Emerging technologies

Current and emerging technologies are enabling teaching and learning to happen in new ways. Reflecting 21st Century education themes of inquiry and collaboration they facilitate idea sharing and learning, offering new ways to engage learners in an increasing digital learning landscape.


How technology enables teachers and librarians to re-imagine the education landscape.

Re-thinking the education landscape
What is coming next?
Being part of the evolution
Further reading

Re-thinking the education landscape

Emerging trends and new technology continually challenge last year’s status quo with their much publicised potential and possibility. But faced with the deluge of new technologies and devices, how do we adopt and make the best use of them within education?

Emerging trends reports have become a reliable resource to help evaluate the myriad of tools that populate the 21st century learning landscape. Internationally recognised watchdogs of emerging and developing trends; the Horizon Report (PDF), Pew Research and Core Education have been reporting on the constantly evolving landscape since 2004. Their reports deliver a collective understanding of the emerging trends and describe their potential impact on teaching, learning and inquiry.

The challenge for schools is to offer access, information and professional development to support educators wanting to use new technology in their teaching while ensuring equity for all students. The well-staffed Modern Library Learning Environment (MLE) is ideally positioned to support the whole school community in our fast paced and rapidly changing learning landscape.

New technology deserves new thinking. The 21st Century library can support and indeed lead the change schools desire. To do this though they need to be change responsive, early adopters with well-established Professional Learning Networks (PLN).

Librarians are deeply reflective practitioners, curators and disseminators of relevant and useful information, whose primary focus is the development and support of life-long learners. The school library’s understanding of the curriculum and the valuable contribution the right tool, technology or resource can make to a students learning or teachers programme, needs to be embedded into the school’s Teaching and Learning planning.

What are the implications to students and their equity of access if the School Library is overlooked?

What is coming next?

The Future is already here - it’s just not very evenly distributed.  - William Gibson.

The 2013 Horizon Report anticipates the following trends and the time to adoption:

Time to Adoption Emerging Technology
Less than 1 year Bring your own device (BYOD)
Less than 1 year Cloud Computing
Less than 1 year Mobile Learning
Less than 1 year Online Learning
2-3 years Electronic Publishing
2-3 years Learning Analytics
2-3 years Open Content
2-3 years Personalised Learning
4-5 years 3D Printing
4-5 years Augmented Reality
4-5 years Virtual and Remote Laboratories
4-5 years Wearable Technology

The Ten Trends anticipated by Core Education in 2013:

  1. Personalisation
  2. User + control
  3. The Smart Web
  4. Virtual Learning
  5. Data Engagemen
  6. Thinking 3D
  7. Citizenship
  8. Social Learning
  9. Ubiquity
  10. Open-ness

Being part of the evolution

The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet are challenging educators to rethink their traditional roles and practices. And also to consider the unique value they add to a world in which information is everywhere; a place where the ability to assess the credibility of digital information and repurpose it ethically has never been more important. Students need to be mentored and prepared for a world they will live and work in, which will require multiple literacies, including digital literacy.

Understanding the potential to enhance pedagogy is the challenge for educators when considering new technologies and future gazing with trends (YouTube). No longer limited to only using books as an information source, we are connecting with information in all its formats; repurposing, reformatting and collaborating with this content and changing the learning landscape as we go.

If you want to understand new technology and its implications and possibilities, you need to engage with it in your role as a learning facilitator. When we are engaged and part of the conversation, we can influence the development of emerging technologies to suit our educative purposes. Rather than working to adapt applications created for other spheres to our needs.

Not all technologies will have immediate relevance to every learning environment. Therefore it’s important to investigate trends and test tools that relate to our situation while keeping in mind their future potential.

“There is no such thing as information overload; just filter failure.” – Clay Shirkey.

With this in mind, what is the potential of these trends and technologies to impact and enhance on the Modern Library Learning Environment? (YouTube)

Further reading

image by Vancouver Film School