The future of technology and barriers to adoption


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Recent presentation given at the KSET conference in Seoul, South Korea on 5/26/12.

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  • Good morning. It is wonderful to be back in your beautiful city for the third time. I’m always impressed with your level of hospitality and also with your high academic standards.My name is Ana Donaldson and I am the current AECT president. This is my year for traveling throughout the world and sharing my diverse research interests and also for strengthening collaborative ties with our affiliate organizations. KSET is considered a jewel among this group.Today I would like to share some of what is forecast for future technology tools and also some barriers that each of us face as change agents as we integrate the technology into the learning process.
  • The world of educational technology is one of constant change and evolution. Trying to predict what is around the corner is a fools game for most of us. As our users keep getting younger, the number of emerging tools keeps increasing at a staggering rate. Learners are beginning to use technology at an earlier age than we would have ever thought possible. The questions is [CLICK]…”How young is too young?” [CLICK]
  • You can try to ignore the increasing presence of technology in our personal and instructional lives, but it is not going away. [CLICK] The saying is that you can’t hear a speeding train on the tracks behind you until it is too late. You need to be aware of the technologies that are an integral part of our students’ lives or be left in the dust.
  • One highly regarded predictor of technology adoption is the New Media Consortium group. The NMC (New Media Consortium) is an international community of experts in educational technology — from the practitioners to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning. Each year they publish the New Horizon Report. Each of the three global editions of the NMC Horizon Report — higher education, primary and secondary education, and museum education — highlights emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use with their focus sectors within three adoption horizons over the next five years. The 9th version for 2012 has just recently been produced. The version I’ll be sharing today is for Higher Education. Here are the four categories of emerging technologies that are on the very near horizon, one year or less The paper on this presentation in the conference proceedings provides links to examples and suggested readings for you to explore each technology further. I would also suggest that you review the 2012 New Horizon Report for further information and insight.
  • Nearly everyone who uses computers today relies on cloud computing to access their information and applications. This ability to access services and files from any location and on any device is driving development of cloud computing applications in the consumer space. For myself, the use of the free app Dropbox allows me to access files from my home computer, smartphone, and laptop.
  • It is estimated that by 2015, 80% of people accessing the Internet worldwide will be doing so from a mobile device. In spite of initial resistance to their use in the classroom, we are see an increased use of mobile apps for learning. Look around the conference, to see the increased use of tablets. It is estimated that by the end of this year, the sale of tablets will outsell personal computers. In 2011, the sale of iPads reached 3 million units per month. Tablets are easily adaptable to almost any learning environment, with tens of thousands of educational applications emerging as part of a new software distribution I thought this image was a great combination of the two concepts using mobile apps to demonstrate the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Social reading has been gaining ground through the use of eBooks. This is a relatively new phenomenon emerging at the intersection of electronic books and social networking. When e-books began to take hold in the consumer sector over the past two years, digital rights issues made sharing content impossible. Some publishers, along with a mix of start-ups, saw another way, and began to find ways to enhance content to make it more interactive, to mirror the qualities of a print publication — and to make aspects of the experience sharable. Today a variety of websites and eReading tools allow users to annotate their e-books, highlight passages, bookmark — and notably — share sections with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. This technology allows reading across platforms and sharing between study groups.[CLICK] an increasing number of readers are embracing the concept of social reading
  • On the horizon for adoption during the next 2 to 3 years includes a diverse spectrum of technology tools.
  • Adaptive learning environments (ALEs) are seen as the next logical step that begins with personal learning environments by first incorporating data from learning analytics, and then using software to modify the learning environment as needed. While personal learning environments are seen as a way of organizing tools, content, examples, and concepts to support self-directed and group-based learning, adaptive learning environments are envisioned as responsive, allowing the tools, content, examples, and concepts to be modified in real-time based on how the students are actually learning.ALEs enable modifications to learning environments based on how each student is performing, catering to their specific learning needs.The image here is a military training simulation on instructing solders on effective interactions with a different culture.
  • Augmented reality (AR), is the layering of information over 3D space to produce a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as “blended reality,” and is fueling the migration of computing from the desktop to the mobile device, bringing with it new expectations regarding access to information and new opportunities for learning. A key characteristic of augmented reality is its ability to respond to user input. This interactivity has significant potential for learning and assessment; students can construct new understanding based on interactions with virtual objects that bring underlying data to life.One example is when students visiting historic sites access AR applications that overlay maps and information about how the location looked at different points of history. In the image here, the view of a European street scene is overlaid with locations for fast food and retail shops. Wouldn’t it be great to create an AR app that provides location information of Internet cafes in a foreign city?
  • There is no question that game-based learning has an incredible impact on today’s learners. There was a period of time when what was termed edu-tainment lost favor as it focused on drill and practice type of busy time activities. With the work of James Gee for the last decade on connecting gaming with cognitive development, we are seeing them coming back into increased use as the research agenda grows in this field. Educational games offer opportunities for both discovery-based and goal-oriented learning, and can be very effective ways to develop teambuilding skills. Simulations and role-playing games allow students to re-enact difficult situations to try new responses or pose creative solutions.I have had an opportunity to use the following simulation game in my own classrooms.
  • The Diffusion of Simulation Game was developed by Indiana University and is available for free. Here’s the QR code for a direct link to the entry page for you to play as a guest. This simulation leads you through a 24 month period of time while you try to implement a change within a K12 school setting. The simulation allows players to learn strategies that do and don't work in practice, and which are supported by empirical research. I use this for a capstone task for my doctoral students in a Leading and Management in Ed Tech course I developed. It is a powerful demonstration of the importance of steps and interpersonal relationships that need to be developed in order to affect a change. Many of the classroom teachers in my course are amazed at how closely this mimics the real situations they face daily.
  • Learning analytics refers to the interpretation of a wide range of data produced by and gathered on behalf of students in order to assess academic progress, predict future performance, and spot potential issues. The goal of learning analytics is to enable teachers and schools to tailor educational opportunities to each student’s level of need and ability. If used effectively, learning analytics can help surface early signals that indicate a student is struggling, allowing teachers and schools to address issues quickly.Ellen Wagner, a leader is this discipline, writes, "The digital 'breadcrumbs' that learners leave behind about their viewing, reading, engagement and assessment behaviors, interests and preferences provide massive amounts of data that can be mined to better personalize online experiences.” She is currently working on a massive project reviewing student records from diverse educational settings with millions of data points. One of the early findings is that for students at-risk for failure, a course load of only two courses is an indicator for success. However, in our systems, low-income and underserved populations are required to be full-time students in order to receive financial aid. Are we setting up these folks for failure? This is a question that will need to eventually addressed by our policy makers.
  • Now, on the far horizon are the predictions for adoption within the next 4 to 5 years. Though, for many of us, these technologies are already part of our lives.
  • Digital identity management focuses on enabling users to create a single digital identity that can be used in any place where a login is required to access a website or service. It is not a single technology, but a group of related technologies and ideas. In the simplest terms, one’s digital identity is a method that allows recognition any place where a log-in is needed. A single ID and password helps educators and students seamlessly connect to resources across multiple devices and websites.Now days, our smart phones tend to identify us. I would like each of you to take out your phone .. and please pass it to the person to your right. How does that feel? Think of how you define yourself and interaction with others through that small device. So why are so many schools denying its use in the classroom. OK, it’s alright to get your phone back.
  • We are seeing a gradual shift towards interfaces that adapt to — or are built for — humans and human movements. Gesture-based computing allows users to engage in virtual activities with motion and movement similar to what they would use in the real world, manipulating content intuitively. The idea that natural, comfortable motions can be used to control computers is opening the way to a host of input devices that look and feel very different from the keyboard and mouse — and that enable our devices to infer meaning from the movements and gestures we make.Here’s an instructional example of integrating the new Xbox Kinect in a math classroom. [CLICK on IMAGE for YouTube]
  • Haptic interfaces is a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. They have found broad use in medical, engineering, military and other simulations, theme parks, and games. The most common haptic interfaces use vibration as a sensory cue, but haptics also make use of sensations such as movement, temperature, texture, and pressure to convey non-verbal cues and information to the user. I was able to experience a demonstration several years ago at the virtual lab at the University of Southern California under the direction of Dr. Richard Clark. They were using a virtual experience to work with returning soldiers suffering with Post-traumatic stress disorder. A traumatic experience was recreated through wearing virtual goggles as the sights, sounds, and vibrations of an enemy attach were recreated. The results of this approach is proving valuable for dealing with a very difficult condition.
  • The “Internet of Things” refers to network-aware smart objects that connect the physical world with the world of information. A smart object has four key attributes: it is small, and easy to attach to almost anything; it has a unique identifier; it has a small store of data or information; and it has a way to communicate that information to an external device on demand.Examples include point-of-sale tracking, a Pill-shaped microcameras used in medical diagnostics and teaching to traverse the human digestive tract and send back thousands of images to pinpoint sources of illness, and QR codes to bridge the gap between physical and digital content as people “scan” printed materials with their mobiles and be immediately directed to the corresponding place on the web.
  • I know this chart is a bit overwhelming. But lets consider what is termed the hype cyle. Now, all new technologies go through an exciting introduction phase when the excitement of its potential sky rockets, this is usually followed by a falling out of favor, and then eventually a level field of acceptance. Some never make it over the initial spike or survive the plummeting slump. Lets look at the some of the technologies we have discussed and see where they fall on the latest Gartner Hype Cycle. [Clicks]Mobile App Stores are leveling out at the Slope of Enlightenment[Clicks] The Internet of Things is starting to get lots of attention and is labeled as a Technology Trigger[Clicks] And finally heading down to the Trough of Disillusionment is Gesture Recognition… Virtual Worlds is currently at the bottom of the trough.
  • Now lets talk about barrier to the adoption of innovative new technologies.
  • Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. There are several stages of adoption that Everett Rogers identified.
  • The early adopters, are not only on the cutting edge but reside on the “bleeding edge.” I tend to refer to them as “the boys with the toys.” I find that many are energized by the potential but sometimes place the technology before the learning in their drive to have the latest, the fastest, the most gigabytes.
  • The early adopters are willing to take some risks. This image supports the concept that they often are the targets for conflict as they lead the parade to pursued others to leave their comfort zones.
  • The next group waits until the value is demonstrated for making a change and then they join the crowd supporting adoption.
  • The late majority come over to acceptance when it is forced upon them or choices are no longer left for them. An example is to be found in the school district near where I live. Two years ago teacher entered their classrooms on the first day of the new semester to find a smart board had been placed directly and permanently in front of their old chalk boards. They either had to use the smart boards or stop teaching.
  • …and the final group are the laggards. These are the folks who may never accept the change or do everything possible to sabotage the adoption of new technologies. For this group, sometimes all you can do is wait for their retirement party.
  • Returning to Rogers’ chart…lets look at the market share in regards to adoption. At the beginning, word is just getting out. At the late majority adoption stage, the market is at the 50% saturation point. Full saturation is meet without any dependence on the laggards. It is important to remember that as Change Agents, we are leaders in advocating change however individuals may fall along the continuum for adoption.
  • My final question for you is … what is your vision for the future ahead and how do you try to stay calm in the midst of a dynamic and chaotic changing world? Some have said that it is a bit like herding cats. [CLICK on image for video]
  • Thank you so much. Please don’t hesitate to contact me it you have any questions or comments.
  • The future of technology and barriers to adoption

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    2. 2. One year or less • Cloud Computing • Mobile Apps • Social Reading • Tablet ComputingJohnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
    3. 3. 2 to 3 years• Adaptive Learning Environments• Augmented Reality• Game-based Learning• Learning Analytics
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    7. 7. 4 to 5 years• Digital Identity• Gesture-based Computing• Haptic Interfaces• Internet of Things
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