The annual (4th Edition) Horizon Report essentially discusses six (6) key trends, challenges, emerging technologies that the underlying research suggests will have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within higher education. The report reflects an ongoing collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program ...more
Although, it is important to reflect the future key trends (Rapid Change, Globalization, Information Literacy, Scholarship Reform, Collective Intelligence, and Technology Perceptions) and critical challenges (Assessment, Leadership, Intellectual Property, Skills Gap, Collaborative Learning, and Mobile Learning) that the report identifies, this post will only focus on the emerging technologies....
Here we go (Source):
Near Horizon (Less Than 1 Year)
- User-Created Content
It’s all about the audience, and the “audience” is no longer merely listening. User-created content is all around us, from blogs and photostreams to wikibooks and machinima clips. Small tools and easy access have opened the doors for almost anyone to become an author, a creator, or a filmmaker. These bits of content represent a new form of contribution and an increasing trend toward authorship that is happening at almost all levels of experience.
Examples: eTeC 40 - Text Technologies (UBC), PennTags, uth TV, and Zotero
Readings: Folksonomies: Tidying up Tags? , Social Bookmarking: Mark it, Manage it, Share it , Time’s Person of the Year: You, and Using Social Software to Teach Social Software
- Social Networking
Increasingly, this is the reason students log on. The websites that draw people back again and again are those that connect them with friends, colleagues, or even total strangers who have a shared interest. Social networking may represent a key way to increase student access to and participation in course activities. It is more than just a friends list; truly engaging social networking offers an opportunity to contribute, share, communicate, and collaborate.
Examples: Big Blue Brainstorm (IBM), RateMyProfessors & Pick-A-Prof, and Many2Many
Readings:How university administrators should approach the Facebook: Ten rules, Mashable! (blog), Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know, and Social Software in Academia
Mid Horizon (2-3 Years)
- Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are fast becoming the gateway to our digital lives. Feeding our need for instant access, mobile phones are our constant companions and offer a connection to friends, information, favorite websites, music, movies, and more. From applications for personal safety, to scheduling, to GIS, photos, and video, the capabilities of mobile phones are increasing rapidly, and the time is approaching when these little devices will be as much a part of education as a bookbag.
Examples: Citizen Journalism: Cell Phones as Media Outlets, Pocket Projectors, and Rethinking Computer Science
Readings: 20 Ideas for Using Mobile Phones in Teaching & Learning, Mobifilm Academy and Going to the MaLL: Mobile assisted Language Learning
- Virtual Worlds
Customized settings that mirror the real world—or diverge wildly from it—present the chance to collaborate, explore, role-play, and experience other situations in a safe but compelling way. These spaces offer opportunities for education that are almost limitless, bound only by our ability to imagine and create them. Campuses, businesses, and other organizations increasingly have a presence in the virtual world, and the trend is likely to take off in a way that will echo the rise of the web in the mid-1990s.
Examples: Field Research Methods in Second Life, Second Life at Seton Hall University, and The VITAL Lab at Ohio University
Readings:Real Learning in a Virtual world, Top 10 Opportunities in Virtual Worlds, and When do Online/Computer Simulations add the Most Value?
Far Horizon (4-5 Years)
- New Scholarship
The nature and practice of scholarship is changing. New tools and new ways to create, critique, and publish are influencing new and old scholars alike. Although this area is farther out on the horizon, we are beginning to see what new publications might look like—and how new scholars might work.
Examples: N I N E S, Using Wiki in Education, and Public Library of Science
Readings: Book 2.0, The Future of Books , and The Institute for the Future of the Book
- Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming
Like their non-educational counterparts in the entertainment industry, massively multiplayer games are engaging and absorbing. They are still quite difficult to produce, and examples are rare; but steps are being taken toward making it easier to develop this kind of game. In the coming years, open-source gaming engines will lower the barrier to entry for developers, and we are likely to see educational titles along with commercial ones.
Examples: Immersive Education, Innovation Awards, and Thinking Worlds
Readings: Games in Education Video, Serious Games Initiative, and MMOG Research
This is just some extracted juice from the report, and if you like this, I am sure you will enjoy reading the rest of the report.
Overall, I would say that with the exception of the examples and recommended further readings, this report did not surprise, or excite me like the previous ones (Just my learning mind!). I suppose all the six trends, challenges and emerging technologies (or technologies to watch) are already here (and used by several Universities and faculties), and are safe bets for the future (or perhaps not? Any suggestions?).
Though, I suppose people new to online learning and educational technologies are going to really enjoy exploring this report. In other words, this report is very useful from a learning point-of-view. Actually, I am enjoying reading and reflecting it right now (I mean just now!). Though, it would be interesting to compare the predictive success of the previous Horizon reports with the reality (reality check!), but I don't have time for that one.
Interestingly, for the 2007 report, more than 100 technologies (not widely used in academe) were considered. I would like to get my hands on this list (can we?). Yeah, I suppose the Horizon Project (2008) Wiki would be a good place to start (Wikis here we come!). But, what is it with the number six (6). What is the secret (reason) for choosing only six trends, challenges and emerging technologies? Why not 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc.? Why 6? Why not! Anyway, if future reports also include the other suggested emerging technologies (with a short reflection to each one. Just one or two lines!), I will be more than happy (Who the hell are you!)! You got a point there!
Anyway, when can we discuss the Horizon report in Second Life? The Answer is... :)