Monday, February 07, 2011

Three trends (for now) in technology

The three key issues in educational technology impacting the community college (and higher education as well) today are mobile computing, mobile devices, and the shifting notion of the book.

Mobile computing is quickly reshaping the educational frontier. No longer can we presume the classroom to be a fixed, stationary environment. Mobile computing is quickly placing an emphasis on truly learning and teaching anywhere. Transforming the educational world to adopt this environment will require forward thinking innovation. Textbooks will change, classroom time will shift from a fixed time, to a more fluid time.

The increased use of mobile devices and smart phones is contributing to the new notion of mlearning. Writing a paper, or in this context, creating content, requires a whole new skill set both from the student and the teacher. Embracing the mobile devices requires long established traditions to change and this is, perhaps, one of the greatest challenges facing us today.

The traditional focus of learning, the book, is shifting to an ebook, or etextbook. This shift to a more efficient and economical mode of delivery will require a shift in thinking and a shift in the library. How can we as educators, encourage students to learn with these new books, when we limit or have concerns over the use of mobile devices? How can the transformational power of the mobile devices improve and propel education forward when we discourage their use in the classroom?

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