What’s on the Horizon?

I reviewed the Horizon Report created by the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The Horizon report’s specified audience is “higher education” but their predictions could be applied to a range of scenarios. (For example, game-based learning is used in corporate learning, and learning analytics is used in projects like School of One for primary-level education.) The groups’ process of reviewing current literature and ranking trends creates a wide-ranging report that draws on the expertise of a range of learning professionals. One of the great features of this report is that the authors include a list of current projects and research for each trend.

By breaking down the predictions into short-term and long-term trends, they are able to show an arc from things that are already happening (e-books and mobiles) to technologies that have yet to reach mainstream. E-books are on the short-term end of the spectrum, and while I agree they have some exciting possibilities for education, I’m not sure if they are as transformative as some of the other items selected. To me, the “richly visual interfaces that include multimedia and collaborative elements” (p. 8 ) are transformative for education, but websites and many online learning environments have been doing that for a while. (I’d be interested to know how other people feel about this.)

I know the tech world moves quickly – sometimes it’s hard to believe how much has changed within the last 10 years. Currently, I would question the possibility for widespread adoption of the four-to-five year topics (learning analytics and gesture-based computing) because of the potential costs associated. But with the rate of change, these tools may very well become attainable during the next half-decade.

Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace