I define Emerging Technologies as anything that is relatively new in technology. According to BusinessDictionary.com, Emerging Technologies is defined as “New technologies that are currently developing or will be developed over the next five to ten years, and which will substantially alter the business and social environment. These include information technology, wireless data communication, man-machine communication, on-demand printing, bio-technologies, and advanced robotics” (WebFinance, Inc., 2015).
With this definition in mind, I started to think about what new technology is available and I found a list of the top ten emerging technologies according to Scientific American. The list on their website includes fuel cell cars, robotics, and recyclable plastic that cuts landfill waste (Meyerson, 2015). As I was looking at the list, I thought about what would be relevant and interesting to my kindergarten students to teach them about emerging technologies and how to explain to them what emerging technology is and why it is important to them. For many of my students, emerging technology is a new video or iPad game. I believe that could be the starting point for me to introduce the concept of emerging technologies. My students love technology because it is engaging. I can explain to my students that technology and imagination go hand in hand. Inventors of new technology are dreamers and creators.
Thinking about my students made me curious about what kind of educational technology is emerging. I found an article on the website, globalpost.com, that discusses some of the emerging technology that is being used in elementary schools. The list includes blogs, streaming video, tablet computing, and game-based learning (Richards-Gustafson, 2015). I used streaming video a few times this year as a teaching tool. The first time was for the Iditarod. Even though it restarted in Fairbanks, it was too cold for my kindergarten students to go watch the race. Instead, we had a virtual fieldtrip and watched it in our classroom. My students loved it and I loved how easy it was to set up and facilitate. I also used live streaming to “take” my students to the zoo. As part of Earth Day, my class learned about the many endangered and threatened animals around the world. I then cued up live feeds of zoos so my students could “visit” the animals. My favorite part was when one of my students said, “It’s just like being there, but the animals are closer.”
Meyerson, B. (2015, March 4). Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/top-10-emerging-technologies-of-20151/?page=1
Richards-Gustafson, F. (2015). Emerging Technology Used in Elementary Schools. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from Global Post: Everyday Life by Demand Media: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/emerging-technology-used-elementary-schools-11251.html
WebFinance, Inc. (2015). Emerging Technologies. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from BusinessDictionary.com: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/emerging-technologies.html