FITT Track Definitions


Adaptive Learning Technologies

Adaptive learning is a computer-based and/or online educational system that modifies the presentation of material in response to student performance. The associated learning management systems (LMS) provide comprehensive administration, documentation, tracking and reporting progress, and user management. (Kuntz, 2010) (Lemka, 2013) (The Knewton- Blog “What is Adaptive Learning?” ) , (Dreambox Learning “Adaptive Learning.”)


Games and Gamification/Credential

Gamification is the application of game-like mechanics to non-game entities to encourage a specific behavior. Gamification is the process of adding game-like mechanics to non-game entities. Another way to think of gamification is “encouragement mechanics.” A system of carrot sticks to promote desired behavior. Credentialing is a term applied to processes used to designate that an individual, institution or product have met established standards. Credentials are marks or “stamps” of quality and achievement communicating to employers, payers, and consumers what to expect from a “credentialed” someone or something. Credentials may be periodically renewed as a means of assuring continued quality and they may be withdrawn when standards of competence or behavior are no longer met.  (Kallick, 2013) (TeachThought-“The Difference Between Gamification and Game-Based Learning.” )


The Internet of Things/Beacon/

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a state in which vast numbers of objects are interconnected over the Internet and can collect data and transmit and receive information. The IoT is made possible by low-voltage, low-cost components and sensors that can be added to appliances, streetlights, doorways, desks, cars, e-textbooks, and other objects, all of which send data to a managing application. By interconnecting all kinds of objects and systems, the IoT could open new avenues in higher education. (Educause -7 Things You Should Know About the Internet of Things)


Mobile Learning/ Tablet Computing/ Bring Your Own Device

Increasingly educators are looking toward mobile devices as their learning delivery channel of choice, but these preferences are hindered by institutional budget constraints - particularly the provision of expensive technologies and devices. That is why Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has emerged as a cost-effective solution allowing educators to adopt a mobile learning approach without having to provide the devices. (HRZone What does BYOD mean for mobile learning?)


Makerspaces/3D Printing/ Robotics

A makerspace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring, and sharing.  These spaces have a variety of digital fabrication equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, cnc machines, and some traditional crafting tools.  The most important component is providing support for the ethos and mindset of creativity.  Makerspaces provide hands on learning, help with critical thinking skills and even boost self-confidence.  Some of the skills that are learned in a makerspace pertain to electronics, 3d printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking.  Makerspaces can also foster entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups.  Digital fabrication tools can be useful instructional tools as standalone devices, enabling rapid prototyping and iteration through the creation of physical 3D objects. (Makezine: "Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?" , MakeSchools , FabLearn: Meaningful Making)


Wearable Technology/ Quantified Self

Over the course of this decade, both mobile devices and mobile device applications designed for the express purpose of tracking physiological and cognitive performance metrics are nearly ubiquitous in our everyday endeavors. Though the idea of tracking our own various daily metrics is nothing new, the advent of technological innovations that carry the capacity to store, sort and share these ever-accruing amounts of data presents to us unchartered territory regarding our relationship to and understanding and interpretation of these metrics both singularly (as snapshots) and in the aggregate (over time). This leads us to the concept of the Quantified Self, or life-logging. One can potentially track insulin and cortisol levels, sequence DNA, the microbial cells which inhabit one's body, or many other things.

(Russo C.R. (2015) The Quantified Self. In: Schmorrow D., Fidopiastis C. (eds) Foundations of Augmented Cognition. AC 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9183. Springer, Cham)


Artificial Intelligence/ Virtual Assistants

An overarching goal of artificial intelligence (AI) is to bolster productivity and engagement, better supporting the global workforce and individuals in their daily lives. Our world as we know it is running on AI. Facebook suggests our friends. Computers trade our stocks. Virtual assistants, such as Siri , Alexa and  Watson interpret verbal cues to respond conversationally, mirroring human interaction. AI has the potential to enhance online learning and research processes in ways that more intuitively respond to and engage with students. In higher education, virtual tutors and more sophisticated adaptive learning tools could assist learners with self-direction and self-assessment, analyze the ways students interact with content and each other, and increase the interconnectedness and accessibility of classrooms worldwide. (Forbes - The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Education)


Next-Generation LMS

For use of a Learning Management System (LMS) like Blackboard Learn to be considered "next generation," there are several standards that can be incorporated into courses like including a modern User Interface; including a modern user experience; using personalized dashboards;  aspects of gamification (Leaderboards, Points, Badges) included; allowing ability to view and interact via mobile devices; including social aspects such as profiles and message boards; accommodating accessibility and Universal Design; utilizing aspects of communication like digital notepads, video, interactive presentations, etc.; and integrating analytics. ( Educause Review – What's Next for the LMS? , E-Learning -  NextGen LMS Features (Now and Later))


Augmented & Virtual Reality

Augmented and Virtual Reality are methods of technologically enhancing or replacing our physical environment with a computer-generated emulation.  Augmented reality shows a depiction of the user's physical surroundings overlaid with a place-aware computer-generated image.  Recent consumer examples of this technology include Microsoft Hololens.  Virtual reality generally refers to an immersive computer-generated environment.  There are varying degrees of immersion that fall under the broad heading of virtual reality including an interface with each of the human senses.  Immersion can happen as a single user or group experience, including virtual interactions with place-separated users through interaction with virtual avatars. (Virtual Reality Society -  What is Virtual Reality?)


Blockchain/Crypto Currency

Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. Blockchain also has potential applications far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Blockchain is, quite simply, a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the Internet without the need for a centralized third party. (PricewaterhouseCoopers - Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain)


Computer User-Interfaces

Computer user-interfaces are enabling technologies that more authentically respond to human interaction. They enable users to engage with learning technologies in virtual activities with movements similar to what they would use in the real world. They accept input in the form of taps, swipes, and other ways of touching; hand and arm motions; body movement; and increasingly, natural language with voice-enabled speaker recognition. Other user-interfaces can incorporate Haptic feedback or the use of wearables where users interact with sensors, actuators, and software that, in tandem, simulate physical touch virtually. (New Media Consortium Horizon Report - 2017 Higher Education Edition)


Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for teaching and learning that includes proactive planning of curricula (goals, assessments, methods, and materials), which focuses on developing “expert learners.” through providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression. (CAST- UDL)


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