A reflection on my understanding of emerging technologies and how I am learning from my peers

This week I enjoyed dissecting the term “emerging technologies” and building my understanding of how this term is being used not only in an educational context but  in the broader context of the technology and business world.  I realized that emerging technologies are significantly impacting how we think about technology and how we adapt new ideas to solve existing problems.

To expand this idea of emerging technologies, I also began to see how emerging concepts or ideas can be inspired by emerging technology or vice versa.  The example of flipped classrooms as an emerging technology concept was a good example of this.  Flipped learning certainly addresses some issues that teachers and students face – time, resources, learning styles, etc.  The concept of flipped learning can lead to technologies that make it easier, more efficient, engaging, and meaningful.  At the same time, technologies that are developed for other purposes could also benefit flipped classrooms.

My peers shared cool resources that illustrated emerging technologies but also expressed their concerns about integrating them effectively, appropriately, and meaningfully with their students. From interacting with my peers, it was reinforced how important it is as teachers to be aware of how emerging technologies in other content areas could be applied in our own classrooms.  We need to build our understanding so that we can determine which tools would be appropriate for our students and how they would enhance or improve a particular learning experience.  I realized that a blending of “traditional” education with new and emerging technologies is an important skill for teachers.  We need to be able to articulate the underlying significance of a particular subject through standards, goals, essential questions and understandings, but to also appreciate the potential for new and emerging technologies to reinforce those aspects of the content.  I don’t think that integrating new and emerging techniques should always completely replace the “paper and pencil” tools and strategies that teacher use; but I do think they have a place in the classroom with guidance from the teacher.  The specific emerging tools and concepts will certainly vary depending on each school, class, teacher, and students.

And now for my own metacognition reflection this week; I like to read all of the blogs as much as I can each week, particularly at the beginning of the course.  I am getting used to an online learning format but hearing the voices of my peers through their writing helps me to “get to know them” throughout the course.  Sometimes I read and reread blogs and return to comment when I find something that I want to share or I read another blog and it triggers a thought related to an earlier blog that I read.  I can relate to the anxiety and cognitive overload that can occur at the beginning of an EdTech course and I particularly enjoyed Lee’s effort to send videos to check in with us and give us some encouragement.  I do feel that I am getting used to the format of online courses and I recognize the necessity of the tech tools that will allow for our dialogue and discourse to take place throughout this summer.  It seems very long ago that last fall, I was in that same place of trying to figure out how to set up my blog, sign up for a twitter account, add my peers in my contacts, make my assignment checklists, add the calendars to my google calendar, and all of the obsessive tasks I typically do at the beginning of a course to help me feel like I understand what is going on.  I encourage my peers to take a leap of courage and to acknowledge that the uncomfortable feeling of cognitive overload is part of the process that characterizes this experience of grad school.  I get through it each course because of the collaborative learning that we experience together; it is never the same because each course for me takes on a different quality because of all the voices and experiences that are shared.  I am excited to learn about emerging technologies but I’m also just as excited to learn more about how these new ideas and tools that we learn this summer are being integrated and tested by my peers.  I am also very conscious that the courses I took leading up to this one, helped me to understand not only a wide range of learning experiences that integrate technology but also how I am able to learn and collaborate with others within such an environment!

Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions?

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