In George Veletsiano’s blog, he defines Emerging Technologies as “tools, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings (including distance, face-to-face, and hybrid forms of education) to serve varied education-related purposes (e.g., instructional, social, and organizational goals)”.
My favorite characteristic in his definition comes from #2: Emerging Technologies are evolving organisms that exist in a state of “coming into being”. This to me means that we can use what is available in ways that fit our specific needs. Me for example….I am a first grade teacher. Using technology in my classroom can be very tricky with 19 sets of little hands and 299 questions that go along with those little people. But I think of Christine Pinto, a kindergarten teacher in California who has used Google to create wonderful lessons for her kinders. She has taken Google slides or spreadsheets and made them into math lessons that are relevant to her students. She has used what was available and evolved it to exist in a state that worked for her.
I was also struck by George’s “Not Yet” statement. Emerging Technologies fit into that “Not Yet” category. To me, this means that while we have the potential to use technology in amazing ways, we haven’t yet. Simply because a platform doesn’t exist for it yet, or the tools to bring it to us aren’t there yet.
What’s exciting to me about Emerging Technologies is that there is the amazing opportunity to really enhance student learning by meeting individual and whole group needs. There are programs designed to be high interest and differentiated in order to allow individual students to be at their best. Emerging technologies are ways that we can bring technology to a new level, especially in the classroom.