Thursday, 21 February 2013

Horizon Report - emerging technology impact, trends and challenges

The New Media Consortium has been examining emerging technologies for their impact in teaching and learning, in a series of annual reports. The 2012 report not only contains interesting predictions but also some key trends and challenges.
The following presentation is a summary of the main findings of the report - I recommend reading it in its entirety (it is not that long) since you may be able to make a judgement on their predictions by looking at the examples given.

Good Predictions?
How accurate has the NMC Horizon Report been in the past?
Here is a list of their predictions with a time-to-adoption horizon of one year or less:

 Horizon Report 2004
  • Learning Objects
  • Scalable Vector Graphics
 Horizon Report 2005
  • Extended Learning
  • Ubiquitous Wireless
 Horizon Report 2006
  • Social Computing
  • Personal Broadcasting
 Horizon Report 2007
  • User Generated Content
  • Social Network
 Horizon Report 2008
  • Grassroots Video
  • Collaboration Webs
 Horizon Report 2009
  • Mobiles
  • Cloud Computing
 Horizon Report 2010
  • Mobile Computing
  • Open Content
 Horizon Report 2011
  • Electronic Books
  • Mobiles
Horizon Report 2012
  • Mobile Devices and Apps
  • Tablet Computing 
Mobiles have been a long time coming.....
Assuming that their very short term predictions (that is, with a time-to-adoption of one year or less) should be the most accurate, how have they done in their predictions?
Certainly the technology chosen was the interest of the time. We are rapidly forgetting the recent history of technology implementation, but their list of technologies just about rings true.
Some technologies have been slow in developing. Learning objects seemed particularly exciting at the time and I believe that the fencing in of learning platforms did for it. Only now are some of the concepts being used (in Learning Design, for example, with Teaching-Learning Activities (TLAs) being used as elements of a Pedagogical Pattern - see OLDSMOOC).
Ubiquitous wireless is an interesting one - this has become the resident technology in our institutions but commercialised and difficult to access away from them.
A more thorough study of the forecasts made by NMC in past Horizon Reports can be found in this article by Computers and Education: New technology trends in education: Seven years of forecasts and convergence.
But Mobile and Apps it seems to be. Now this is a challenge....

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