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Tech Trends and the Impact of Technology:  TalkTech 2014, 2015

TechTalk 2014 focused on new technology trends. Students worked with their international partners to create ThingLinks in which they shared their findings on tech trends such as augmented reality, big data, internet of things, open data, wearable technology, 3d Printing, streaming video devices, digital currencies, MOOCs, mobile payments, crowd sourcing, and information privacy.  In 2015, students examined the impact of these technologies in business, for example: how is augmented reality being used in healthcare, marketing, sales, or education; how does social media influence customer experiences; what are the biggest cybersecurity threats facing Internet users today; how does streaming audio and video impact the entertainment industry; how do mobile technologies and the Internet enable new business models through crowd sourcing; are MOOCs threatening the future of a traditional university education?

By 2015, Google Hangouts was relatively new and had promising features for group conversations and recording, though many students preferred Skype.  Other popular tools of the time were YouTube’s video recorder,, and a third-party video call recorder for Skype.  Screen recording tools such as screenr and screencast-o-matic were new, and easy ways to create screen videos. The now defunct micro-video platform Vine was new at this time, and students used it to create short six-second videos to demonstrate or present their concepts creatively.

Fig. 3.  A Vine video demonstrating Internet of Things, and a ThingLink on streaming from 2014 and 2015.