter schools pooled research resources to create free digital textbooks.
Although the analysis of student data is not a new practice, the field of learning analytics has only recently gained widespread support among data analysts and education professionals. As learning analytics platforms become more sophisticated and effective, the results of learning analytics will have a significant impact on the development and improvement of primary, secondary and tertiary education in the coming years, particularly on the development of platforms for personalised and online learning.
Math: Mathspace, developed by a team of educators, programmers and data scientists, is an online program that meets the requirements of the NSW Curriculum and the Australian National Curriculum for pupils aged seven to ten. The platform tracks how students solve math problems and provides personalized feedback and analytical reports to teachers.
Read: E-textbook company Kno has launched Kno Me, a tool that gives students information about their learning habits and e-textbook behavior. Students can also better monitor their pace by viewing data that shows how much time they have spent on specific texts and where they stand in relation to their goals.
Written work: The University of North Carolina Greensboro uses Mobius, a social information platform for learning, to create writing-intensive courses that allow for anonymous feedback and assessment. When students submit an essay, it is automatically distributed to the rest of their randomly selected group of peers, and the algorithm turns their feedback into statistics and progress reports.
Special Education: Constant Therapy is a mobile platform that uses data analytics and mobile technology to provide personalized therapy for people with cognitive, speech, communication and learning disabilities. Developed by Boston University over the past 15 years, Constant Therapy lessons are tailored to the needs of students and allow language teachers to track student progress using a dashboard analysis tool.
The game has gone from entertainment to commerce, productivity and education, and has proven to be a useful learning and motivational tool. Previous NMC Horizon reports have extended this area of practice, called game-based learning, to much more than the integration of digital and online games into the curriculum. The updated title of the category reflects the view that while games are an effective tool for creating concepts and simulating real-world experiences, they should also encompass a broader spectrum of player culture and game design.
Architecture: SimArchitect is a simulation game and social networking site for architects developed by the IBM Center for Advanced Learning. Players receive a request for a proposal from a fictional client and must respond by meeting with the client and team and then proposing a solution. IBM has created a dashboard that evaluates player communication and architecture practices, among other things.
History: The University of Florida’s Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative project is an effort to create an interactive fictional game that brings to life the geography, culture, and characters of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Maps illustrate the architecture of early buildings, and interactive scenarios featuring characters like George Washington and Patrick Henry allow students to discuss the events of the time.
Nursing: The University of Minnesota School of Nursing has partnered with the Minnesota Hospital Association and technology company VitalSims to develop interactive online games that engage nursing students in real-world scenarios. The first versions of the game are already ready and health educators plan to launch these digital learning tools later in 2013.
Although 3D printing in schools won’t be widely adopted for another four to five years, the practical applications are easy to see. For example, geology and anthropology students can create and interact with models of fossils and other artifacts, and organic chemistry students can print models of complex proteins and other molecules using rapid prototyping and fabrication tools. Even more convincing are the plants that use 3D technology to develop entirely new tools.
Archaeology : Harvard University’s Semitic Museum is using 3D printing technology to restore damaged objects from its collection. For example, using 3D scans of existing fragments of Egyptian lion’s paws, researchers can create computer models that allow a full-size foam replica of the entire structure to be printed, even if a torso and head were originally missing.
Astronomy: STARBASE, a Minnesota nonprofit, has developed an aerospace curriculum in which students plan a mission to Mars to get inner-city students interested in science and technology. One of the highlights of the project is the use of 3D printing technology to create a working rocket that the students launch on the final day of the program.
Business: In early 2013, Darwin High School in Australia launched a project to introduce students to the concepts of micro-enterprise through product development and workflow analysis. With 3D printers, students can quickly prototype ideas, learn to design products and sell them.
IT : Students at Glacier Peak High School in Washington, D.C., can earn college credit by taking computer-aided design classes and using 3D printers to quickly develop prototypes. Courses include modeling and design, tolerance specification, documentation, and assembly modeling.
Virtual and distance labs reflect the current trend in K-12 education toward more authentic online learning. Although it will be another four to five years before this technology is widely used in schools, the benefits of implementing it are already clear. Virtual and remote labs offer flexibility by allowing students to conduct as many experiments as they want, both inside and outside of school. Because these labs are designed so that experiments can be repeated more easily, students feel less pressure to be perfect the first time. In the controlled environment of these labs, students are safe even if they make a mistake.
Chemistry: David Yaron, associate professor of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, developed ChemCollective, a project of the National Science Digital Library, to create a flexible, interactive learning environment in which high school students can approach chemistry as hands-on scientists.
Marine biology : In Lysekil, Sweden, high school students use virtual tools to explore the marine environment of the Gulmar Fjord on the country’s west coast and learn about the process of scientific learning. Students use a virtual ocean acidification lab to conduct research on ocean acidification.
Math: High school students in North Carolina use Geometer’s Sketchpad to understand how theorems are created. The software can be accessed through North Carolina State University’s Virtual Computing Lab, a cloud-based learning environment with an interactive online community where instructors share tips about the software they use and the projects they complete.
According to the NMC report, wearable technology is perhaps the least educationally applicable, but also the most difficult technology to apply. Google’s Project Glass has become one of the most famous examples. One of the most promising potential outcomes of wearable technology in higher education is productivity: Tools that can automatically send information via text, email, and social media on behalf of a user based on voice commands, gestures, and other parameters, allowing students and teachers to communicate with each other, track updates, and better organize notifications.
Chemistry: A team from the Centre for Sensor Web Technology at Dublin City University is developing a wearable sensor that detects dangerous gases and alerts users immediately.
Geology: Portable cameras such as Memoto, a tiny GPS-enabled camera that attaches to the user’s collar or shirt button and captures two five-megapixel-per-minute images, can be useful for geologists or archaeologists in the field, who capture hundreds of photos or environmental data during remote excavations, which can then be viewed via email or social media.
Neuroscience: A new headband with a brain sensor, called Muse, shows the user’s brain activity directly on a smartphone or tablet. This allows them to direct actions with their thoughts and collect data on how the brain responds to different stimuli.
Podcasting, training simulators, computer coding (for training)
Excerpts from the original report, used here with permission; this article was first published on opencolleges.edu.au; image credit flickr user schill; 10 case studies of emerging educational technologies
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of emerging technologies in education?
Some emerging technologies in education are virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.
What are 10 emerging technologies?
1. Artificial intelligence 2. Virtual reality 3. Blockchain 4. Augmented reality 5. Internet of Things (IoT) 6. 3D printing 7. Robotics 8. Quantum computing 9. Biotechnology and gene editing technology 10. Nanotechnology
What are some examples of educational technologies?
Some examples of educational technologies are: – Interactive whiteboards – Smartboards – Interactive learning environments – Virtual reality – Augmented reality – 3D printing – Computer programming – Robotics – Virtual reality – Augmented reality – 3D printing – Computer programming