The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium (NMC)’s Horizon Project in collaboration with Educause, a research-oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education.
You can download the report here. Or - and this is really cool - you can look at the version in which you can add your comments per paragraph here.
The nice thing about this report is that it focuses on emerging technologies, but that it also puts a time frame on it (time to adoption one, three, up to five years). There is a focus on mobile computing and simple-augmented reality as well (in different time zones). The report is 40 pages in length, and it gives an immediate and clear understanding of some of the technologies one can expect to become a reality in learning soon.
The report also looks at critical challenges (role of the academy and educational institutions, digital media literacy, new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing and researching).
What I liked reading a lot (as it was a concept I had not conscientiously linked to any practical learning possibilities, was the section on gesture-based computing (think Wii), so the machine-human interaction is becoming more embedded in learning as well. These gesture-based computing techniques have been used in medical science for very secure surgery, but I like the learning potential described in the report.
Throughout the report a myriad of examples are given (mostly Northern American), which makes it easier to grasp all the concepts and possibilities for your own implementation.
So, get the report, it is good public transport reading material.
George Siemens has had interesting thoughts on the 'making of' the report. He even suggested two great ideas that can be used by us all for brainstorming on global learning trends (copying from his weekly eLearnspace e-mail news):
"1. Pioneer educational informatics and visualization approaches to expand the report. Given the enormous amounts of data being produced through social media, Department of Education statistics, etc., making sense of data is critical. Targeting a few key data areas would extend the value of report. (for example, have a look at numerous
2. Enlarge the pool of participants to build a report. While I can see the logistical value of having an advisory board assist in the final production of the report, I would like to see a broader net cast at the start of trend identification. Why not open it up completely? Yes, it'll produce a mess of views, but that diversity is exactly what prevents calcification of views that occurs when similar groups of individuals are involved in brainstorming."
I agree with George in broadening the pool of participants in addition to looking across disciplines to get the bigger picture and to be of benefit to the larger group of educators, both in educational institutions and in companies.