New technologies open minds to new ways of thinking. In my field, film and video production, the advent of non-linear editing not only opened up the possibility to edit video to a generation of non-technically inclined creative people, it also redifined parameters of thinking about how to edit shots together. New genres were born and today we couldn’t imagine a world without non-linear editing.
In education we are in a similiar situation with Web 2.0 tools. Creators are giving students tools that will alter the way they learn in the same way that these technologies have altered the way we live. As educators we must not only adopt but understand the new thoughts that generate these applications.
Vermeulen (2014) emphasizes the idea of learning in a virtual environment, of giving students the ability to imagine the dynamics of living in space and to use project-based learning to solve a huge problem; desiging homes for people to live in space. Web 2.0 technologies are ideally suited for this type of project and meet multiple NETS-S including communication and collaboration, problem solving and creativity and innovation. The tools that allow students to communicate across the globe and collaborate together. Skype, Google docs and Diggo are examples of collaboration tools that will allow our students to expand their thinking and communication to confront the problems and challenges of the future.
Kemp, Smith, Dekoven and Segal (2013) show that learning happens through unexpected interactions when the brain is engaged in a related activity opening up the flow of information to access multiple parts of the brain and increasing deep understanding and retention. We may find that gamification rather than adding simple challenges to existing curriculum material opens up new ways of conveying knowledge and even creates new forms of knowledge. We are at the beginning of a new technological revolution and as edcuators we need to not just use but understand the deeper implications of these new tools.
Kemp, G., Smith, M., Dekoven, B., Segal, J., (2013). Play, creativity and lifelong learning. Helpguide.0rg. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/life/creative_play_fun_games.htm
Vermeulen, A. (2014). How to go to space without having to go to space. Ted Talks Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/angelo_vermeulen_how_to_go_to_space_without_having_to_go_to_space