Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's on the horizon? (part 3)

This post is a follow on from my last 2 posts, looking at the 2013 K-12 Horizon Report.  While my school seems to be well on the way to implementing technologies on the near and mid horizon, I was curious to see what we should be preparing for on the far horizon and excited when the first thing the report mentioned for an adoption time of 4-5 years was 3D printing.

Earlier this year we bought several different models of 3D printers at ASB in order to try them out.  The  one that I currently have in the tech office is the Cube.  Reading through the Horizon Report I can see that the relevance for teaching and learning could be as follows:

  • allowing exploration of objects that might not be readily available to schools for example animal anatomies or fragile objects such as fossils and artifacts
  • students can explore the entire process from design to production of 3D objects
Considering the use of the first of these brings me onto another technology that has been identified as being on the far horizon, virtual and remote labs.  These labs enable the equipment and elements of science laboratories to be more easily available to learners via the web.  ASB is fortunate that on our elementary campus we have a well stocked science lab designed especially for young students and a science specialist who works with teachers to incorporate science into the units of inquiry.  However this is the first school I've worked that has this facility available to elementary students and so I can certainly see the value of using remote labs where experiments can be done in a safe environment.  The Horizon Report outlines the following advantages for teaching and learning of virtual and remote labs:
  • students are able to make mistakes and be involved in as many experiments as they like since no real chemicals or equipment is being used
  • teachers can make videos of the online experiments and play them back afterwards to analyse how students have done
  • access to science tools is increased when students can access them via the internet
The third technology on the far horizon for K-12 schools is augmented reality - the layering of information over 3D space.  Outside of education augmented reality is also leading to a movement towards more mobile devices.   I think that AR connects well with the final technology on the far horizon - wearable technology.  A popular example of this is Google Glass that allows the wearer to see information about his or her surroundings or to access remote data.  Wearable technology can communicate information from the user to text, email or social networks based on voice or gesture commands.

The K-12 Horizon Project concludes with trends and challenges.  I'll be making a final post about these later this week.

Photograph taken at the top of The Peak, Hong Kong

No comments:

Post a Comment