EPSY556: Techsploration – Week 1

For our first Techsploration (I like the way that word looks and sounds), we’ve been asked to reflect on the future of learning.  And to prepare for our first synchronous discussion, we were asked to view the “Did You Know 2.0” video.

Much like the “The Machine is Us/ing Us” video, the notions of technology and education are explored and presented in engaging ways.  I came away from watching both videos with a sense of urgency and purpose, feeling like we as a society (especially Americans) are in danger of being “left behind” if we don’t keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and learn to communicate and collaborate better with our counterparts overseas whose population and literacy numbers seem to be soaring far beyond ours.

At the risk of sounding theatrical, we are witnessing the beginning of what I perceive to be a profound revolution in education through technology; someday we’ll be able to dazzle our grandchildren with tales of being there when the Internet first became popular.  With today’s technology, we are afforded the ability to communicate and interact on an unprecedented global scale.  And tools like image and video editing–which were once too complex and costly for the average user and therefore restricted to professionals only–are becoming easier to use and more ubiquitous, even at the grade-school level.

This is an exciting time, to be sure–especially for educators.  But it is also tempered with some frustration and trepidation, I think, because we as educators on all different levels, understand the impact technology will have on the future of learning–but we are still uncertain on how to best proceed with limited resources and that continuing sense of urgency.

When discussing education and technology, I think there’s an overall tendency to focus on how each affects the other and the potential benefits of marrying the two together–as well as the potential pitfalls of keeping them separate.  But I would take this a step further by proposing that the future of learning will be characterized by the notion that education and technology will be inseparable and, perhaps, interchangeable.  I believe that the use of Web 2.0 tools like blogs, social media (like Facebook and Twitter), and media sharing will be so ingrained in the process, that to consider a time when the two concepts were separate will be unfathomable.