Last week, we saw the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone, while everyone watched and waited for something futuristic and revolutionary to appear. One week the craze is Blackberry, the next Samsung and on yet another given week it will no doubt be Apple. It seems as though we are watching technology in education with similar anticipation. As educators and parents, we want to make the best possible decisions when purchasing technology to meet our student’s future educational needs. This can be challenging for both parents and educators.
2. Think of buying those new school shoes
As with purchasing school shoes, one must come to terms with the fact that we will endeavour to purchase the best fit, balanced between the best price and level of comfort. We make the best possible purchase with all the information we currently hold.
3. Has it been invented yet?
We may not be able to prepare for those future technological needs yet, if futuristic technology has not yet been invented.
4. You may need to upgrade again …
The secret is getting comfortable with change and innovation. That is not to say we change for the sake of change itself. If those educational needs require a combination of pencil, paper and technology, then so be it.
5. Why fix what isn’t broken?
Last week, the TED Talk Conference brought leaders and top future thinkers together. Out of all of these technological enthusiasts, the simple business card was still the most common transaction between attendees. It was surprising that they did not use digital business cards or bump smart phones together to swap details. There is no need to change what is already working well!
However, there is now evidence showing that 90% of consumers are using the tablet over the PC at home. Students are starting to bring their own devices to school. The question is, “Are tablets mobile?” Apple seem to think so and Mark Zuckerberg, apparently not, according to TechCrunch.com.
Smartphones are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller. Will they meet somewhere in the middle? Since many students now carry mobile phones with them to school, it makes sense for parents to combine these two gadgets into a more cost effective tool. This tool can either be as an oversized mobile phone or a much smaller mobile tablet, if also doubled as a mobile phone.
8. How big does a mobile need to be?
A mobile device can be screened onto an HDTV, or classroom computer, or data projector. Online accessibility and mobile technology are fast becoming more of a desirable feature than a large screen size.
9. It’s “their world”
Children are so submersed with these modern technologies today that we will need to learn to “speak their language” in order to connect with them in the future. Students are already learning to code, through a new free website, promoted by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg called, code.org.
10. Regardless of the screen size …
To engage the future generation in learning, one must not only find the means to connect, but also teach them about social responsibility, citizenship and democracy, through their digital world.