After reading several of the reports I’m struck by how little they matter to people who actually teach students. They may be relevant to administrators, and other non-teaching staff who spend the money and make decisions about how to invest for an always unknown future but they offer little insight for classroom teachers on how to improve student learning today, tomorrow or even for this generation of students at all. In short reports such as the Gartner one are largely for people who have been out of classrooms a long time if they were ever in one and who know little about teaching, learning or the current generation of children but who do control the purse strings.
While on a personal level I found the report’s conclusions interesting I don’t believe they’re very accurate. For example I disagree with their supposition that IT departments will support more platforms. Rather I think IT departments will continue to play favorites and continue offering various levels of support for different hardware and operating systems. Platforms like Apple which are extremely standardized will receive better support because it’s easier to do so. Other platforms with more flexibility and complexity will receive less support. I do believe BYOD will continue to grow but I think its success is going to rely much more on users becoming more knowledgeable than it will on IT departments supporting users of different devices.
I also have problems with the reports notion of a personal cloud anywhere in the near future. The problem being the singular nature of the statement. There are too many companies fighting for the market and whose often competing services do not play nicely together by design. So while I agree computing will continue to move to the cloud I don’t think the way in which services are delivered will be unified anywhere in the near future.
The report’s thoughts about Enterprise App Stores was another interesting section but personally I’m curious to see what effect competing paradigms such as from the new Firefox OS and the upcoming Ubuntu for phones will have on already established markets over the next 5-10 years.
In short while I found the report interesting I would not recommend it to others because I work with classroom teachers and there’s little in the way of actionable information in it. It could be useful as a provocation but little else.