Emerging Educational Technologies and Research Directions

April 20, 2013

Two recent publications report the emerging technologies that are likely to have a significant impact on learning and instruction: (a) New Media Consortium’s 2011 Horizon Report (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine & Haywood, 2011), and (b) A Roadmap for Education Technology funded by the National Science Foundation in the USA (to download the report see http://www.cra.org/ccc/edtech.php). Some of the common technologies mentioned in both reports include personalized learning, mobile technologies, data mining, and learning analytics. This paper analyzes and synthesizes these two reports. Two additional sources are considered in the discussion: (a) the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology’s report on curricula for advanced learning technology, and, (b) the European STELLAR project that is building the foundation for a network of excellence for technology enhanced learning. The analysis focuses on enablers of (e.g., dynamic online formative assessment for complex learning activities) and barriers to (e.g., accessibility and personalizability) to sustained and systemic success in improving learning and instruction with new technologies. In addition, two critical issues cutting across emerging educational technologies are identified and examined as limiting factors – namely, political and policy issues. Promising efforts by several groups (e.g., the National Technology Leadership Coalition, the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology, Networks of Excellence, etc.) will be introduced as alternative ways forward. Implications for research and particular for assessment and evaluation are included in the discussion as means to establish credible criteria for improvement.

Journal of Educational Technology & Society

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