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Horizon Report 2011

New Media Consortium Horizon Report, 2011



An overview:


The report is intended to “identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning and creative expression within education around the globe.”


The identified trends “emerged through an extensive review of articles, interviews, papers and new research.” Once a trend is identified “it is ranked according to how significant an impact it is likely to have on education in the next 5 years.”


Identified Trends:


Trend #1: The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.


Trend #2: As IT support becomes more and more decentralized, the technologies we use are increasingly based not on school servers, but in the cloud.


Trend #3:  Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed.


Trend #4:  People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want to.


Tend #5: The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing.


Challenges that schools face:


Challenge #1:  Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.  I personally appreciated the acknowledgement that “digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking (emphasis mine), thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat short lived.”  Which reinforces the fact that everyone can access the data and information, those who can process it will be the winners in the long run.


Challenge #2: Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of schools. (Including open content).


Challenge #3:  The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.


Challenge #4:  A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment, a.k.a. “the system.” If the system is to remain relevant it must adapt, but major change comes hard in education.


Challenge #5:  Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of our learning metrics.



Technologies to Watch

(Please note:  the report stated it is not to serve as a predictive tool, rather to highlight emerging technologies with considerable potential.)


Near term horizon (within the next 12 mos)

  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile Devices


Second adoption horizon (2-3 years out)

  • Game-based learning
  • Open content


Far term horizon (4-5 years out)

  • Learning analytics
  • Personal learning environments


The last part of the report provided a detailed description about each of the above mentioned emerging technologies, provided links to active demonstration projects as well as listing additional resources related to each of the identified emerging technologies.


I am not sure if this info will have a direct impact on how I work with toddlers, per se, but I know it will have an impact in 1) the way we structure, offer and deliver future workshops and seminars and 2) options that will be available as I continue graduate school, I am especially intrigued and excited to watch what emerges, or, better stated, continues to emerge, in regard to “open content” and “personal learning environments” (PLEs).


You can get your own copy of the report at:






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