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Part of our class discussion today was the isolating impact of technology, yet this article makes a good point that in fact, it is another tool to enhance communication. But, as always, those with access (read: financial resources)will be more successful than those without.

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After reading these trends I wonder how those persons who only have access at school and not in their homes will feel in comparison to those students who have total access no mwatter where they go. Thank you
Ty J

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While I celebrate findings that suggest a positive impact on future generations, I would be curious to know how it might affect other aspects of socialization. How does all this digital communication affect the quality of interpersonal relationships?

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I echo Ty’s sentiments about the lack of technology access for some students at home. As a teacher it will be difficult to utilize technology as a means to provide practice and reinforcement outside of the classroom.

It was stated that the digital divide is now a factor of education and not one of wealth, but it seems to me that is a factor of both. If you don’t have the wealth to acquire technology (computer, internet access) then your ability to learn the technological skills needed to obtain one of those careers in our increasingly mobile workforce is lessened.

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I love how schools are so “against” any type of technology other than that which can be “controlled”. I think this first key point refocuses the idea that technology is an integral part of all of our lives and blocking it out will not help but will hurt students.

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I have to agree with Allison. I agree thad technology is an avenue for interaction and exploration outside of the classroom environment, however, the digital divide is definitely a large factor. How do we successfully incorporate new technology (i.e. learning communities, etc.) without excluding students, who by no fault of their own, do not have access to technology outside of the school environment.

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I concur with the hurdle of less fortunate families not having access to technology at home. I try to encourage students and parents to take advantage of the the computers in our local public libraries. It’s free if the families have a way to get there or are close enough to walk. Unfortunately, there are still families who are not able or willing to take advantage.

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The chapter that Diane and I are discussing in Disturbing Class talks about bridging the gap between home and school. We all know that we cannot control what occurs at home but can only know what we provide at school. That is why I believe that teaching technology is imperative. (Especially when they catch on so fast and usually know more about it than you do by the end of class!)

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I also thought about the students who do not have access to computers at home. Technology is all around them and many have cell phones and ipods but not computers at their home. All I can do is expose them to as much as I can at school. My son has been exposed to technology at home and at school since he was little. I hope he realizes how fortunate he is but I’m sure that he doesn’t.

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Charlene, I also encourage students to go to the local library. Many of them are in walking distance to the Sardis library, so they go. Many of my students practiced for the CRCT using their usernames and passwords the school gave them. Their motivation to work beyond the school doors made me so proud!

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While these trends were not surprising to me, they made me question how I am using technology to empower my students or to change how they learn. I do have website where I post homework assignments and various resources for students, but they seldom visit the site. A couple of years ago I had a student that somehow got my cell phone number. My first thought was that I needed to change my number. Then one night, he was having trouble with his math homework and sent me a text asking a question about the problems. I responded because I was so excited that he was actually doing his homework! I have often wondered if providing some way that students could contact me after school would increase their homework completion. Maybe giving them all my cell phone number is not the best solution, but maybe a blog, a facebook page for the class, or some other resource might be useful. Reading these trends reminded me that this might be something worth looking into to engage my 8th grade students.

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Technology is profoundly affecting the way young people communication and socializing. My two sisters, who are in high school, are heavily depended on facebook to socialize with their friends. Integrating technology into people’s life is no longer an option, but a fact. How to take advantage of this trend is up to us, the educators to decide. Meanwhile, I think it is important to educated students the dangerous size of using computer for too long. As all powerful tools, computers and the internet ought to be used with caution.

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Technology is already in our everyday life. Most of us use computer, internet, or cell phone, especially younger people. For example, my two sisters, who are in high school, use facebook heavily to socialize with their friends. Technology integrates into our life in inevitable. It is important for us, the educators to utilize this environment. Meanwhile, helping the students to understand the dangers of using computer such as video game addiction is needed. Computers and the internet are powerful tools. It should be used with caution as any other powerful tools.

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This section of the article raised the question for me, not so much about how technology is affecting the learning environment, and how learners are learning; but how the role of teachers is changing, too. No longer can we possibly be the source of information, and plan how to share that knowledge, but now we are much more facilitators of learning, and our skills must be in guiding students in their search for information that will help them learn to think at deeper, more creative levels. Helping them link what they know to what they want to know becomes our focus: particularly in high school.

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We have seen also the divide between the haves and the have nots. While we have online texts and other tools, students who do not have the resources at home do not use them. Parents are also very concerned about the dangers and sometimes respond not allowing any use of the internet rather than chancing it. However, more schools are issuing students their own laptops now that they are becoming less expensive and with wireless hubs in communities becoming more prevelent, I think this will bridge the divide soon.

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The technologies featured in each edition of the Horizon Report are embedded within a contemporary context that reflects the realities of the time, both in the sphere of education and in the world at large. To assure this perspective, each Advisory Board researches, identifies, and ranks key trends that are currently affecting the practice of teaching, learning, and creativity, and uses these as a lens for its later work. These trends are surfaced through an extensive review of current articles, interviews, papers, and new research. Once identified, the list of trends is ranked according to how significant an impact they are likely to have on education in the next five years. The following five trends have been identified as key drivers of technology adoptions for the period 2010 through 2015; they are listed here in the order they were ranked by the Advisory Board.

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  • Technology is increasingly a means for empowering students, a method for communication and socializing, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of their lives. Technology is impacting all of our lives, and especially the lives of students, in new and expanding ways. Once seen as an isolating influence, technology is now recognized as a primary way to stay in touch and take control of one’s own learning. Multisensory, ubiquitous, and interdisciplinary, technology is integrated into nearly everything we do. It gives students a public voice and a means to reach beyond the classroom for interaction and exploration.
  • Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed. Information technologies impact how people work, play, learn, socialize, and collaborate. Increasingly, technology skills are also critical to success in almost every arena, and those who are more facile with technology will advance while those without access or skills will not. The digital divide, once seen as a factor of wealth, is now seen as a factor of education: those who have the opportunity to learn technology skills are in a better position to obtain and make use of technology than those who do not. Evolving occupations, multiple careers, and an increasingly mobile workforce contribute to this trend.
  • The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing. Innovation is valued at the highest levels of business and must be embraced in schools if students are to succeed beyond their formal education. The ways we design learning experiences must reflect the growing importance of innovation and creativity as professional skills. Innovation and creativity must not be linked only to arts subjects, either; these skills are equally important in scientific inquiry, entrepreneurship, and other areas as well.
  • There is increasing interest in just-in-time, alternate, or non-formal avenues of education, such as online learning, mentoring, and independent study. More and more, the notion of the school as the seat of educational practice is changing as learners avail themselves of learning opportunities from other sources. There is a tremendous opportunity for schools to work hand-in-hand with alternate sources, to examine traditional approaches, and to reevaluate the content and experiences they are able to offer.
  • The way we think of learning environments is changing. Traditionally, a learning environment has been a physical space, but the idea of what constitutes a learning environment is changing. The “spaces” where students learn are becoming more community-driven, interdisciplinary, and supported by technologies that engage virtual communication and collaboration. This changing concept of the learning environment has clear implications for schools.