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Emerging Technologies
Advice and Guidance for
Practitioners
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Emerging Technologies
Purpose of this guidance
The adoption and use of emerging technologies has long been a requirement
of administrators within the workplace.
As organisations strive for efficiency and more effective ways of operating,
the use of emerging technologies by administrators will continue.
This item of support for practitioners aims to raise awareness of the
importance of administrators keeping abreast with new technologies.
Although not a distinct unit of the new Administration and IT courses, the
adoption and use of emerging technologies permeates learning and teaching
across all practical IT aspects of the courses and indeed the role of
administrators within the contemporary workplace.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Emerging Technologies
Content of this guidance
The three video case studies included will help identify current innovations
impacting on the working practices of administrators within the modern, dynamic
workplace.
These current innovations will be further explored with links to free web-based
resources supplied, to give practitioners and learners the opportunity to experiment
with emerging technologies which may be of benefit to the administrative function.
The use of the supplied technologies is not prescriptive, with practitioners invited to
explore the use of these and other IT innovations.
Reflective questions to stimulate further thought, discussion and action relating to
the use of emerging technologies as part of National 4 and National 5 Administration
and IT provision are also given.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Why no prescribed pupil tasks?
As previously outlined, the use of emerging technologies is not a discreet element of
the course nor prescribed. However, practitioners should recognise the value of
incorporating the use of such technologies as part of the planned learning and
teaching activities.
The advice and guidance recognises the key skill of early adopters of emerging
technology of being able to quickly evaluate the technology and find a positive
purpose and application to complete administrative tasks more effectively and
efficiently. This, coupled with the sizeable range of technologies given, has resulted
in the avoidance of prescribed learners approaches.
Practitioners will therefore be expected to support learners in the adoption and use
of such technologies to contribute to the successful completion of familiar
administrative tasks.
Reflective questions have been supplied to help practitioners with this.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Experimental Approaches to Emerging Technologies
Many learners studying Administration and IT National 4 and National 5 courses have been
immersed in the use of technology from an early age. The term ‘digital natives’ has been coined to
describe such individuals. Many of our learners will be confident users of information technology
and will be willing to experiment with previously unfamiliar information technology resources.
This confidence and approach to the use of emerging technology is to be encouraged and should
be supported as part of planned learning experiences. This is particularly relevant considering the
broad and dynamic range of technologies an administrator would be expected to use as part of
their organisational duties.
Trial and error is an effective learning and teaching strategy in the adoption and use of emerging
technologies, with the process of learners deepening their understanding and skills in the use of
the technology being a valuable learning experience.
Once familiar with the functions of the emerging technologies, practitioners should offer learning
experiences where learners can apply and deepen skills in using the emerging technologies within
administrative contexts – perhaps replacing existing technologies. This will increase learners
appreciation of the relevance of emerging technologies.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Why Emerging Technologies?
Please click on the links below to explore why emerging
technologies are essential to administrators within the
contemporary work environment.
Campbell
Dallas
Education
Scotland
Material
UK
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Current Innovations
As the video case studies illustrate, organisations operate within a dynamic, ever changing
environment, with the use of emerging technologies impacting on work roles and duties of
administrators.
Emerging technologies which are currently influencing the work of administrators are given below.
Each will be examined in more detail, with links to relevant resources supplied. It is hoped
practitioners will incorporate the use of these or similar resources as part of planned administrative
learning experiences.
Hardware
• Smartphones
Networks
• Cloud Computing
Software
• Alternatives to
MS Office
• Social Media
• Communication &
Collaboration
• Presentation
• Personal
Effectiveness
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Developments in computing and mobile telecommunications technology has resulted in
smartphones being a key resource for administrators.
As well as allowing verbal communication, smartphones allow administrators to use the
latest computing technology while on the move. The latest generation of phones offer
face-to-face communication, web browsing and download, media capture and use, access
to internal and external networks, email capability, document creating and editing, and
access to social media.
The four most common smartphone platforms for business are android, apple, blackberry
and windows phone. Each platform has its own marketplace where apps – short for
software applications – can be downloaded, installed and used on the device. Apps can be
downloaded for free or for a small charge.
The number of useful apps for administrators is growing by the day.
Why not access the links to each smartphone platform and investigate how this emerging
technology can be used by administrators.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
What learning contexts could I use to introduce learners to smartphones?
What administrative tasks can be completed using smartphones?
How could I incorporate smartphones into my learning and teaching activities?
What essential skills do learners need to acquire in the use of smartphones?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to smartphone platforms
Smartphones
Pioneering information technology providers are now offering cloud computing services to
clients.
This means that individual users can access essential software applications and their
documents from any computer that is linked to the internet. All software and documents
produced using the software is stored by the cloud computing service provider on remote
servers which are accessed via the internet.
This saves organisations time and effort downloading, installing and keeping software up-todate. It also increases convenience with users being able to access cloud resources from any
device that can be connected to the internet.
Administrators may have to access cloud services to access, extract and save documents
and resources for colleagues or for their own professional use.
Access the links provided to further investigate cloud computing services.
Reflective questions for practitioners;
How could I incorporate cloud computing into my learning and teaching activities?
What essential skills do learners need to acquire when using cloud computing?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to cloud computing resources
Cloud Computing
The Microsoft Office suite of integrated software applications is still the most widely used
collection of titles used by administrators. It is therefore essential and expected that
much of the work of learners will focus on using this collection of software titles within
administrative contexts, particularly for word processing, spreadsheets and database
tasks.
However, with organisations looking for cost savings on IT expenditure a growing number
are now using alternative free integrated office suites which offer similar functionality and
quality as the market leader. Popular alternatives include Openoffice, Google docs,
Libreoffice and Zoho.
It is therefore of value for learners to have an awareness of alternatives to Microsoft
Office and to measure and appreciate the extent their skills are transferable from package
to package.
Learners could explore and compare the effectiveness of Microsoft Office with one or
more alternative.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
What is the value of learners of being aware of alternatives to MS Office?
How could I incorporate these alternatives into my learning and teaching activities?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to alternative office suites
Alternatives to Microsoft Office
The recent explosion in the use of social media applications as a communication tool has
impacted on the work of administrators.
Organisations will use social media to encourage two-way and instant communication with
employees, customers and suppliers.
Many administrators will be required to regularly access and update an organisations social
media presence with information supplied by colleagues.
Administrators may also have their own presence for professional networking, communication
and collaboration purposes.
Common social media sites used by organisations are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+.
The use of Social Media by organisations is expected to further evolve, with many predicting that
Social Media will overtake e-mail as the most used means of electronic communication. Indeed
the information technology services multinational Atos, for example, made the decision to ban
the used of email by its 75,000 employees based in 42 countries around the world, with internal
social media technologies used instead.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
What administrative tasks could be completed by using social media?
How could I incorporate social media into my learning and teaching activities?
What skills could be developed with learners through the use of social media ?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to social media
Social Media for Administrators
How administrators engage, interact and communicate with key organisation stakeholders is
influenced greatly by emerging technologies.
Organisations are looking for more immediate and personable communication approaches than
email and a range of innovative web-based resources have been launched to cater for this
growing need.
Administrators are now using these resources as part of their day-to-day duties. They may also
be expected to support colleagues in the use of such technologies.
As well as social media sites, popular developments include the use of instant messaging
services, including Google Talk and Microsoft Messenger.
Real-time, web-conferencing services which permit face-to-face audio and visual communication
are also being used by administrators to pass and receive information. Applications including
skype and facetime have made the transition from social applications to important
organisational communication vehicles.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
How I could I incorporate these communication tools into my learning and teaching?
What skills do learners need to acquire to use these communication tools?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to communication tools
Communication
Organisations have also been quick to adopt web-based facilities that allow a number of
users to access and contribute to the creation and development of documents.
Online collaboration forums are beneficial for the tasks that require teamworking and are
suited to the development of creative ideas or complex documents.
It also offers opportunities for partnership working with customers and suppliers who can
view and comment on live documents, as they are being produced.
Administrators may be tasked to set-up and invite users to attend such a collaboration site
or indeed fully participate to create documents, for example those required for meetings
and events.
You could access the links to investigate a number of free online collaboration sites which
may be of benefit to administrators.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
How might online collaboration tools be used by administrators?
How might I incorporate these tools into my learning and teaching activities?
What essential skills might learners acquire in using communication tools?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to collaboration tools
Collaboration
Microsoft PowerPoint, with an estimated 500 million users around the globe, is undoubtedly still
the key presentation application administrators would be expected to use in the workplace.
However, due to the wide use of Microsoft PowerPoint, a number of organisations have sought
alternatives that allow information to presented in fresh and engaging ways and avoid the so
called ‘death by PowerPoint’ phenomena. This phrase is often used to describe audiences being
overly exposed and largely switched off to talks delivered using poorly designed PowerPoint
presentations. In Switzerland a political party has been established to protest against this rising
phenomenon!
A number of web-based, non-linear presentation applications have emerged, giving organisations
a viable alternative to PowerPoint. Instead of presenting information on a series of slides, users
can layout information on one ‘canvass’ and then choose a path (the order) for presenting this
information to their audience.
With many organisations storing completed presentations electronically for retrospective use on
intranets, websites and social media sites, many presentation applications also allow presentations
to be saved as video files to be uploaded to desired location(s). Links to four online presentation
applications are given.
Reflective questions for practitioners
How do they compare with Microsoft PowerPoint?
What is the value to learners of being aware of alternatives to MS PowerPoint?
How might I incorporate these alternatives into my learning and teaching activities?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to presentation applications
Presentation
With administrators constantly looking for ways to manage and use their time more effectively a
range of online technologies are now being used to help administrators priorities and monitor
progress with tasks they have been issued.
Online to-do lists, timeline and scheduling resources that can be accessed from a variety of
devices including PCs and smartphones are becoming more and more popular.
Administrators may use these for their own effectiveness, but may also be required to maintain
such resources for colleagues.
You could access the supplied links to investigate further emerging personal effectiveness
technologies being used by administrators.
Reflective questions for practitioners:
Why are personal effectiveness tools important to administrators?
How might I incorporate these tools into my learning and teaching activities?
What are the essential skills the learner may acquire when using personal effectiveness tools?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to personal effectiveness tools
Personal Effectiveness
An increasing range of useful tools to help administrators in the modern, dynamic workplace are
available online
Often administrators will be tasked to convert a document or media file from one file type to
another. To make this easier, online file conversion sites are useful tools regularly used by
administrators.
Screen casting software is another useful tool for administrators – recordings of screen movements
and actions can be taken and stored as a movie file. This may be of use to administrators tasked with
giving demonstrations in the use of emerging technologies.
Online questionnaire and poll generation websites are also of great benefit to administrators. Such
sites make it easy to create questionnaires and polls that can then be integrated on an organisation’s
website, social media site or intranet. These sites also make it easy to collate and make sense of the
responses gathered. Administrators may use these sites to evaluate their own work – perhaps gaining
feedback on the success of an event. Administrators may also be asked to create and administer
them for colleagues seeking feedback from employees, customers and suppliers.
Online video hosting websites, such as YouTube, are also being used by administrators.
Administrators may watch video tutorials to increase skills, for example, on how to use an item of
software. Administrators may also be required to upload content for colleagues to then be
embedded on the organisation’s website or social media site.
You could access the supplied links to explore examples of these online tools of use to administrators.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to other useful tools
Other useful tools for administrators
The difficulty in predicting new technologies and how they will impact on the
operations of administrators is illustrated in the supplied link to the BBC Tomorrow’s
World programme broadcast in 1969.
This however has not stopped innovative organisations offering their view on
potential upcoming technologies. Click on the Microsoft icon to view their vision of
the future.
What is for certain is that new technologies will be launched that will continue to
shape the role of administrators and how they complete tasks within the workplace.
It is therefore critical that education practitioners provide opportunities for learners
to develop awareness and skills in the use of newly emerging technologies within
hands-on, administrative contexts.
Practitioners can keep abreast of emerging technologies by scanning appropriate IT
news stories and new technology websites. Links to two useful sites are supplied.
Practitioners should also strive to strengthen links with local organisations who may
be willing to showcase breaking technologies to learners within real life contexts.
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to future technologies
Future Emerging Technologies
The following questions may be used by individual practitioners or with colleagues to
stimulate further thought and action relating to the use of emerging technologies
within planned learning experiences at National 4 and National 5 Administration and
IT.
 What is the value of learners developing skills in the use of emerging
technologies?
 What challenges must be overcome to facilitate meaningful learning experiences
incorporating the use of emerging technologies?
 How does the recommended trial and error approach to the use of emerging
technologies differ from my current learning and teaching approaches to the use
of information technology? What is the value of this proposed approach?
 What existing Administration and IT resources could be used to allow learners to
apply skills in the use of these emerging technologies within Administrative
contexts?
 How will I ensure appropriate progression in skills development in the use of
emerging technologies from National 4 to National 5?
 What approaches will I employ to keep informed of future developments in
technology that impact on the work of administrators? How might I incorporate
these new technologies into my course provision?
Advice and Guidance for National 4 and National 5 Administration & IT
Links to Administration & IT Documentation
Reflective Questions
SQA
Administration
and IT
National 4
SQA
Administration
and IT
National 5
Education
Scotland
Audit Tool
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