Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Module 2 Blog Post RSCH - 8350

Emerging Technologies Tetrad

Dr. Soloway explained that hardware is not as expansive as software and their associated services, while Dr. Thornburg described an emerging technology as one that is new to the world and if a community is not aware of the innovation (and its benefits), then it is to their detriment (Laureate Education, 2009).  Furthermore, as one technology is replaced by another on a regular basis and often simultaneously, such changes will call for leaders and managers to make crucial decisions about which technologies to invest in.  These changes that occur simultaneously were examined by McLuhan and McLuhan (1988) where the authors concluded that four variations affect all media and human artifacts. An example of the McLuhan’s Laws of Media can be seen at present with the emergence of Smartboards. See the following video for a demonstration of Smartboards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U05WeXPGlk

 Judging from what I have observed on the Internet, Smartboards seem to be an emerging technology that further enhances media in education.  Smartboards seem to be replacing existing whiteboards and as well as those that are software-based, for example, iconnect’s whiteboard.  Smartboards can be used in all learning environments because it is digital, and thus, can go beyond face-to-face and be shared across networked classrooms. This technology retrieves one room schoolhouse learning environments where teachers can assemble a wide array of students from different locations through virtual terminal sharing.

Interestingly, when pushed to its limit of potential, the emerging device will run in reverse – going in the opposite direction to its original form (Laureate Education, 2009).  Hence, gestures, pinch, touch, and holographic technologies might very well be a chain of emerging innovations. These emerging innovations might lead to the invention of holographic chalkboards which may replace smartboards in the future!

McLuhan, M., & McLuhan, E. (1988). Laws of media: The new science. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.
Miercom. (2009). Lab testing summary report: Aggregation services routers – power efficient. Retrieved from. http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/routers/asr-1000-series-aggregation-services-routers/asr1000_series_green.pdf
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

Thornburg, D. D. (2009a). Current trends in educational technology. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.


  1. Response from Michael H:
    Of all the technology I have used, the smart board, in my opinion, has had the greatest positive effect on student engagement and my ability to make dynamic and fun lessons.
    I see you refer to it as an emerging technology. It's been fascinating to see how we all perceive "emerging" differently. I would say the smart board has emerged, just not universally used for various reasons. Part of my thinking is due to my background in public health. It only takes a single case for a disease to have emerged. Once it exists, it has emerged. Another part of my thinking is from comic books (lol). They all emerged as soon as they sprang into existence, not after they became known.

  2. Great post Ena! You, Michael, and me all envision a holographic technology that will reverse the Smart Board, and the chalkboard/whiteboard being obsoleted by the Smart Board. The holographic technology would bring the interactivity to a whole new level of education.

  3. Ena,

    Great posting on Smart Boards. They seem to be one technology that can be widely used by any teacher with a light to moderate amount of training. When you look back at the inclusion of other types of technology in the classroom, you can see where the idea sounded great at the time, but the devices never rose to the expected level. Computers in the classroom are a prime example. At first, very few people had the ability or resources to fully implement the desktop computer into the curriculum. Even now, I think their inclusion into the curriculum is not as widespread as had been predicted. I think Smart Boards, on the other hand, combined with other technologies such as iPads (for the teacher mostly at this point) and the Internet make them an extremely versatile tool in the classroom. I think as Smart Boards develop and mature, other technologies will be added that will enhance or replace them. 3-D technology and the ability to use hand gestures to manipulate the media (think Minority Report with Tom Cruise) will eventually replace the Smart Board. I would even go a step further and replace the board altogether with a Heads Up Display that will immerse the learner in the environment much like a game. The learning will revert back to a more concrete type of learning by doing rather that learning abstract concepts and applying those to one's environment.


  4. Hi Ena; great point about holographic chalkboards. Can you provide an example of how they might be used in a math or science classroom?