The 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition is the second in a series of reports and is a product of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, an ongoing research effort that examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning and creative expression within education around the globe. The 2010 K-12 Report is a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and is made possible via generous support from HP.
The Report acknowledges that there are may factors that impact vision, planning and decision making at the local level but seeks to identify issues and questions that are on the minds of K-12 educators around the world. These issues and questions have been drawn from a wide-ranging set of ongoing conversations with experts in business, industry and education; on published resources, current research and practice; and on the expertise of the New Media Consortium community and members of the Horizon Project’s K-12 Advisory Board, an international body of experts in education, technology and other fields who bring a broad range of perspectives to the dialogue. Please note - K-12 is a term used in the United States to indicate education provided at the primary and secondary level. While the term K-12 is used in the Report and this Toolkit , the intent is to stimulate conversations about emerging technologies with promise for elementary and secondary education around the world. [A list of the 2010 K-12 Horizon Project Advisory Board members may be found on page 36 of the Report . The research methodology behind their work is described on pages 34-35.]
The Report presents critical trends and challenges facing precollege educators that will affect teaching and learning over the next five years. These trends and challenges are reflective of both the realities of the educational community and the world at large. They are identified to provide a context for the Report ’s list of emerging technologies predicted to find mainstream use in schools and K-12 education institutions over the next five year period.
The trends identified as key drivers of technology adoptions over the next 5 years, in the Advisory Board’s ranked order of importance, are: technology increasingly impacting students’ lives – technology is expanding learning opportunities for students, empowering them and facilitating their communicating and socializing. Multisensory, ubiquitous and interdisciplinary, technology is comfortable to and expected by students and a means to broaden their learning environment beyond the classroom. technology increasingly impacting how we work, play, learn and socialize – technology skills are becoming more critical for success in an increasingly mobile workforce characterized by evolving occupations and multiple careers, with the digital divide becoming more a factor of education than of wealth. growing value being placed on creativity and innovation – if they are to help students succeed, schools must elevate the perceived value of innovation to parallel its critical importance in business and link innovation and creativity beyond the arts only to scientific inquiry, entrepreneurship and other areas too. rising interest in alternative and expanded learning environments – no longer is the school considered the only learning environment. Schools need to embrace online learning, mentoring and independent study as they examine traditional approaches and reevaluate content and experiences to offer students. changing model of how learning environments are defined – the learning environment is more than a physical space. With emerging technologies, these “spaces” are more community-driven, interdisciplinary and characterized by virtual communication and collaboration.
The Report additionally identified critical challenges that will likely affect teaching, learning and creative inquiry over the next 5 years: need for training in digital literacy skills and techniques – in spite of agreement regarding its importance, digital literacy training is rare in teacher education programs and in professional development opportunities. And where it is a focus, it needs to be more about thinking than about tools. lack of alignment between how today’s students think and work vs. practice and products used to support their learning – schools are teaching digital students with dated materials. New learning models are needed to engage today’s students. A more learning-centered model will require adaptations and change to teaching strategies, tools and assessment. difficulty of deep reform without a shared vision of a new education model – agreement by many on the need for school reform is offset by lack of agreement regarding what a new education model might look like. resistance to change in an established system – education is recognized as being slow to change, but attempts to reform the system while maintaining all of its current basic elements will not result in meaningful change. In the mean time, new learning alternatives—online education, home-based learning and others—are attracting students away from traditional settings. disconnect between student’s learning experiences inside and outside the classroom – students typically have more access to online resources, learning games and social networks outside of school than inside the classroom. Real life experiences and opportunities need to be more highly valued and offered within the school learning environment.
Using the key trends and critical challenges as a contextual foundation, the 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to be seen in mainstream use in the K-12 community in the next five years. These technologies and practices are sequenced and presented according to a predicted timeline or horizon by when they will become widely visible in our schools and educational institutions. Each of these technologies has the potential to strongly impact teaching, learning and creative expression, and each of the ones identified in the 2010 Report are already in play in innovative schools and institutions around the globe. But as the Report acknowledges, priorities are determined by local needs and concerns. Therefore, these emerging technologies and practices form a roadmap for discussion, local reflection and conversation, and consideration for how each might be used to address specific needs and problems facing a school or institution.
The two technologies predicted to become mainstream practice in the K-12 environment within the next twelve months are Cloud Computing and Collaborative Environments. Let’s take a look at the first, cloud computing….
Cloud computing, viewed in the 2009 Report as being two to three years away from mainstream adoption, moved up in significance among educators but only in one of its forms, the use of cloud-based applications. Use of the cloud’s extensive resources to help students engage in computation, real research and collaborative work in global learning communities lies further out. “ Cloud” refers to the multitude of servers and other computers that power the Internet. New cloud applications harness unused resources of these computers—storage space and computing resources and power—to cost-effectively distribute applications, storage and even processing power and additionally make them ubiquitous. Improved infrastructure has made the cloud robust and also reliable. What are some examples of cloud computing that we can see today? Collaborative environments like Ning and Google Apps are cloud applications. Cloud-based Flickr and YouTube allow users to host and share media. Most social platforms like Facebook live in the cloud. And tools like Prezi and Vuvox, which support creation of multimedia projects, also live in the cloud. The user does not see the cloud but benefits from it. The technology supporting the applications is irrelevant. The important thing is that the applications are available at any time from a variety of devices.
Some of the key benefits of cloud computing are: Tools that can scale on demand when needed and scale back to conserve resources when usage drops – early use of these tools is seen now in many schools for productivity, curriculum development and collaboration, especially at the administrative level. Promising future practice will include using collaborative cloud-based tools for student work. Inexpensive online storage – since storage space is provided from a number of available computers on an “as needed basis”. Cost savings for IT support, hardware and software – realized through inexpensive parallel processing made available by the cloud and eliminating costs such a maintaining and managing a software inventory or supporting users on multiple platforms. Upgrades are automatic. Access to services/tools without additional infrastructure investment – the cloud can provide remote access to resources not otherwise possible, such as sophisticated labs and scientific equipment. Access possible from range of devices – not only desktops and laptops, but also a variety of mobile devices.
In today’s world, we communicate and collaborate with others around the country and around the globe. In our educational institutions too, teachers and students are reaching beyond the walls of the school to communicate and collaborate with peers on projects and benefit from a wider range of perspectives in solving problems. Collaborative environments refers to online spaces—often cloud-based—that facilitate collaboration among people who may be near to one another or geographically dispersed. They may be complete off-the-shelf packages or collections of simple, free tools. Either way, they provide educators and the students with whom they work the opportunity to interact with peers and mentors, experience other world views and engage in real-world work patterns. The promise of collaborative environments is not on the technologies but in the interactions they enable. If you have viewed or contributed to a wiki, worked with others on an online shared document, visited or participated in a group blogging system or collaborated with others in a self-contained environment like Ning, you have witnessed an example of an online collaborative environment.
Collaborative environments offer a range of benefits. They: support user-created content – here, you can think of wikis, blogs and the like. Wikipedia is a prominent and large example of content created by thousands of users in a collaborative environment. facilitate communication and sharing of created or existing content – Ning has already been mentioned. Workspaces such as those found on Ning, PageFlakes, Moodle and others—which can have open or restricted membership—facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge among members. support and reinforce 21 st century skills – in the world of work, people are increasingly expected to work with colleagues across geographic and cultural boundaries. Collaborative environments provide educators and students with tools and opportunities to work creatively, develop teamwork skills and tap into the experience and expertise of others. can connect educators and students with peers worldwide, broadening perspectives and supporting those with shared interests – educators are already finding expanded networks of peers and others to interact with and share resources. Increasingly, these collaborative environments are involving students, exposing them to a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
The Report identifies two technologies, game-based learning and mobiles, expected to gain entry into the mainstream of K-12 schools within the next two to three years, with each to offer significant potential for teaching, learning and creative expression.
Game-based learning, already firmly established in popular culture and also used as a learning tool in many schools, is expected to see widespread K-12 adoption in the near future. Much of the interest in this technology for learning has grown from research demonstrating its effectiveness. Digital games first appeared in the early 1980’s and migrated to the Web a decade later. In 2003, the first full Internet service for mobile phones brought games to mobile devices. Games focused on education range from single-player or small-group and board games, which can be easily integrated into the curriculum, to massively multiplayer online, or MMO, games and alternate reality games. The Report discusses the greatest potential for game-based learning being its ability to foster collaboration and deeply engage students in the process of learning.
Game-based learning: provides digital environments for learning that are familiar to students – students born in the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s have grown up in a world where digital games have been an important part of their lives, and research indicates they continue to play games as adults. engages students—all ages and both genders – research has shown appealing aspects of game-based learning to be the feeling of working towards a goal; the possibility of attaining spectacular success; and the ability to problem solve, collaborate with others and socialize, among others. Games can engage students in ways other tools and approaches cannot. supports 21 st century skill acquisition – multi-player, online games provide an environment for many to work together on activities that require collaborative problem solving, as players must rely on and learn from one another. can be used for skill building, fostering discussion and team building – key learning skills can be part of game play, and these skill-building and small group games fit well into the curriculum and are engaging to students. has research-based evidence of its positive value for learning – research is showing that games can be effectively applied in many learning contexts, and the Report points out that as gaming and the science of engagement become better understood, we will likely see significant investment in large-scale educational games. MMO (massively multiplayer online) games in particular are attracting researchers’ and educators’ attention.
The use of mobiles, as is true for game-based learning, is widespread and well established outside of the classroom. Today’s mobile market has more than 4 billion subscribers, more than two-thirds of whom live in developing countries. But mobile devices represent, for the most part, an untapped resource for reaching students and bridging the gap between learning that occurs in school and that which happens in the world outside the classroom. The range and number of educational applications for mobiles are growing at a rapid pace, yet their use in schools is limited—more often constrained by policy than by the capabilities of the devices. Policies that ban mobile use in most schools keep this technology in the two- to three-year horizon for the second year of the Report . As pointed out in the Report , the real story is no longer about mobile devices themselves but about the easy access they provide, especially in the developing world, to the Internet and its resources. A new class of devices emerging in 2010 will present new options for those who require more flexibility and power from a mobile device but do not want to carry a laptop or netbook. These slim, lightweight devices, such as the Apple iPad, HP Slate, Google Tablet and others, will provide compelling options for mobile users and offer new devices to explore for opportunities for teaching, learning and creative expression.
Mobiles are considered to have a number of benefits—they: address increasing desire and need for anytime, anywhere access – the Internet can be accessed via a wide range of devices, with users accustomed to anytime, anywhere access to data and services not so long ago accessed only from a computer linked to the network via a cable. Portability and ease of access make them ideal for storing reference materials and learning experiences and engaging in field work, recording observations and accessing reference sources in real time. help manage personal information, collaboration, access to and sharing of files/information, monitoring social networks – devices are expanding in their capabilities, with a range of new tools going beyond email, communication and calendaring. Examples you may know about or use (or want to!) include: Evernote, Nozbe, Wesabe, TripIt – manage personal information Dropbox, CalenGoo – collaborate, access and share files Limbo, Facebook, Foursquare, Whrrl – keep abreast of social networks can store and display full-length books – allowing students to easily carry a library of resources in a pocket or purse. are more affordable, accessible and easier to use than desktop or laptop computers – especially in developing countries where cellular access to the Internet is outpacing more traditional networks, mobiles have more than enough functionality to serve as primary computing devices. do not have to be purchased or maintained by schools – an obvious plus!
And what might we anticipate seeing in our schools in four to five years? The 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition points to two technologies—augmented reality and flexible displays—not commonly found in school settings today but which are gathering a lot of interest and serving as the focus for what the Report describes as tremendous amounts of research….
The concept of blending (augmenting) virtual data—information, rich media and even live action—with what we see in the real world, for the purpose of enhancing the information we can perceive with our senses is a powerful one. As three technologies—GPS, video and pattern recognition—have converged, augmented reality, or AR, has become something anyone can use. When combined with mobiles, AR becomes a portable tool for discovery-based learning, enhancing the information available to students as they visit historical locations, conduct field work, interact with real-world objects and more.
The benefits of augmented reality include that it: is simple and portable – especially given advances in mobile devices and technologies that make it as accessible as any other application on a laptop or smart phone. combines real world and virtual data – via the camera and screen embedded in smart phones and other mobile devices. Tools that illustrate how learning applications might overlay information over a video image of an historical site or an artifact in a museum already exist. can provide powerful, contextual, real-world, discovery-based learning experiences – applications that convey information about a place open the door to discovery-based learning. Students on a field trip to an historic site can access AR applications that overlay maps and information regarding how the location looked at different points in history. Much of the activity in this area in taking place in universities, but broader application in K-12 is expected. engages and motivates students – AR technology brings learning to life, and active involvement in real-world learning experiences draws in students and increases their motivation to study and learn.
Computer displays continue to evolve. While we are witnessing displays becoming thinner and smaller (as thin and small as a credit card), the ones in use today only hint at possibilities anticipated to be in use in K-12 schools as soon as in four to five years. What might we see then? Thin screens embedded in books or attached to desks and walls and integrated with a variety of objects. Touch-based interfaces and flexible displays that become a part of all kinds of objects. Flexible display technology is too new to have many concrete examples of how it might be used in teaching, learning and creative expression, but you may be limited only by your imagination in envisioning possible applications for K-12.
Consider the benefits of flexible displays—they: can be easily and inexpensively produced – since they are printed rather than being developed using the clean-room etching processes required to create computer chips. are adaptable, allowing for printing on various materials and surfaces and in various shapes and contours – for example, lab equipment might include displays with safety information or instructions for operating complex devices. Or, flash cards might be video-enabled. Conformable displays might be molded on robotic parts to present information in the form of a face. Flexible displays could be attached to larger devices, where they might function as touch screens capable of accepting input and displaying output. when fully developed, will be smaller and more portable, integrating context-specific data displays with everyday objects – it will enable integrated interactive display devices that combine input and output in a single interface, realizing the full potential of electronic paper. These devices might be integrated with everyday objects, such as tools, appliances, printed materials and even clothing—turning those objects into context-specific data displays.
The 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition was a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and was supported by HP. The 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition Toolkit , including this presentation template, a Discussion Facilitator’s Guide and a Feedback Form are presented by CoSN in partnership with NMC and supported by HP.