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Technologies for learning and teaching are in a constant state of flux. Therefore, it is important for teachers to stay informed about the trends, and be confident about trying new approaches. Technologies such as mobile devices, ePortfolios, and social media (Web 2.0 tools and approaches) are now relatively common terms in education. The Horizon report (2012) underpins this topic so please use this resource as the starting point for your explorations. For this topic you are asked to design a learning activity using a ‘trend’ technology. Since this is a huge area, some resources are suggested, but you need only focus on one specific area in your explorations. For example, mobile devices, or ePortfolios or social media. The technology you choose may be something from the Horizon report, or the other types mentioned here.

Horizon Report Trends

Six trends in higher education are described in The Horizon report (2012).

  1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
  3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured.
  4. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
  5. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
  6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.

The Horizon report (2012) also includes the future direction of some of the trend technologies. For example: mobile apps, tablet computing, game-based learning, learning analytics, gesture-based computing, and the Internet of things.

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Activity Five: Technologies for learning.

  • Familiarise yourself with the 2012 Horizon report.
  • View the presentation ePortfolios - getting to the nuts and bolts. (Please note: audio now accompanies this version.) The resources mentioned on the presentation can be found on the References page.
  • View the presentation about mobile learning by Dr Thom Cochrane. Other resources about mobile learning can be found on Thom Cochrane's web page.
  • Choose one trend technology and design a learning activity based on this.
  • Describe or demonstrate the learning activity to the class via your blog.
    • Make sure that you indicate how the technology used in the activity is likely to encourage flexible learning.