Gavin Dudeney’s talk took a quick look at the possible future of technology in ELT – pulling out a number of technologies and trends and asking the audience to think of them in terms of whether they represented a Strength, a Weakness, an Opportunity or a Threat. Towards the end of the talk we then compared our ideas before he opened things up to the floor.
He mentioned the following areas:
- Self study
- Personal publishing
- Learning Analytics
- The Digital Divide
- Resusable Learning Objects
- Teacher Collectives
- PLNs, Connectivism and crowdsourcing
- Digital Skills teaching
- The Flipped Classroom
- Wearable Technology
- Multi-Sensory Computing
- Internet Freedom
- SOLES (Self Organised Learning Environments)
All of which are quite complex ideas, concepts and technologies that require a lot more time and exploration than was available in the talk – so Gavin ended up giving us quite a brief overview of what each one entailed. If you want a bit more detail on what he said, be sure to check out the recording of his talk:
I was interested in his off the cuff claim that the Interactive whiteboard has already had it’s day – on reflection I think he’s probably right. The IWB seems to be mostly used as a display function and really has only limited interactivity. Why, when students can bring their own devices to the classroom and everyone can interact synchronously, do you even need an IWB?
I also appreciated the SWOT analysis approach that he took to the talk, because it did give us a framework for our discussion, and for some contexts it is possible to see these things strictly within this sort of framework. But. Imposing a framework like this is quite limiting in some respects and it would have been nice to be able to think about these things in more detail. Not that there was much time for him to fit everything in.
Threat and Opportunity are, in this sort of context at least, two sides of the same coin. Mostly I think that what all of this new technology represents is a threat to the established order – this is a natural evolutionary process and also represents an opportunity for the new way of things to get a foothold and become the established order for the next generation. The key skills here for the individuals and organisations affected by these changes are flexibility, adaptability and agility.
Gavin Dudeney’s slides for this presentation are available to download via this link – they also contain clickable links which take you to further reading and additional websites with a broader overview of the topic areas discussed:
You can watch his talk here:
If there are any problems with the video, just follow this link: