The educators' telescope to the future of technology
Jaakkola,H.; Henno,J.; Thalheim,B.; Mäkelä,J. (2017-07-10)
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We live in a world of accelerating changes, where technology plays an important role as an enabler. Looking ahead means being prepared for these changes. Preparedness may be reactive - reacting to the situation at the moment something happens; proactive - being prepared in advance for a situation that may happen; or preactive - being able in advance to affect something that may happen in the future and how it happens. Forecasting the future helps us to be prepared for new situations. It is based on making predictions that are derived from understanding past and present data. Known data is organized in the form of trends and further extrapolated to cover the future. From the technical point of view, there are a variety of approaches for forecasting: algorithmic, simulation, statistical analysis etc. The methods used may be quantitative (future data is seen as a function of past data) or qualitative (subjective, based on the opinion or judgment of the target group used in the analysis). Technology is an essential part of education, both in supporting effective learning and as a content of teaching itself. As a result, every educator needs skills to analyze the future of relevant technologies. In this paper, we introduce a framework that can be used in analysis of the importance of technological changes in education and as a part of curricula. The approach is based on trend analysis and classification of the relevant technologies to take into account the time span of their effects in society. The question we answer in this paper is How can an educator analyze the consequences of technological changes in their work?.
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