J. Anchan

University of Winnipeg (CANADA)
The current dramatic growth in information technology has also had a corollary impact on the education sector. In an increasingly shrinking world of cyberspace without the traditional borders, the internet has become the pervasive technology. As emerging technologies become ubiquitous devices in people’s lives, educators have begun to grapple with the critical aspects of technology in schools. Amidst the Cyberlingo and Technospeak that is littered with acronyms, McLuhan’s global village has become a reality.

From traditional communication to social networking; locus-bound systems to wireless mobile technologies; F2F (Face-to-Face) to online/distance learning systems (LMS) and now, the world of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); snail mail to lighting and immediate SMS communication; and paper to dynamic multimedia, the world has evolved dramatically. Many of us are both enamored and perhaps, ambiguous about evolving technologies influencing pedagogy. The education system appears to be increasingly subject to the imposing technology that subsumes the substantive content. At times, there exists an apparent culture of dissonance among the “plugged-in and the clued-out.”
Though the underlying premise appears to be that the education system is catching up with the dramatic growth of technology, the reality is contrary. Use of technology is not the same as applying critical skills and integrating technology in the learning process. In a world of bits and bytes, multitasking and scanning for information seems to be the trend. In what I term, the Wiggle (Wikipedia+Google) Knowledge, the approach is a combination of collecting quick information from Wikipedia and adding some Google search to the collated material. More money is invested in consultants and hardware than in training and planning – resulting in an endless list of misguided and misdirected investments. Lack of sustainability along with minimal or no training in the use of technology combined with planned obsolescence in technology make this a potent mixture of terrible waste of resources. The critics have no voice to challenge the unrestrained misapplication of technologies in the classroom. Technicians who are technology experts but not pedagogy specialist drive the agenda. With more style than substance, the flavor of the day does not bode well for meaningful education.

In a world of constant change, how do we relate to a networked generation? What can teachers do to bring the excitement in reading? How do adaptive teachers respond to changing classrooms that are no more homogeneous? Where does the V-Generation stand on assumed expertise in information technology? How can we incorporate meaningful Technology-Enhanced Learning in our schools? Where planned obsolescence is the norm, how do educators utilize emerging technologies? How do evolving universities relate to emerging technologies? Yet, we look at the promises of technology and ponder the ways to harness the positive aspects of this modern leviathan. Just as well, the new “Community Well” is the social networking that binds and connects the new generation. In essence, this presentation will highlight the impact of emerging technologies on education in particular and societies in general. This discourse will conclude with some specific approaches to enabling technology within the classroom.
Extensive citations and references will be provided in the full paper.