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New learning technologies, new opportunities

Page history last edited by David Porter 12 years, 11 months ago

Keeping up-to-date with new technologies

New technologies are continually emerging and it is often difficult stay up-to-date with new developments or the opportunities they afford for teaching and learning.  Many new technologies and software models are compatible with open and distance learning, as well as with the open educational resources movement.



How do you find out about new technologies for teaching and learning?



An innovative approach to charting new technology trends and their application in teaching and learning is a feature of graduate course at the University of British Columbia. The course is called Ventures in Learning Technology.  


The instructors have identified 8 technology themes that groups of students explore and document in a MediaWiki environment, like WIkipedia, that they make accessible to the public as an OER.


You have an opportunity to benefit from these student explorations of learning technologies, too.


Currently, the students are 8 exploring themes. They include:



The student-led explorations are guided using 5 evaluation "vectors."  The student are assigned to create an OER as a "report card" on technologies using the 5 vectors.


The 5 vectors:


  1. Leading learning applications: Provide an overview and critical analysis of the state-of-the-art in learning-based applications of these emerging technologies, preferably as appropriate in specific educational contexts (e.g. informal, K-12, post-secondary, adult, corporate, etc).
  2. Leading solution providers: Compare and contrast the most exciting products and services available today, from a learning perspective.   
  3. Stability and Usability: This is the technical reality check. Is the technology designed with the ergonomic and environmental realities of learners and classrooms in mind?  How difficult is it to set up, and how friendly is it to use effectively?  What do teachers need to know first?
  4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):  This is the economic reality check. What is the full cost of an effective implementation in terms of infrastructure, training, support, etc?  Is it here to stay, or might it change drastically or disappear within a buying cycle? What does an institution need to know first?
  5. Future Potential: Describe, in broad technology and economic terms and trends, why this emerging technology is interesting and important, and then predict where and when there may be the greatest potential within it for learning.




Explore the Ventures in Learning Technology wiki and its analyses of 8 emerging technologies for teaching and learning.


Each of the technology themes can be reached directly at the links below.



Do you agree with the analyses presented by the students in this course?


Are there technologies or technology themes missing?


Look for other web sites on the Internet that chart development in learning technologies and be prepared to manage the links you find and share them with colleagues.


Comments (1)

wayne mackintosh said

at 9:26 pm on Apr 3, 2011

Love the integration with existing course and student output - -super cool!

I'm concerned about workload here -- perhaps the students of this course should select 2 emerging technologies for the focusing on the activity questions?

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