[Click on the image to enlarge]
The below image illustrate the flow and the tools I used to capture, process and store information related to technology and educational trends as of 13 December 2011.
During my research for the future trends, I relied heavily on Google Reader to mine for information related technology and education. Below is a snapshot of my subscription and readership percentage (Click to Enlarge – Image is a snapshot of the Data on Google Reader Trends Data – check the previous post for earlier data):
Below is a description oftop 10 sites I had great interest in reading (I am ignoring blogs related to learners in UMTrends):
Cognitive Neuroscience: A blog site that talks about neurlogical topics that relates to learning. My interest in this site rise from my interest to mine if technology is impacting our brain/
Elearning Space – Learning Analytics: A meeting point for the enthusiast about developing meaningful data related to learning.
Knewton: An interesting blog site managed by Knewton, a business that develops customized and personalize online learning material.
MindShift:Pages about how we learn supported by KQED which serve Northern California
The Innovative Educator: Lisa Nielson blog that covers topics about innovation in teaching and learning.
Dangerously Irrelevant: A blog managed by University of kentucky and CASTLE that address topics related to education and technology.
Bits: New York Times pages about technology.
Digital Delight: A ScoopIt page that aggregates information about the digital life.
Academica Group: The website of Academica which handles different topics that interest the academician
In addition to the above, I receive regular emails from the below resources:
Educause: The famous organization whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
Chronicle: The higher education news aggregators.
Gartner: which is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company.
Classroom 2.0: the social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and Social Media in education.
OLDaily: topics addressed by Stephen Downes
LinkedIn Groups: Learning, Education and Training Professionals Group; Tomorrow’s International Professor: Faculty for Education Abroad Group.
Managing the Information
I use mainly Diigo to manage all the information I want to capture and share with others. I have created different groups. I use Diigo private lists to somehow organize the bookmarks based on topic, assignment and projects.
In this post, I address the trends that I have captured and which, I believe, will impact the future of education. I have clustered them under two main categories. The first one is under “Internet” as the big title that includes all internet based tools and technologies. The second one under the “Education Paradigm” which includes the educational theories, initiatives and movements that are causing paradigm shifts away from traditional educational systems.
The Internet is the global technology or concept that is setting the real future trends of education as well as humanity. Since its widespread introduction in 1990, the Internet has been instrumental in paradigm changes in education as well as civilization. The Internet users across the globe are on continuous increase (Morgan Stanley, 2010). The Internet has become the backbone of modern knowledge generation activities that is impacting education, humanity, the world economy, the social life, the communities and, to some extent, has created its own global culture (Brockman, 2011).
Within the internet topic, many sub-trends are emerging that will shape the future of education. Most of these are evolving rapidly and many of them have short life span. However, all of them, rely on the Internet as the backbone technology.
Mobile internet describes the collective trend that encompasses all the devices and services that offer. Originally, mobile computing referred to the wireless phone systems. To me, the whole idea of mobile computing revolves around the mobility of the Internet. The main milestone in this trend happened in 2007 with the iPhone which was the first device that integrates the fully blown browser based Internet with the phone systems. The concept mushroomed into other devices and services, like Android, that allows individuals to access the Internet knowledge virtually anywhere. A new trend that I believe will have a impact on the popularity of the mobile Internet is the technology introduced with the Amazon Silk (video) browser where the burden of code crunching is elevated from the devise to the cloud. This technology will make the mobile devices more powerful yet much cheaper and affordable by all the masses.
Smart Social Media: On a global level, and since 2009, the number of social networking users has exceeded the number of email user which is an indication of its future dominance as the main communication medium (Stanley and Morgan, 2010). In the recent years, the social media started using smart tools that takes it beyond a mere communication into knowledge building and decision making. Some examples are: the Radar feature of FourSquare, Mobili that allows you to use your mobile device to see the world through the eyes of your friends and Whrrl (video) that allows you to use your social friend experience to get suggestions on places to go and even filter down to the types of places that interest you.
Augmented Reality: or mediated reality is a set of tool and systems that augments real world elements with computer generated information. This trend has been around for a while, but the introduction of the mobile Internet devices created the real time generation of information and knowledge are generated based on the present physical environment and customized for the user background and information. The most famous tool is Wikitude (video) which is a location-based services and for web enabled phones.
Internet Tutorials: The widespread of Internet has brought with it varied ways of helping the students of the traditional education learn. The wide spread of cloud based video streaming like YouTube have promoted online tutorials. Some of them are geared towards traditional academic lessons, like the famous Khan Academy tutorials, others are designed by laypersons for all walk of life tutorials like cooking, construction, photography and so on. The majority of the free tutorials are published by ordinary laypersons.
Cloud computing: Finally, cloud computing is catching up to become the mainstream technology infrastructure. It will eventually dominate the IT industry because of the massive investment in it on a global level (Schubert, n.d.). Some of the emerging cloud tools include: The productivity tools, like Google Docs and Office live,the online presentations tool like Prezi, the note taking applications like Zotero, the business applications like Zoho, and the storage solutions like DropBox.
The second trend could be categorized under the umbrella of educational paradigm shifts. There is an increasing movement within the educational circles to recreate and redefine many of the educational values and practices to meet the challenges imposed by the emerging technologies. In this section, I list and explain some of these movements that might lead to prospect future.
Shift of the focus: In North America, there are some dynamics of shifting the focus of the educational institutions from teaching to learning. That is a shift from “transferring of information through teaching” to “creation of knowledge through facilitation” (Brown & Long, 2006). While in Europe, the focus shifts further than knowledge to “applied wisdom” where learners “use their knowledge in adaptive, responsible and creative ways in new situations. Achieving and mastering such an adaptive competence requires they acquire cognitive, motivational and effective skills to self‑regulate their learning, and get ample opportunities to use and apply their knowledge in a large variety of contexts and problems” (De Corte & Fenstad, 2010 and Sternberg, 2001).
Individuality of the Learner: new behavioral theories are emerging that focus on the individuality of the learner. This is resulting in new trends where education is shifting to a new paradigm that individualizes learning based on personal traits. Some of these initiatives are promoted directly in education like Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (Armstrong, 2010), Robinson’s The Element (Robinson & Aronica, 2009), in psychology through the ideas of positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) and in business as the concept of talent (Buckingham & Clifton, 2001). These concepts are being applied in many new learning tools like adaptive learning pioneered by Knewton.
Crowdsourcing which is the idea of sourcing tasks to undefined large group of people. This approach have been successful in many areas like Wikipedia, Open Source initiatives and Spring Revolutions in the Arab world. The Gaming industry is using similar approaches to use the “brain grid” of the younger digital generation (Weller, 2011) to find solutions to global problems (McGonial, 2010). In education, the idea is being applied in the Massive Open Online Courses (mooc.ca) initiative were education is open and the mass collaboration promotes the learning of the individuals.
Online Learning: An area that overlaps between education and Intenret is the online learning which is showing considerable increase in popularity. In the last 7 years, online course enrollment increase 9% while traditional course enrollment increased 2% only. In 2009, 30% of higher education students took at least one online course (onlinephdprograms.com, 2011). The online learning is taking three different faces: as a blended approach that compliments the classroom teaching, as a distant educations approach and as a self directed study activity.
Brockman, J. (2011). Is the internet changing the way you think>: The net’s impact on our minds and future. New York: Harper Perennial.
Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, Va. : ASCD.
De Corte, E. & Fenstad, J. (2010) From information to knowledge; from knowledge to wisdom: introduction. Portland Press Limited. Retrieved from: http://www.portlandpress.com/pp/books/online/wg85/085/0001/0850001.pdf on 24 October 2011.
McGonigal, J. Gaming can make a better world: Jane McGonigal on TED.com. ted.com. Retreived from: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/799. Accessed on 24 October 2011.
Olton DS, Becker JT & Handelmann GE (1979). Hippocampus, space, and memory. Brain and Behavioral Science 2: 313–365.
Robinson, K & Aronica, L. (2009) The element : how finding your passion changes everything. New York : Penguin Group USA.
Schubert, L. (n.d.) The future of cloud computing: Opportunities for European cloud computing beyond 2010. Jeffery, K. & Neidecker-Lutz, B. (eds.). European Commission: Information Society and Media.
Seligman, Martin E.P.; Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2000). “Positive Psychology: An Introduction”. American Psychologist 55 (1): 5–14.
Stanely Morgan (2010). Internet trends. Morgan Stanley Research. Obtained from http://www.morganstanley.com/institutional/techresearch/pdfs/Internet_Trends_041210.pdf Accessed on 24 October 2011.
Sternberg, R.J. (2001) Why schools should teach for wisdom: The balance theory of wisdom in educational settings. Educational Psychologist 36, 227–245.
Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: how technology is changing academic practices. New York: Bloomsbury Publications.
I am still working on my tracking environment. As of today, 15 October 2011, the environment I use to track trends is depicted in the below diagram (Click on the image to enlarge it):
As the diagram shows, I divided the infrastructure into three areas:
(1) Sourse: that is the sources I used to get information related to advancement in technology, teaching and learning.
(2) Filtering: that is the list of tools I use to aggregate and filter the information I get. I have categorized the tools based on when do I get the information. The real-time help me get instantaneous information on my mobile devices. The hourly tools are the tools I check for 1 minute every hour. The others are self explanatory.
(3) Storing: that is the tools I used to store the information I need to act on later. I have grouped the storing tools into two types: the cloud tools that allow me to access the information anytime, anywhere and any-device, and the local storage on my home server storage for safe keeping.
Here is the list of trends that I will include on my initial draft:
Details will be posted soon.
Hi UMtrends11’ers (i.e. participants in the Future Trends with George Siemens).
This is an attempt to reach out for you. If you got this message through any of your aggregaors , please comment on this post to establish contact. This is the log that I will use to share my thoughts and ideas with you.
This is my personal blog where I jot down any thoughts I capture. If you are a UMtrends11 participant and you do not want to go through my mumbles, just click on the “UMTrends11” tab at the top where the UMTrends related posts will be collated.
Let’s start the learning.
Anas (Aboluay) Eljamal