This year, the New Media Consortium has decided to “hide” the 2012 Horizon report behind a (free) subscription wall – an additional layer of commitment not all of us are willing to cede.

Luckily, the NMC site explicitly states that “all NMC Horizon Project reports and papers are published as open content, under a Creative Commons Attribution License, so permission is granted to replicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt the content freely.” I’ve added it to our emerging technologies page (near the bottom). Here’s a quick summary:

Technologies to watch:

The table below compares last year’s to this year’s expectations. Some technologies no longer features, perhaps because they didn’t quite keep their initial educational promise. To understand what they mean, you will have to read the full report. Alternatively, you could bribe a member of CLT (eg with a coffee) to make sense of it all for you.

2011 Report 2012 Report
1 year or less Electronic Books
Mobile Apps
Tablet Computing
2 to 3 Years Augmented Reality
Game-based Learning
Game-based Learning
Learning Analytics
4 to 5 Years Gesture-based Computing
Learning Analytics
Gesture-based Computing
The Internet of Things

6 Trends:

  1. We want to work, learn, study whenever and wherever, which means that
  2. Technologies need to be accessible from anywhere, so applications are becoming cloud-based; but
  3. Collaboration as a working practice is becoming key so these applications need to support sharing and communication; and this
  4. Means HE institutions need to react to collaboration as a new value, support it and embrace it in their educational practice,
  5. For example shifting their educational paradigms to include online learning, blended learning, collective and collaborative learning.

5 Key challenges:

  1. Economic pressures may lead us to want to capitalise on new technologies to cut costs, but that’s not the way to do it,
  2. Relying on traditional ways of evaluating research won’t do justice to research that is now disseminated and/or conducted via social media, so new forms of approving and peer reviewing will have to be adopted,
  3. Digital (media) literacy must become a key skill across the academic landscape – and we need to help our students to develop these skills, across the board. Unfortunately,
  4. Traditional processes and practices can act as barriers to appreciating the innovative use of technologies by staff and students, so act as a disincentive.
  5. Finally, libraries are “under tremendous pressure to evolve new ways of supporting and curating scholarship.”

(Those last two points fit in quite nicely with our first two NETworkED seminars!)

The report is worth reading for its assessment of current or emerging technologies and their educational value. It’s also worth bearing in mind that it doesn’t set out to make predictions, but to highlights emerging technologies which show educational promise and potential, as underpinned by “an extensive review of current articles, interviews, papers, and new research”, within the context of key trends and challenges.