Earlier this month the New Media Consortium posted a preview of the 2011 Horizon Report to its website (each year, the Horizon Report identifies a number of emerging technologies expected to change the way we learn and teach). As I skimmed through the 2011 Horizon Report Preview, I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that I don’t know enough about technologies such as Augmented Reality, Game-Based Learning, Gesture-Based Computing, and Learning Analytics. I kept thinking that while educators were busy discussing blogging, microblogging and social networking technologies, the tech industry had already moved on to new projects, leaving us academics scrambling to make sense of yet the latest round of developments. And I also felt pressure – pressure to catch up, learn more, and start experimenting with these new technologies.
Most of us know first hand that keeping up with the latest technologies can sometimes feel like a full time job in an on itself. As a social media professor and researcher, I am in a privileged position in that I get to roll that work into my normal work schedule. It is part of my job to stay abreast of these developments. Not every educator gets to do that though. If we are striving for true social media integration across the curriculum, we are asking educators from all kinds of disciplines to become immersed enough in these technologies to figure out their pedagogical uses. Is that a realistic expectation given their teaching, service and research workloads?
- Can we really expect educators who don’t study and teach technology as a content area to keep up with all this?
- If so, how would we do it?
- Is the amount of work involved in staying abreast of the latest developments in the social media world too much for educators who may be overextending themselves already?
- What are your strategies for balancing the workload and keeping up with all this without letting it take over your real life?
What do you think? Join the #smcedu chat this Monday, November 29th at 12:30 ET and share your views on this topic with the SMCEDU community!