Thing 15: Emerging Tech Trends (2016-2017)

When I selected this “Thing,” I expected a list of futuristic apps or specific programs or skills that young students would be required to know.  Instead, it was a collection of articles with a focus on the big picture, broader ideas and concepts that will improve student learning and functionality in the future.  How to teach them to learn efficiently in the midst of a changing technological environment.

In Idea Watch by Carolyn Foote, I especially liked the concepts of “Fast-Casual” and “Fusing.”  I’m not sure that “Fast-Casual” would work in an elementary environment as schedules are so tight and students do have as much free time as they would in a high school environment to “hang-out” or make independent choices about their time.  “Fusing” is exactly what I need to do on a daily basis in our school in order to keep this space and the activities in it relevant.  I am always seeking that digital overlap with classroom curriculum in order to make our time in the library valuable.  I liked Foote’s idea about a Yoga-space in the library.

In What Technology Will Look Like in 5 Years by Diomedes Kastanis, I was impressed with the futuristic tools described and predicted for 2020.  I appreciate the idea of glocal where we won’t even own our own cars or other items because it can be shared.  Or employees will work within miles of their office because everything will be regionalized.  This article was entertaining and really just broadened my mind to the things that will be available in five years.  In terms of education, I think the take away is that more and more things will be shared.  Including information students use to learn and the products they create.

What Does the Next-Generation School Library Look Like by Luba Vangelova was an inspiring article.  It made me feel better about my own noisy space.  I have the same opinion about attitude and expectation.  I am always trying to make the library feel like an open, shared space.  Students are welcome anytime, though not every teacher utilizes this policy.

I think the most important article listed is The NMC Horizon Report. It maps out various trends and offers ideas for policy making and laying the groundwork for successful integration of technology into school environments.  Below is an image taken from page 6 of the 2016 K-12 Horizon Report:


I find this graphic really useful.  The mid-term trends of collaborative learning and deeper learning approaches point out that these interpersonal skills remain relevant if not even more important as we move further into the technology age.

In the Averill Park school district we are foraging into new territory as we begin the early stages of creating a district wide technology policy.  I will use this “Thing” to support my contributions to the creation of the policy.  In my own library, I look forward to a gradual change in the physical space from desks, chairs, and desktop computers to a more fluid space including bean bag chairs, laptop computers or personal devices, and open space where students can gather in small groups to collaborate.  I look forward to integrating the technology changes of 2020 into our elementary library here.


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