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Virtual Reality, Education and Career Exploration – Potential application of existing and emerging digital

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of existing and emerging digital technologies and their potential application for K-12 education and career exploration. The report scopes a range of technologies including virtual and augmented reality, haptics, tangibles, and new video media. It aims to provide accessible explanations of these technologies and some examples of how they are or might be used
to promote deeper learning in the disciplines associated with di erent professions and virtual ‘taster’ experiences of post-school education and the world of work. At the heart of the report is a vision for using these technologies to promote equity of educational outcomes and career opportunities for students facing disadvantage.

WHY A TECHNOLOGICAL ROADMAP? capture-decran-2016-11-07-a-08-49-25

The aim of this roadmap is to highlight, in an accessible way, some existing and emerging digital technologies and their potential to create deeper and authentic learning opportunities in school and post-school education (EdTech Mindset, 2016). Deeper learning experiences allow students to engage and respond to real world problems and work situations in an authentic and sustained way and to see the relevance of their learning beyond the classroom (Adams Becker et al., 2016). Like
all useful roadmaps, this report does two things. Firstly, it charts some broad directions in the general types of technologies that are currently commercially available and those that are predicted to be available and a ordable within a 3-10 year period (Adams Becker et al., 2016; The Goldman Sachs Group, 2016). Secondly, the report provides descriptions of these technologies, their key features and some imaginative examples of their current or possible application in education and for careers exploration.

The purpose of this roadmap is to provoke the imagination of educators in considering how
these technologies might be used for education and career exploration, because engaging educators now will be vital if the characteristics (or a ordances) of these technologies are to be used in pedagogically sound and curriculum– aligned ways that are duly informed by learning science. Imaginative, ‘blue sky’ thinking, however, does not take place in a vacuum. Several decades of research on digital technology in education provides ample warning about understanding the di erence between the ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘state- of-the-actual’ when technology is deployed in real educational settings:

“(T)he critical study of educational technology seeks to address the use of digital technology in terms of ‘state- of-the-actual’ as opposed to ‘state-of-the-art’ questions – i.e. questions concerning what is actually taking place when a digital technology meets an educational setting and, from a historical perspective, how this compares with what has taken place in the recent past. These questions fall broadly into three basic forms, i.e.: What is the use of technology in educational settings actually like? Why is technology used in educational settings the way it is? What are the consequences of what happens with technologies in educational settings?” (Selwyn, 2010, p.70).

Some of the technologies described in this report are new or still in development. It is therefore important that as they are introduced into educational settings that robust evaluations of their learning e cacy and impacts, and equity and ethical implications, are conducted (OECD, 2015). This critical approach does not however preclude ‘blue sky’ thinking about how the a ordances of these technologies might open up new opportunities for educational and career experiences that are not available to all students in real life.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Immersed in the future: a roadmap of existing and emerging technology for career exploration

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