About the Horizon Report

The Horizon Report 2010 was released this past January 15.  If you are unfamiliar with this annual Report; it is the result of the New Media Consortium Horizon Project – a qualitative research project started in 2002 and is a collaborative effort between the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC).  First published in 2004, it identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less, two to three years, and four to five years.

The Next Year

This year’s report identifies the following technologies that will have a significant impact on higher education with the next year:

Mobile Computing

While it doesn’t take much of a prognosticator to predict the impact of mobile computing – what this should do for any institution is to evaluate the delivery of all types of content through mobile technology.  Some content that could be delivered through a mobile interface are: course scheduling, the class schedule with notifications of cancellations or delays, access to assignments with due dates, view grades, integrated communications; these along with a campus directory and campus maps would be helpful for most students.

Northeastern has been piloting a mobile application that is still in development that will have a campus map and access to Blackboard.

Open Content

This much more controversial topic is where faculty, programs, and/or colleges makes their course content available free of charge.  MIT started this over a decade ago.  In theory, a student could get an MIT education without the degree.  Some may argue this point, but as more content is made available, students will begin comparing programs based on what they see online.

Two to Three Years

I’ll cover one more technology that the Horizon Report believes will have a significant impact on higher education within the next two to three years. Download the full report to read about all of the technologies.

Electronic Books

This past Christmas saw a significant rise in the sale of e-books. Apple just announced it’s iPad that will compete with the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, and others.  This iPhone like interface will once again have a major impact in this space. In order for electronic books to make an impact on the classroom, I see two primary changes that need to take place: 1) Publishers will need to modify their business model to incent readers to purchase electronic books. 2) Make it easy for self-publishers (i.e. faculty and students) to easily make content available to the class.  Apple’s entry into this market begins to impact delivery through media like iTunesU.

How to Get the Full Report

To download this year’s Horizon Report and others, click on the links below:

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