Emerging Technologies To Watch

Picture1With 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.

Video Summary

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.
Paul Allen

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

Critical Challenges

  • 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

  1. Distribute to Stakeholders; Parents, Teachers, Board Members and Students (html , pdf)
  2. Involve Curriculum staff to forge connections to academic aims
  3. Form an Innovations Team
  4. Discuss Trends and Challenges
  5. Explore Technologies to Watch. View Supporting data, articles and examples
  6. Seek Supporting technologies for academic and organizational goals
  7. Connect with success – Plan to visit or connect with schools applying these technologies
  8. Plan to pilot new technologies. Plan for ongoing evaluation.
  9. Review technology plans and budgets.  As technology evolves so must our plan.
  10. 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

Cosn (Consortium of School Networking) Resources

T&L Resources (Tech and Learning)

Pew Internet And American Life Project

MacArthur Foundation

Additional Horizon Report Resources

Rss Feeds Used in Research
About the Horizon Project and Process

Cross posted on School CIO www.schoolcio.com

Catholic Schools Week Service Project 2011 Goes Global for Philadelphia Area School

Dedication to service, education and specifically Catholic Education can travel around the globe. Two schools have made a connection on the behalf of service and educating young children in India.

A Lifetime of Service

In his lifetime, dedicated to God and to education, Jesuit priest Fr. John J. Deeney SJ helped to raise funds to build several schools in his local area in India. In 2009 just before his death, he was raising funds for the construction of St. Paul Miki School in Pandabir, India through several email and written appeals. Though he did not live to see his last dream fulfilled, the work of building this school goes on.

A Memorable Visit Afar

John Gill, Fr. John’s nephew shared his story of the visit he and his friend Tom Brzozowski took to India with his students at Saint Anastasia School in Newtown Square, Pa, US.  John’s story is an inspiring one.  I can also relate to the stories of this teacher’s connection to the work and the humble example of life long service of this priest as Fr. John was my uncle too.

Service Project Goes Global

Saint Anastasia School decided to chose a Catholic School’s Week service project which helps raise funds for the building of a Catholic School in Pandabir, India. View John’s video  presentation to his students at Saint Anastasia School below. As a former Technology Coordinator at St. Anastasia School, I know this to be a loving and caring school community. Perhaps others online will join them in building a school and building on dedication to service.

Online Donations to St. Paul Miki School, India http://bit.ly/elnFvO

Jamshedpur, India Links. Mail donations http://www.mdsj.org/waystogive.html



Video Presentation to Students

Related Posts – Catholic School’s Week

Skype With the Schools

Catholic School’s Week 2011

Catholic School’s Week 2010

Skype with the Schools

Technology for Connecting with Schools

On Monday of Catholic School’s Week, Bishop Fitzgerald along with some of our central office staff at the Office of Catholic Education in the Philadelphia Archdiocese skyped with the schools. Up to date technology is a part of our everyday lives, and surely it needs to be an essential tool in education. What better way to communicate with the schools to find out about how they were celebrating Catholic School’s Week?



  1. St. John the Baptist, Ottsville shared their project of making dresses for children in Africa
  2. St. Alphonsus, Maple Glen shared their service project of decorating items for sick  children at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  3. St. Helena, Philadelphia – They were holding a breakfast for community workers such as policemen and firemen to celebrate the service those groups give to the community.
  4. Pope John Paul Elementary School  – They shared important facts about saints from Philadelphia – St. John Neuman, Blessed Katherine Drexel and St Elizabeth Seton
  5. Pope John Paul High School who was celebrating their first ever Catholic School’s week as a new school shared specific aims and experiences of how learning with technology has enhanced learning at the school.
  6. St. Anastasia, Newtown Square shared their service project of raising money towards the building of a Catholic school in India. View details here.

More Resources:

This Catholic School Connect Skype Around the World Wiki is a directory where schools can skype each other and record the connection.

A+ for the Nation

It was a fun and engaging way to connect with schools and showed how quickly technology can connect us with one another towards a common goal. We enjoyed hearing from students and educators about the wonderful service projects and celebrations for Catholic School’s Week.