With the release of the 2011 Horizon Report we get a glimpse into the classrooms of the very near future. If we as school leaders are looking clearly, and focusing sharply on today’s technology trends, we can look brightly ahead and plan for what our students will need and how our schools can prepare. Looking at the list of emerging technologies, will tell even the most traditionalist school leader that substantial change is coming and to prepare well they should be taking bold action today.
Funded by HP, The Horizon Report has been released for the past 8 years. Released each February, it details 6 emerging technologies which are poised to impact teaching, learning and creative inquiry over the next five years. Collaborated on by Educause and the New Media Consortium, the Horizon Report is released first as it pertains to the higher education sector. A version for the K-12 sector is slated for release in April. Along with the compelling list of emerging technologies is a list of trends and challenges are given which illuminate and add depth to the list. It is highly recommended that educational leaders read and apply this research summarized here.
In my own work, I’ve tried to anticipate what’s coming over the horizon, to hasten its arrival, and to apply it to people’s lives in a meaningful way.
Key Trends Identified in the Horizon Report
- The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching and credentialing
- People expect to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want
- The world is increasingly collaborative giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured
- The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and our notions of IT support are decentralized
Emerging Technologies List
- 1 Year or Less – Electronic Books
- 1 Year or Less – Mobile Devices
- 2-3 Years – Augmented Reality
- 2-3 Years – Game Based Learning
- 4-5 Years – Gesture Based Computing
- 4-5 Years – Learning Analytics
- Digital Media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession
- Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag behind the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing and researching
- Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of the university
- Keeping pace with the rapid proliferation of information, software, tool and devices is challenging for teachers and students alike
Tips for Using the Horizon Report
Ten Item Checklist
- Distribute to Stakeholders; Parents, Teachers, Board Members and Students (html , pdf)
- Involve Curriculum staff to forge connections to academic aims
- Form an Innovations Team
- Discuss Trends and Challenges
- Explore Technologies to Watch. View Supporting data, articles and examples
- Seek Supporting technologies for academic and organizational goals
- Connect with success – Plan to visit or connect with schools applying these technologies
- Plan to pilot new technologies. Plan for ongoing evaluation.
- Review technology plans and budgets. As technology evolves so must our plan.
- Keep an eye on the horizon. Continue to evaluate new developments.
What I have found compelling about the Horizon Report is that by looking back at prior results, it most definitely highlighted the very things that are playing an increasing role in our classrooms today such as mobile devices and social media. This is advice to heed. School leaders today need to pay close attention to research on emerging technologies and use information at hand with fidelity. Certainly there are many sources available for this. Emerging trend are a daily and exciting part of our world today. Transforming learning environments to keep them engaging and keenly relevant to today’s world is the job of effective school leaders. It is and will continue to be important to keep focused on changes both here now and on the horizon.
Additional Emerging Trends Sources
Additional Horizon Report Resources
Cross posted on School CIO www.schoolcio.com