Adult Education and New Technology

So far in our class we have briefly reviewed what is already known about education philosophy and science and have come to the place where we are looking at the current and future scene in Instructional Design. Now we are examining what tools tomorrow’s instructional designers will be using to deliver content to students, and how “connections” can be made to “engage” a group of people with access to technology and life schedules that require distance learning.

The most relevant information on this subject comes from a site where projections are made based on consensus of educators who are working together to study and predict the future of technology in  education. amount of content and knowledge available at their fingertips.”

The 2009 Horizon Report

One of our class assignments was to read the Horizon Report of 2009, which pretty much dates our curriculum, and I did find information there on their predictions for the next few years. Since it is now 2012 I wanted to find out if there were a more current report, which there was. I also found that there was an Adobe based learning tool used to record the 2011 webinar featuring some of the leaders of the group.  It turns out that their predictions in 2009 had been spot on in terms of the developing trends in use of the following technology:

E-Books: Such as Kindle, IPad, and a whole slew of personal devices proprietary information can be distributed on. These are cheap enough for consumers and could be customized by designers to maximize features like the ability to search, bookmark, and link to resources. Good for long term delivery.

Mobile Phone: Largest and fastest development and distribution of technology. Simple applications are netting the designers millions of dollars and selling for under $5. My personal idea about how to use this technology is for short video type bites of information, interlaced in a program to deliver longer segments of instruction by building on them. Good for short term delivery

Augmented Reality : Reality with something added to enhance it. Like a lot of work done in Photoshop it is based on something, but material is modified and treated as a tool to communicate other concepts. Even greater potential for good and evil, is the ability to get interactive programs that will feed information back about the learners, as the learners are and have interacted with the material. This data could be incredibly valuable.

Gesture Based Computer Learning: Starting with what is the most currently used technology of touch screen applications, we use these as cash registers, ticket dispensers, etc. Now entertainment has preceeded education in finding that motion that is projected into the program so intuitively that the learner is role playing, or demonstrating learning has taken place, and tasks have been completed. We have Xbox and WII and our younger population will be familiar with this technology.

Memory and Adult Education:

People today, whatever their age, or situation are just being bombarded with information. There is no way a normal human can just sort this in their own memory and access it when it becomes relevant.

As a culture we have developed the technology to deal with our problems. The new technology of “Cloud based collaboration” has evolved from the concept of having a communal memory that is readily available to anyone, anytime, free.  Very noble. The rate at which we are losing our privacy has  increased as rapidly as the technology.  However, there are also gains. If we can be more effective as human beings by virtue of education, and collaboration, then there is nothing holding anyone back if they really want to know something. Problems are being solved today by cross over applications, such as the gaming students who have helped nuclear scientists.

Social networking has also become a means of distributing information more informally, however, the degree of relevance and accuracy may be questionable. Whether it is always a good thing, or not, people are now easily able to connect with other people who have the same interests.  I think that does suggest those of us who have positive ideas, should even more fervently work to collaborate to get them working. Which is why I am so very interested in Instructional Design.

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