Our kids won’t hesitate. They will reach out for whatever technology holds for a new way of learning and socializing. Facebook – love it or leave it, they will think, and get immersed in these communities they find there – most of them. It’s in fact an overwhelming perspective. Young people striving for ways to identify with something outside their home bound circles can today easily come forward to whatever culture they’d like to know more of or to join. The option of wide spread exploring and orientation is already present for the new generation and will be used extensively. Not only that information is just nearby for searches, also the authentical communication with representatives of other lifestyles is just around and easily established. The competent use of Web 2.0 facilities is what a new generation is dealing with and learning from already.
Schools and teachers experience, that the old ways they know of, to improve their students’ competencies and knowledge acquirement no longer are sufficient. The educational system is forced to move towards the circumstances, the society and technological development offers for a wider practice of knowledge achievement and exchange. National curriculums are undergoing changes according to the overall noticeable presence of multicultural aspects in a globalised world. Job applications may no longer have to be brought forward in the national language, but in the concern language. Working teams are mixed up of colleagues with several cultural and national origins. The future competency, to be capable of team playing in multicultural environments, is substituting former qualifications of a more national shape.
Authentical meetings with others from abroad and their cultures have become more common, both in virtual environments or face to face by the increasing mobility of students or employees in huge parts of the world. Today a cv is better, when an applicant has had periods of study or working in other countries or cultures. For the future an even more valuable employee is conceivable: The multicultural networking individual, who saves time and expenditures by being in touch with her/his communities through the use of social media and virtual environments. The technologies for resource saving approaches of networking across borders are given in 2013: It’s no longer a question of, who controls the mouse – everyone can today explore and learn to use contemporary tools of collaborating in cyberspace. The user interfaces of most web 2.0 applications are easily controlled and spending a little time to experience and carry out a common drawing with a friend in Google’s or other’s online spaces will convince most people of the advantages to share thoughts and ideas from one’s own desktop rather than to have to encounter far away meetings for the together idea development.
Blackboard (the former “Elluminate”) offers advanced possibilities for conferencing across borders and a lot of educational institutions have begun to use it for online courses and workshops. Virtual worlds such as Second Life are widely used by universities, language schools and educational providers in several fields for simulation of relevant real life scenarios for learning and study. Moodle and Fronter provide complex learning management systems (LMS) and Facebook groups, Google Drive and WordPress offer advanced collaborative applications in the cloud, which gather huge interest for all those, who want to use an updated space for discussions, sharing and education.
In some of the most advanced educational institutions students today are guided and advised to use web tools for their presentations and portfolios. Prezi and Glogster are promising tools to increase the student’s motivation to create interesting and individual showcases for their learning process and the working results, which also can engage audiences by the possible feedback.
Youtube and Flickr offer huge spaces for personal and creative messaging and voicing and form communities of like minded content creators as well, which can stimulate new creativity and identification for the evolving teenager or young student. Smaller social networking platforms such as Ning, Groups or Spruz can come in use for exchanges of selected groups or classes of students for international exchanges on teacher chosen common topics. Skype or Second Life’s voice function can increase the language learning impact by synchronous communication across borders. In other words, the online universe is consolidating and taking over functions, which have been closely connected to the physical location, libraries or classrooms have had in the past.
Remarkable in the beginning of 2013 is, that the attempts to reduce the “mass” of hardware units are pretty well developed and there is no doubt, that our students will grab the newly presented technology as soon as possible. The Sixth Sense Technology prepares a small necklace alike camera and projector with finger sensors connected to a smartphone in the pocket, which can bring up a holographic representation of a screen anywhere – even on one’s hand if no other surface is around, for e.g. to phone a friend or to search for some internet content. The iWatch technology also is rumored to cast a holographic screen from the arm as an user interface instead of a heavy computer screen for internet access and controlling of content in the device. The Google Glass technology aims to deliver a small unit on changeable glass shapes and styles to view the use of the integrated computer in the glass frame and to control it by voice.
It must be assumed, that the use of small wearable body near units to access internet content will make their entrance among the young generation as soon as they are available for a fair and affordable price – as smartphones did. The technology will then have the feature of being accessible in nearly any situation and the option to share the view of content by a bigger picture for mates and peers will certainly meet the desires we already now can notice in between the young generation, when we see them stand around and share what is shown on a traditional computer or smartphone display. In education this technological progress once again will open for new challenges for the teacher, who then will need to know how to navigate in class with multiple and independent learning processes going on to an ever higher extend as we see it today. A future teacher role in this landscape has to be grounded on deep knowledge of the in class used technologies and of the diversity and credibility of sources from multiple cultures as well as on the capability to support and guide individually in the student’s learning process and behaviour in online communities.
http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html – The Sixth Sense Technology
http://youtu.be/V6Tsrg_EQMw – Google Glass