Keynote Speaker Gerald Knezek, Rhonda Christensen

 

Gerald Knezek, Rhonda Christensen
University of North Texas, USA

"Learning Technologies from the Frontier to the Future:

Preparing New Generations for Life in a Global Spotlight"

Recent advancements in Internet-based communication have supported the development of global communities of scholars examining affordances of technology on an unprecedented world-wide scale. Nevertheless, today’s scholars are typically Baby-Boomers or Gen X while 21st Century Learners span a much wider range from pre Baby Boomers to post Gen Z. The generation gap appears to be expanding as students are navigating the “wild, wild west” of Digital Communications. The new normal is a 5th grader immersed in something with his or her nose close to a screen – that to grandparents might as well be Merlin’s magic wand. Schools seek to harness the home-school connection for enhanced learning opportunities even as parents are often unaware that the children can invite a large portion of the world into their home through the same portal.  We must plan carefully to capitalize on the promises of advanced learning technologies while also being aware of the looming pitfalls. We see a future where the outlook is bright for the wisdom of the “8-track generation” to be blended with new windows to the world of millennials, for the benefit of all.