Anyone ever heard of The Horizon Report? It is an annual report put out by the New Media Consortium that highlights 6 technologies. They choose technology that is meant to be up and coming in the next 5 years and that they believe will have an impact on education and learning. They also identify the trends they believe to be driving these adoptions of technology and the challenges of adopting them as well.
Trends go in all sorts of directions (including the mullet). Seriously though, there are trends that drive all of our actions and we’ll discuss those relevant to technology/education mentioned in the Horizon Report here.
The highest ranked trend was the increase in available information on the internet. Like this pile of papers, the information available through the internet is huge and it can be difficult to determine what is reliable information. We need to address ways to sort through this information while educating students.
The next most influential trend is that people/students expect more and more flexibility about where/when they learn. Mobility is key, as you can see in this photo computers are taken everywhere. Students want to be able learn anywhere.
So called cloud-based software (meaning it is located on the internet, not the physical computer itself) is become more prevalent. This trend includes sites that allow you to use software or hardware services like storage space on Google Docs or online video rendering on Animoto. This decreases costs for the users which is always important. It is also important because it allows remote access to files and programs.
The last trend identified in the report was the increase in collaboration in education settings between both students and departments. This is allows for more opportunities to use technology to facilitate this process. Again a great example is Google Docs allowing for seamless collaboration on documents and presentations from parties that could be scattered around the globe.
Though the trends mentioned here are all driving technology trends there are also some challenges mentioned in the Horizon Report.
There is the saying that change is the only constant and that holds true in cellphone design, (thank goodness!) and education as well. The role and means of education and that is a big challenge.
There is new research on these emerging areas of technology, but the methods for evaluating this new research is lagging, which makes it difficult to implement or trust the new research on these technologies.
In order for these emerging technologies to be relevant there needs to be a standard of literacy among the educators and this needs to be supplied across disciplines. Many times this education happens informally through self-teaching methods, however, the report suggests that more formal programs might help alleviate this challenge.
No one enjoys budget cuts, but they are happening all over the country, especially in education. This is an obviously huge challenge to technology adoption.
On to the nitty gritty of the Horizon Report – the 6 technology innovations they believe will be utilized in education in the next 5 years. To start, there are the technologies expected to be adopted in the next 12 months.
Mobile computing is one of the technologies predicted for adoption soon. It is great because it uses devices most students already have. However, there are issues such as privacy and classroom management that can arise. Examples of the successful use of this technology include students participating in class discussion via Twitter. One university teacher implemented this in her class and saw participation from all students increase, especially in her large class. Without this technology there wouldn’t be enough time for all students to contribute and some students feel more comfortable voicing their opinions in this media than out loud in class.
The basic meaning of open content is when course content is available to all, even those not enrolled in a course. A great example of the use of this technology is to increase the general public’s knowledge on your field of study by making credible information available to all. This is not formal education, but is important to most any field as a type of informal education and open content is a way to make that happen. This can be especially relevant for students who cannot afford education, but could possibly get one in an open system like these. Next we are moving into the technologies predicted to be adopted in 2-3 years.
Electronic books have a variety of advantages in an educational setting. They decrease costs of texts, environmental impact by reducing paper use, and backpack weights by fitting multiple books into one light device.
Simple Augmented Reality is basically using technology to blend reality and virtual worlds as shown in this picture. It has recently become more accessible as you can see here on the mobile devices. There are many education implications for this technology including tours and modeling. Now we are moving into the technologies predicted for the next 4-5 years.
This technology goes beyond the Wii, shown here, but that is a great example of a gesture-based computing system most people are familiar with. Has anyone ever played Wii? In which situations do you think you could use it in education? In certain fields of education such as surgeon training this is very useful technology.
Lastly, the contributors believe that methods of Visual Data Analysis will be emerging and used in education for such purposes as interactive mapping.
Thank You for your time. Any questions?
Emerging Technology & Education Implications Modified from the 2010 Horizon Report By Katie Pound NC State University Photo by cogdogblog on Flickr
Trends that drive the Technology Photo by Charles Williams on Flickr