With the technology interests of the younger generation, education is forced to keep up with the culture and develop courses and educational settings in regards to technology. Of the list of trends, there are two that are important to the future and direction of education: mobility and social networking. Students are no longer impressed and energized by flannel boards, chalkboards, and overhead projectors. Computers and hand-held electronic devices, especially devices that allow them to connect socially in the moment, drive them. Individuals no longer have to wait for the latest news reports to be published in newspapers or broadcast on television. Through the power of social media, the latest local news and worldly news is immediately available and received. With this kind of immediate technology advances, education is forced to relate similarly and appeal to student technology interests.
Education professionals must learn to provide computer-based course work and forums and even online advancements for students to connect in social collaboration. There is little need for students to attend class in a classroom with technology available to them to connect through online forums and course rooms. They can connect at home, work, or in coffee shops and socialize with others even when they are attending class. For the younger technology generation, life often revolves around community, thus it is important for education professionals to develop methods of social learning communities.
Not only are students interested in technology but many teachers are using computer-driven devices and resources as well. Through social media, teachers are networking with other professionals locally and across the globe to expand their curricula ideas and understand education issues. Many teachers post lessons and activities via online forums for students to receive and respond. They also network with education professionals to discuss classroom ideas and situations and collaborate best practices to share. The future of education depends on technology usage and advances to maintain student interest levels.
Wilen-Daugenti, T. & McKee, A. (2008). 21st Century Trends for Higher Education: Top Trends 2008-2009. San Jose, CA: Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).