What are Emerging Technologies?

I’ve always considered myself “middle of the road” when it came to technology.  I’m not a huge techie, but with little explanation and some time to explore, I can figure out and use applicable technology.  After reading about emerging technologies, I realized that I might be a little further behind than I thought!  I found myself having to look up many of the emerging technologies discussed in the articles.

What are emerging technologies?

George Velestianos (2008) defines emerging technologies as  “tools, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes.” He further discusses that they can be new, but aren’t always.  Emerging technologies are evolving forms of technology that may not be fully understood or researched yet.

The idea of emerging technologies as evolving related well to Katie Walsh’s (2015) article on the most promising technologies for education.  She discusses student response clickers, video collaboration tools, and online courses with social interaction–none of which were new to me, but I could see how advancements and improvements in these forms of technology place them in the ET category. Other promising technologies she includes in her article are 3 D printing, which the NMC Horizon Report (2015) places at time to adoption: 2-3 years,  interactive collaboration tools, augmented reality, and flipped classroom.    I didn’t know exactly what flipped classrooms or augmented reality were, so in case there’s anyone that is as clueless as I:

Flipped Classroom: students receive lecture/information out of class via online video and discussion and participate in engagement around the concept in class (Strayer, n.d.)

Augmented Reality:  I don’t have a crystal clear picture of this yet, but what I understand is that it uses an existing picture or environment and overlays a digital/3d component.  Augmented Reality can make a 2d picture into a 3d experience (Walsh, 2015).
Katie Walsh (2015) also writes, “We are going to continue to see big changes as the world slowly gets its head around the way the powerful devices so many of us have in our hands can seriously change how we communicate, connect, reach out, access content, research, learn, think, act, … and the list just keeps growing.”  The world that our students or children are growing up in is much different than ours–technology has changed it.  If we want to make our teaching relevant and applicable to our students’ lives then we may need to rethink how our classroom is structured and take a step toward including more emerging technologies in our students’ learning experience.  The NMC Horizon Report (2015) outlines the trends that are accelerating ET adoption in K-12 classrooms.  Among these trends they include the long term trend of making learning experiences project/challenge-based which requires rethinking our current school structure to allow students to move to different subjects as their project directs.  Mid term trends to accelerate adoption of ETs include making schools more student centered and changing the mindset from students as consumers to students as producers.  Finally, the report outlines short term shifts of increasing the use of blended learning designs.

We might need to step outside of our comfort zone to be able to connect with our students in their current culture, through entering the realm of emerging technologies and beginning to include these in our instructional repertoire or as a mode of student engagement/response.


NMC Horizon Report K-12 Edition (2015) Retreived from: http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/

Strayer, Jeremy F. (n.d.) The Flipped classroom.  Retreived from: https://www.knewton.com/infographics/flipped-classroom/

Velestianos, George (2008, November 18).  A definition of emerging technologies for education.  Retrieved from:  http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/#sthash.6xHTIVNg.dpuf

Walsh, Katie.  (2015 September 15).  Twelve emerging educational uses of technology that are most exciting right now.  Retrieved from:   http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/09/emerging-educational-uses-of-technology-most-exciting-now/

Walsh, Katie.  (2015 July 21).  Check out how these teachers and students are using augmented reality.  Retrieved from:   http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/07/how-teachers-and-students-are-using-augmented-reality/

3 thoughts on “What are Emerging Technologies?

  1. josies677blog says:

    I enjoyed your post. I didn’t think of how electronic clickers are an emerging technology. I remember several years ago having to purchase the remote click device. Now, you can just download an app. These technologies have definitely changed how teachers interact with their students.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sarah K says:


    I was also in the dark about augmented reality, but I saw a very interesting video on Facebook this weekend that helped me understand. If I could find the link, I would post it, but it was essentially a sand box with a topography map projected over it that could detect differences in height in the sand. It used different colors to show the different altitudes in the sand just like a topography map would. I thought that was the coolest thing! I can’t believe I had never heard of it before, but now I can’t wait to learn more about using it in education.

    You talked about stepping out of our comfort zones, and that has been the main obstacle for me in using more technology in my classroom. I think I am very similar to the way you described yourself in relation to technology; I’m not the best with technology, but I can usually figure it out with a little bit of guidance and some time to play around. When I have to try using new tech in my classroom, I’m always terrified that something will go wrong or it won’t go as planned, so I really need to work on doing more with my students so I’m not as scared to try new things.

    Great post this week!


  3. aletakmay says:

    Hi Kayla,
    Another way I view the flipped classroom, is to make learning mobile and accessible for review. When a teacher records important lessons, students who were absent may watch the mini-lesson later on. Also, as I watched my granddaughter with her dad the other night, it sure would have been nice for them to have a pre-recorded lesson from her teacher so they could review how to complete that certain type of math problem without having to research it out in the book late at night when everyone is tired, and needing rest for the next day of school.

    Schools do need to be more student-centered. They also need to integrate subject areas more. This is the only way to have time to cover the material expected of students today, much less in a way that is relevant to their lives. Teaching six subjects per day to students coming from a very wide range of abilities and cultural backgrounds/languages does not work. One reason I do like being a special education teacher and reading specialist is that I have more flexibility—and multiple level / subject teaching is the only way to meet their needs. Thankfully we now have more and more technology to accomplish individualized goals.



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