The Horizon Report was established in 2002. It is a research project that each year identifies and describes six outstanding emerging technologies that are likely to have a large impact in the world. The report is divided into periods of time – one year, two to three years and four to five years – where these technologies have been projected to make a mark on society. The critical challenges in the article are interesting to me because I see them every day not only in the classroom but also in my daily routine. However, I also see the potential for more integration of these technologies into education because of this.
The digital media literacy as a key skill in every discipline and profession is not yet well defined. However the fact that teachers are using the digital media in their lessons has an important impact on education just like in the technologies expected to gain usage within two to three years. This is the case of the augmented reality and game-based learning where these tools and the advances in hardware and software have a broader acceptance as new methods of teaching. I have seen the videos using technology in the classroom in different grades. I was impacted and pleased to see senior educators applying new technology. There is a stigma about the use of technology as a tool to teach, but I believe that is disappearing at a very fast pace. I find it intriguing and exciting to be part of this adjustment in education. I am sure some educators are still not comfortable using new technologies, but it is my belief that is because of ignorance and lack of use of the technology. In the videos shown, the educators were very comfortable with their usage in the classroom. I can see how these technologies are positivelt affecting methods of teaching and are a guarantee for a positive advancement students and educators, and education in general.
For the past year I have personally experienced immersion into the use of web 2.0 technologies. I have had a big, yet smooth, transition of making technology by best ally for organization. This experience has resulted in much more effective use of my resources and time. I have always been curious about new trends and products that technology has to offer, but changes occur at such a fast pace I have often felt not fast enough to keep up. Sometimes I would lose interest about what was happening technologically speaking and just catch on to the minimal amount of information. Now, I believe in great part because of the time and place I live, my vision has been transformed to a much better and broader approach to technology. The combination of time and place have been great motivators for me to embrace the use of technology with great interest. It has been fulfilling for me both professionally and personally.
I focused my opinion strictly on the technologies that are expected to gain widespread usage within two to three years like the augmented reality and game-based learning. I find it extremely relevant that these two tools have brought a better and broader acceptance of new methods in teaching and there is evidence of effective learning in students. It is in these types of approaches and use of technology that educators will see much more response from students. Who does not like to play? Learning while playing is one of the best tools to educate and leave a long lasting impression on someone’s mind.
In my time experience as an educator, I had no familiarity with iPhone technology. However, last year in one of my graduate classes I researched websites from museums around the world regarding information for children and the use of media. Even at that time the use of a game-based learning objective was not in place. I mention this in relation to the example in the article about the Museum of London from the Horizon Report. With the use of a free iPhone app and using a GPS the users allowed to view information and 3D historical sites as the travel around the city of London.
Also in my museum research, I found a virtual guide in the Louvre Museum. It was a very friendly and fun animated French guide with a variety of stories to help the student find answers to questions. As I think back to this, I believe that experience could be applied into a device like an iPhone. It is not hard to imagine the engagement of students and their enthusiasm for learning. There are endless possibilities. These are examples of what the horizon report acknowledges as the greatest potential of game-based learning. It has the ability to foster collaboration, problem-solving and procedural thinking. It offers opportunities for educators to promote curiosity and love of learning for our students of the 21st century. It is a great way to expose students to what is available for their benefit and then for the application of that knowledge for their growth as individuals and cyber citizens of this world.