Six technologies soon to affect education


Augmented reality uses GPS and compass features, such as those found on smart phones running Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iPhone, to access high-speed wireless networks that mash up local web content with the user’s surroundings. Augmented reality often overlays images onto a user’s screen. SciMorph is one augmented reality science learning program that lets students place an alien in different environments, take measurements, and gather data. The alien is overlaid atop what students see via webcams.

Flexible displays—paper-like computer displays made mostly of plastic—are also a few years from K-12 implementation, Johnson said.

“We’re not really sure where flexible displays are going, but you can imagine them being used initially in marketing,” he said, adding that flexible displays could appear on science lab equipment with instructions on how to use different lab tools. Others have speculated that flexible displays soon could reduce the price of laptops and mobile devices, because they consume less power and use fewer materials.

“The technologies we’re using are causing significant policy changes” in K-12 education, said Susan A. Gendron, commissioner of the Maine Department of Education and president of the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Gendron said the report’s contents would help with key policy components as states work to integrate technology into instruction.

“The chiefs within CCSSO are trying to examine, in particular, how cloud computing and collaborative environments will help us work across all states,” she added.

Links:

2010 Horizon Report K-12 Edition

Consortium for School Networking

New Media Consortium

Arizona State University Flexible Display Center

Council of Chief State School Officers

Laura Ascione
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