Friday, 30 October 2015

Key Emerging Technologies in Schools

Read the chapter by Conole et al. (2007) ‘A critique of the impact of policy and funding on practice (Conole, Smith et al. 2007). The paper considers technologies up to 2000, provide an updated table from 2000 to the present time (using the template below), indicating what you think are the most important emergent technologies, how they are used and indicating any key policies or funding opportunities associated with your sector.
Complete the following table and post on your blog

I have probably not followed the brief exactly as was intended, as I became far too interested in piecing together "a Brief History of ICT in Schools Since 2000" which will probably annoy most people who worked in the field either because of my opinions or my omissions.

I found it hard to name technologies that were 'the most important ones' because many to me seem just too obvious (I really didn't want to put in "laptops" for example, but in truth - without getting all sniffy about it, laptops, WiFi and digital cameras probably ARE the most influential technologies of the last 15 years (and of those only WiFi even got close to the time period in question).

Things like Scratch though are I think really interesting and important technologies not just because of what you can use them for in the classroom, but also because of the change in the marketplace they represent - the source of the software, the motives of the people creating it, the means of delivery - all are genuinely new and neither the first nor (I hope) the last.

I resisted the temptation to put ChromeOS etc in there because that just seems too geeky.

So here's my table.


Since producing this I've thought further and I think I have missed out one critically important technology, not just for its immediate application but also for the model it represents - Open Badges.

I think the decentralised way it operates - representing a framework of standards rather than a service is interesting (although frustrating in practice as I am still searching for a usable way to plug it into an LMS for under 13s).

For Open Badges my row of the table would have been:

2011, Open Badges, allow an organisation to publish digital awards against  the criteria they choose and publish, backed by the reputation and trust in that organisation.

I would love to see a model where a federation of groups could use Open Badges to create an assessment economy. I might have some awards through professional development at work, some credits from the University, one for a contribution I made to coaching a local football team and finally one for work I did with an Industry partner. Each would have the weighting and value afforded by its source - but the portfolio, and how I chose to present it would be mine.

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