7 Things You Should Know About Technology Reports, K-12

This series from EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices. Each brief focuses on a single technology or practice and describes
• what it is
• how it works
• where it is going
• why it matters to teaching and learning

7 Things You Should Know About... briefs can be used to:
• enhance faculty development activities
• open a dialogue about emerging technologies and their implications for your school
• stay up-to-date on emerging technologies
• provide quick, no-jargon overviews of emerging technologies and related practices that have demonstrated or may demonstrate positive learning impacts.

These reports can be used as an update for your skills and can be easily distributed to students, staff, and parents as a resource for continuous learning. They can also be used with information literacy classes. The reports provide a good technical background and raise social and ethical issues for discussion.

The latest reports include:
• Next-Generation Presentation Tools (Jan 2010) New kinds of electronic tools are emerging that allow instructors to craft presentations that more closely reflect new approaches to teaching and learning. For instance, many of these tools allow collaboration between multiple authors, and some use nonlinear branching or sequencing so that class discussion can guide the presentation.
• Google Wave (Oct 2009) Google Wave is a Web-based application that represents a rethinking of electronic communication. Users create online spaces called “waves,” which include multiple discrete messages and components that constitute a running, conversational document.
• Collaborative Annotation (Oct 2009) It expands the concept of social bookmarking by allowing users to share bookmarks and to digitally annotate Web pages. Rather than simply pointing to particular Web pages, collaborative annotation lets users highlight specific content on a Web page and add a note explaining their thoughts or pointing to additional resources.
• Telepresence (Sep 2009) This refers to the application of complex video technologies to give geographically separated participants a sense of being together in the same location. These systems use high-definition cameras feeding to life-size, HD displays with high-fidelity acoustics that, in many cases, localize sound to image, simulating the effect of each voice coming from the video display.
• Data Visualization II (Aug 2009) These tools represent data in the form of charts, maps, tag clouds, animations, or any graphical means that make content easier to understand. Graphic representations of data are popular because they open up the way we think about data, reveal hidden patterns, and highlight connections among elements.
• Microblogging (Jul 2009) This is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content (text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media) on the Internet.
• VoiceThread (Jun 2009) This is a media aggregator that allows people to post media artifacts (document, slide presentation, video, collection of photos, etc.) for community feedback. Commentators can add remarks by means of microphone, webcam, keyboard, or telephone. The resulting Flash-based animation contains the original artifact and the commentary on it.