The New Media Consortium. (2004,2005,2006.2007.2008). Horizon Report. Stanford, California: The New Media Consortium and the eduCause learning initiative.
This table shows an interesting summary of the history of formal education.the first row shows the change from the classical languages of education through to education it was carried out in the vernacular, to a now almost universal reliance on English as the language of instruction. No doubt in no small way to the incredible spread of the Internet.The next two rows show how the learners themselves have changed, contemporary thinking includes all people of all ages as learners. Education is no longer considered to be an elitist pursuit, rather it is now a right for all.The expectation of who pays the cost of education shows some interesting twists. When learners were young in the preindustrial and industrial eras it was first considered to be a parental responsibility that the moved to a more general State responsibility as the education of the young became universal, compulsory and seen as an essential element of community well-being. More recently as education is seen as a lifelong experience the responsibility for those outside the traditional schooling sector (ages 6 to 16 years) has moved firmly to the individual.The providers of education have changed, where once the church was the centre of all learning, in the 20th century the state took over the responsibility for the education of the young. The big change occurred around the end of the 1980s were education and training in the corporate sector underwent an enormous expansion, often due to the changing technologies, and the need to train employees to meet the challenges of these new technologies. Subsequently corporations have become the largest providers of learning in Western style societies.The movement of learning away from the recognized ancient sites of knowledge established first by the Greeks and Romans then later the university towns and cities, towards learning environments that are diverse and numerous. Learning is no longer confined to a fixed time or place, technology has provided opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learning that our forebears could never have contemplated.With the changes of the prevailing economic systems came a change in the source of the curriculum. No longer is the expert teacher all the all knowing estate authority the source of curriculum. The learners need to have become paramount, with skills audits and recognition of prior learning being used to provide an individual curriculum program that aims to meet an individual learner’s needs. This is particularly apparent in the vocational training sector.
For many years there has been talk about society going through an information age with successive governments striving to be to build a knowledge society. The hope is that the knowledge society will be only a developmental stage that leads the age of wisdom.
With the above in mind, there are perhaps some indicators of the road ahead.Each year from 2004, The New Media Consortium and the eduCause Learning initiative, have combined to produce the Horizon Report. This report reflects the input of some 175 Advisory Board members drawn from business, industry, and education. The same questions have been asked off members of this board since the first in 2004:1.What would you list among the established technologies that learning-focused institutions should be using broadly today to support or enhance teaching, learning or creative expression?2.What technologies that have a user base in consumer, entertainment, or other industries should learning-focused institutions be actively looking for ways to apply?3.What are the key emerging technologies that learning-centred institutions should begin to take notice of during the next 3 to 5 years?4.What trends do expect to have significant impact on the ways in which learning-focused institutions approach their core missions of teaching, research and serviceI have taken the technology predictions from each of the 5 reports and plotted them onto a time line. The result is very interesting and the past indicators appear extremely accurate, both in timing and trends.
What struck me reading the reports is that the game has changed.“There is no longer a font of knowledge,But a cloud of data,That must be seeded to give up rain”Which reinforces my thinking that:The processing of data produces informationThe processing of information produces knowledgeand that the processing of knowledge results in wisdom
Returning to the horizon reports.Each year the reports look that emerging technologies and their time for adaption. The time frame was divided into three groups:One year or lessTwo to three yearsFour to five yearsThe technology is identified in each of the years our outlined in the table. The guideline represents where we are today. By looking back we can examine the validity of each of these predictions and test them with hindsight.While the 2008 report is still too difficult to judge there is enough evidence in the preceding four to engender some confidence that the horizon reports provide a credible summary of trends in emerging technologies.The past record of the horizon report adds to the credibility of its predictions of the trends in emerging technologies.
Looking at each years summary of trends from 2004 to 2008 the authors of the horizon report suggests that it is possible to identify three megatrends in emerging technologies.
The three megatrends identified by the group are:firstly, there is a move to the collective sharing and generation of knowledgesecondly, there is a move towards a connection of people through the networkand thirdly, computer technology is moving into three dimensions.
If these trends are broadened we find there are changes in:ScholarshipSocialisationAnd interfaceIn scholarship we have two emerging trends: the first user created content and the associated rise of what Andrew Keen describes as “the cult of the amateur”Secondly in new culture of scholarship and emerging forms of publishing, and with it the need for academia to deal with new forms of presentation and re-presentation of data, information and knowledge in forms not previously available (e.g. Mashups etc)Educationally this trend sits well in the realms of constructivist theory, where humans construct meaning from their share current knowledge structures.The second trend could broadly be termed socialisation.This trend talks about the way that we connect with other people through a network in the way that we interact with them.It has two sections:Social networking – including face-to-face and online communitiesCommunication technologies – particularly the mobile phone that allows a continual presence with those who are absent, and yet an absent presence as described by Kat (we all know examples where while somebody is physically present the mobile phone gives them the opportunity to be absent)This trend aligns to the ideas of social constructivism, where meaning of knowledge is made relative to a social contextThe third trend is to do with the interface.The way we interact with the network and more importantly the way we interact with others and data through the network.In this there are two emerging trends:- Incredible growth of virtual worlds- On the possibilities of massively multiplayer educational gamesBoth trends rely on an interface which is reliable, ubiquitous and fastEducationally this trend sits comfortably with the newly emerging theories of connectivism (the work of George Siemens). Learning is seen as the process of creating connections and developing a network. This approach has often been described as “a learning theory to the digital age”.Looking across these three trends, I’d boldly suggest that there may be a new movement over the next few years that may be a neo“collectivism”. An educational revision of Rousseau’s “Social Contract” from the 1760s.Who knows but it is worth watching.
Therefore the question needs to be asked:Is the future of teaching and learning developing collective knowledge, through the connection of people, in three dimensions.If it is then this is a future that is offered by Virtual worlds.
To put it in the context some unpublished work I did back in 2001.If we look at the generations of e-learning in the virtual worlds represent the fourth-generation, they are currently under development.
This video summarises a number of the major virtual worlds currently popular.Challenge: count the number of different worlds that are shown. (45) (.wmv 6:58 minutes)Perhaps draw up a table with three headingsAdultYouthChildrenAnd as you see each one, put a tick in each of the columnsLets look at the demography in detail.
Virtual Worlds By The Numbers: Today and The Future: VW Expo 2008 (NYC)April 3, 2008This presentation was part of “Virtual Worlds By The Numbers: Today and The Future” presented at the Virtual World Expo in April this year by Kzero.co.uk, who describe themselves as resident experts in virtual worlds.The diagram very clearly describes the growth in various virtual worlds since their inception. More cleverly it plots the age distribution of users in these worlds.http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/?p=2021
Kzero takes the standard virtual worlds graph and split it into four age groups. Shown first is the ‘up to 10 year old’ group. Neopets has the largest number of registered accounts and is also the longest established world.What could really shake up this segment is the pending launch of Lego Universe. The applications of this world are obvious and extremely engaging. What’s of interest here is the element of content creation that could be on offer to the residents of Lego universe. Very few (possible none) of the under 10’s virtual worlds allow third tier creation (first tier: avatar, second tier: objects, third tier: environment). Allowing kids to make buildings etc could be a killer app and something we haven’t seen much of. Whether or not they engage in this activity remains to be seen, but I’d suggest it will be extremely popular.In terms of where the growth is coming from in this age group, Kzero thinks it’s in the following areas:1. Toy brands and franchises: Real world toy brand owners creating virtual playgrounds for their assets. Just as almost every toy has a dedicated website at present, expect to see a similar trend emerge in the virtual space.2. ‘Spaces to play’: Linked to the first point, creating virtual spaces for kids to play (and learn) will be popular.3. Relationship building: Platforms such as Neopets prove the success of teaching kids to look after ‘things’. This early type of relationship building could be a trigger to mass adoption.4. Virtual to real : Revenue opportunities for taking assets created in virtual worlds and bring them alive in the real.
The segment shows 10 - 20 year olds - the ‘Battle Zone’. This is a segment with a great deal of existing competition and as many worlds pending launch are as live.Of course, we have the big boys here such as Club Penguin, Habbo, Gaia and Stardoll, but the blue circles (representing pending worlds) highlights a trend of leveraging cartoon/fairytale real-world assets. As we move up the ages, worlds such as IMVU and vSide highlight the emergence of ‘fashion chatting’ environments.Where’s the growth coming from?1. Avatar customisation. Dressing up virtual people is (and I think will always be) a key growth factor. This opens up opportunities for real-world clothing and fashion companies.2. Live event and concerts. Experiencing music in a shared venue will be extremely popular and a natural evolution from sites such as Myspace.3. Education. Providing educationally-based immersive environments where learning is fun, engaging, rewarding and collaborative is set for explosive growth.
In the 20 - 30 year old segment we see the emergence of ‘Vertical Worlds‘. These are environments created on specific themes, interests or genres. Virtual MTV is a good example of this with their suite of programme-specific worlds. Other worlds in development such as Football Superstars and Empire of Sports are examples of sports-based verticals.As we move through the age groups, platforms such as Activeworlds and Amazing Worlds highlight the trend towards content creation and the ability to visit places on a mirror-world basis.Key growth areas for 20 -30 year olds?1. Augmented reality and mirror worlds. A lot of scope for combining real world places with virtual world functionality - a la Google Earth 2. Media convergence. Brand will leverage real-world media assets and create virtual spaces to extend the relationship between viewers and shows/movies3. More ‘Vertical Worlds’. There’s many manyuptapped interest groups and genres that would benefit from having vertical worlds4. Business and pleasure usage. Here we start to see dual use, with people using virtual worlds at work and then at home
Second Life still dominates the 30+ age group. HiPiHi will attract major sign-ups from Asia.Growth areas for 30+?Mirror worlds/exploration: Allowing older dems (and Silver Surfers) the ability to visit real-world places virtuallyExisting social networks: Older people are less inclined to want new friends. Therefore applications here will involve bring existing circles of friends and family together in a shared environment.
Kzero gives a glimpse through this diagram that looks at the development of curent or impending virtual worlds by sectors.Note that their predictions in the education/development do not include any development for the 30 + group (the continuing education group) and is only sparsely populated for the other age groupings.Education does not rate highly in the perceived future of virtual worlds.Education is not driving the car – rather it is in the trailer towed behind the car.
With that said there is much development in the existing virtual worlds specifically aimed at using the opportunities provided by the virtual environments.The best know is SecondLifeWhy is it so well known? SexWe’ve all watched the “four corners” and “insight” programs, the insightful exposures of the highly credible professional journalists on “a current affair”.But there is more.
SecondLife is used by hundreds of educational institutions across the world.The way it is used is diverse, ranging from the banal to the exciting, and the useful to the self indulgent.
Educational Uses of SecondLife (.wmv 6:59 minutes use first 4:10min stop at simulation)Training uses of SecondLife (.wmv 5:33)
There is Metamorphose that is occurring between Learning Management Systems And Virtual WorldThe best is SLoodle
Educational uses (.wmv2:28)
From our driver’s seat looking back.Is the future of teaching and learning :Developing COLLECTIVE knowledgethrough the CONNECTION of peoplein THREE DIMENSIONS ?
The last question.Are we replacing the 3Rs with the 5 Cs.Your homework : are 5Cs better than 3Rs?END
The New Media Consortium. (2004,2005,2006.2007.2008). Horizon Report. Stanford, California: The New Media Consortium and the eduCause learning initiative.
Mega trends in emerging learning technologies Greg Carey Canberra: ACT September 2008
Links and references See www.educationwithbyte.net (Virtual Worlds) There is no longer a font of knowledge but a cloud of data that must be seeded to give up life giving rain
Where from ? Where are we? Where to? Impact on teaching and learning
MegatrendsPart the 1st (with apology to Handel)Where from ?Impact on teaching and learning
Ages of Education (Jones 1996) Four stages of education in the Western World:
Where have we been? Pre-Industrial Industrial Information Language Latin and Greek Native languages English The learners Young of the rich Young people Everyone Age of the learners 6 to 20 years 6 to 16 years Any age Who pays Parents Through taxes User pays Providers Church State Corporations Where available Sites of knowledge Towns and cities Anywhere When available Arranged times Set times Anytime Economic system Traditionalism Taylorism Neo-liberalism Source of curriculum Teacher State Learner's needs (Tiffen and Rasingham, 1995, p 85)
Generations of e-learning 1st Generation (1G)Shovel-ware -Simple uploading of prepared course notes Saving documents in html using MS Word has been most popular. 2nd Generation (2G)Simple Comprehension/ Quiz/ Cloze activitiesPrograms such as Hot Potato are useful. 3rd Generation (3G)Simple Scenario basedPrograms such as ARED and Quandary are useful. 4th Generation (4G)Currently under developmentIncludes Avatars as personal guides and multi user potential. Carey, 2001
Some examples “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” (William Shakespeare As You Like It 2/7)
Some Caveats While progress is being made,issues of intellectual property and copyright continue to affect how scholarly work is done. All education sectors are facing a growing expectation to deliver services, content and media to mobile and personal devices
Challenges(Identified from the Horizon Reports) Scholarship: Significant changes in scholarship, research and creative expression need innovation and leadership at the highest level to address the areas of academic work practices, intellectual property and copyright. Assessment and Delivery: Education is being forced to develop new forms of interaction and delivery services that include mobile technologies, and to develop assessment strategies that embrace the new technologies. New Literacies: Educators are facing the need to explicitly address the need to provide explicit instruction in the use of tools for media creation and meaningful content as well as formal instruction in information, visual and technological literacy.
Mega trends The COLLECTIVE sharing and generation of knowledge The CONNECTION of people through the network Moving into THREE DIMENSIONS.
Is the future of teaching and learning : Developing COLLECTIVE knowledge through the CONNECTION of people in THREE DIMENSIONS ?
Challenges (Identified from the Horizon Reports)
There is a skills gap between understanding how to use tools for media creation and how to create meaningful content.
The renewed emphasis on collaborative learning is pushing the educational community to develop new forms of interaction and assessment.
The academy is faced with a need to provide formal instruction in information, visual and technological literacy as well as how to create meaningful content in today’s tools.
Assessment of new forms of work continues to present a challenge to educators and peer reviewers.
There are significant shift taking place in scholarship, research, creative expression and learning, and a profound need for leadership at the highest level of the academy that can see the opportunities and carry them forward.
Megatrends in emerging learning technologies We know where from ? We know where they may be heading? But the what will the impact on teaching and learning be? Greg Carey Canberra: September 2008