One trend that is emerging globally is using technology to video conference, whether this is for personal or professional uses. FaceTime and Skype are allowing grandparents and grandchildren across the world to bond in ways that weren’t possible before. Companies in Pennsylvania and those in California are able to meet face to face using software like GoToMeeting without the cost of airfare and hotel rooms. The advancements in efficiency of these products are encouraging people to expand their long-distance communication. I think this also affects education because many students could benefit from this type of learning. Some children cannot come to school because of physical, mental, or emotional difficulties that could be long- or short-term. While I am not aware of the use of these programs at my school district, I’m sure there are high school teachers who use live, online communication in place of or in addition to classroom learning. I, personally, do not believe that this will replace the traditional classroom education, but for some students it is a better option.
Another trend that is emerging is social media. It has been emerging for as long as I can remember and has become the center of some students’ lives. Many people, young and old alike, post and check their social media to a point where they feel lost without it. I know many people who have deleted accounts because they became too obsessed, as if it is an addiction that will soon require the help of medical facilities (maybe it already does). This growing trend concerns me the most. Kids are using social media at an age where they do not fully understand the effects that these accounts can have on their futures. It is imperative that kids are taught at a young age and consistently what effects, positive and negative, these can have on their lives. We must educate them early on so they can learn to use these powerful vehicles to their advantage. Technology can be such an amazing tool, but with that its users must be responsible.