New Media Consortium Horizon Report

I found this publication to be the most informative for my practice as a teacher and technology coordinator in a secondary school. Despite the fact that it focuses on higher education, many technologies described in the document are applicable to a secondary education setting. I also looked at the K-12 version, and many predictions involve the same emerging technologies. The higher ed as well and the K-12 document follow the same format, making predictions on which technologies will be widely adopted by practitioners within one to five years. The advisory board for both document is composed of different members and each are made up of technologists, analysts, researchers, administrators, as well as business and industry leaders. Conspicuously absent from the boards are educators themselves which I found interesting. Perhaps teachers are too busy trying to connect their Smartboards properly too see the next wave of technology that will come crashing in their classrooms.

Smart aleck joke apart, I would definitely recommend that educators read the Horizon report every year to get a sense of which technologies can help them in their practice. I also think it is important for educators to know what technologies loom on the horizon, so they can participate in their development, implementation, or critic.

Learning technology specialists as well as administrators should also read the reviews to help them make informed decisions. The fact that the report revisit some of the same technologies every year may be the best tool available to them when it comes to decide which ones will fade away and which ones will stick around. Even a glimpse of what may be possible five years down the road can help them make better decisions about organizational and infrastructure upgrades.

Finally, for the entrepreneurs/developers who are not already involved in the development and implementation of the technologies reviewed, this document can point to potential ventures as it identifies problems requiring solutions. Knowing what is already taking place can also help the developers to seek simpler, cheaper, better integrated versions of these emerging technologies.


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