Or rather, today’s technologies for tomorrow’s teaching.

The 2009 Horizons Report has just been published. The annual report highlights 6 technologies that are likely to enter into mainstream use at educational institutions.  The six technologies and their likely time frames for mainstream use are:

  • Mobiles & Cloud Computing (within 1 year)
  • Geo-Everything and the Personal Web (within 2-3 years)
  • Semantic-Aware Applications & Smart Objects (within 4-5 years)

The horizon reports are always interesting and provide food for thought but the time frames rarely ring true to me for UK education (but perhaps they are not supposed to as the report advisory board is pre-dominantly North American). This time around, the one prediction that does seem likely is the idea of a personal web:

a collection of technologies that confer the ability to reorganize, configure and manage online content rather than just viewing it… …[to support] one’s social, professional, learning [activities]

There are many free tools already in use that allow this – delicious, WordPress, twitter, flickr, netvibes, citeulike, rememberthemilk – to name but a few.  Some of these tools are looked at in the workshops that we run for staff.  The report also highlights critical challenges facing educational institutions over the next five years, these include:

  • A growing need for formal instruction in information & digital literacies
  • Teaching materials, methods and assessment need to be more engaging to the ‘new generation’ of students (but see Digital natives a Myth?)
  • Need for innovation and leadership in approaches to assessing emerging scholarly practice for ‘tenure’ and promotion of staff
  • Delivering services, content and media to mobile devices (with their ever-improving interfaces)