Another review of the Horizon Report
“The Horizon Report” is an annual free publication that collects information on upcoming EdTech, chooses the most likely to succeed, then it assigns them a timeline until implementation. I was impressed to see that this was a not-for-profit organization (made possible with a grant from HP). They describe themselves as being “open, collaborative, research intensive, and global” (NMC homepage). The report is definitely a valuable, readily available, free resource.
The report is produced by the New Medium Consortium, based out of Texas, and EDUCASE, with offices in Louisville CO and Washington, DC. Wikipedia tells us that “The New Media Consortium (NMC) was founded in 1993 by a group of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers who felt that the ultimate success of their multimedia-capable products depended upon their acceptance by the higher education community.” Basically, it seems to me that it is a not-for-profit dedicated to spotting the next successful educational technology…for development? The selections are chosen by a large advisory committee and, while many different countries are represented, most of the members seem to hail from the United States. This could present an unintentional ethnocentric slant to their findings.
This being said, I found the report quite useful. It not only describes the burgeoning technology but provides many links to examples or further information. For teachers, who are reading to improve their practice, this is a very valuable resource. Many of these ideas might be new to the reader. They have the potential to spark interest. Teachers may become inspired to try out some of these cutting edge technologies in the classroom. The timeline the article gives is also useful in gauging how quickly teachers can expect to be using these resources in their class.
The report takes on a similar purpose for learning technology specialists. Perhaps the learning technologies would also be looking to discover new technologies that they will be able to incorporate into their careers or perhaps to investigate and discover new possibilities. Who is to say that some of these technologies can’t be linked? Perhaps a MOOC combined with gamification. A game in which you learn about a variety of topics in different disciplines. You explore the worlds or topics in your own interest area. The field is full of exciting possibilities.
Venturers come to the report with perhaps a different goal. A goal we might say the report was designed to fulfill. They are looking for business opportunities. Perhaps some technologies have the potential for a greater profit margin. Or perhaps they are near to being implemented and there is room on the ground floor. Ventures are looking for opportunity and this report not only describe what they think will be most successful. A teacher working with a venturist mindset may be able to better predict what new technologies will take off.
The Horizon Report captured my imagination. I found myself clicking through the links they provided and following a chain of information through TED talks, interviews, initiatives and research reports. This I did all day and I refuse to say my time was wasted. Although I didn’t make any quantifiable progress towards my courses, I learned and I became excited and I think that will take me further. Regardless of the reasoning behind its creation, I think that I will use this report again in the future. I really like how it provided a quick summary to each new technology as well as providing links to further information. Their webpage has already been posted to my Facebook.
EDUCASE Homepage 12-9-2013 <http://www.educause.edu/>
New Media Consortium Homepage 12-9-2013 <http://www.nmc.org/>
“ New Media Consortium” Wikipedia 12-9-2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Media_Consortium>
“The Horizon Report” New Media Consortium 12-9-2013 <http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-HE.pdf>