19 Dec 2011

2011 Horizon Report

Most (...some, all, none) of you will have come across the annual Horizon report (a research venture established back in 2002) filed by NMC & ELI. It charts the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, research, creative inquiry, and information management in the higher education environment (NMC, 2011).

The report represents a well-informed guessing exercise on technologies expected to enter the mainstream within three adoption horizons over the next 5 years (2011-2015). Poring over a pool of technologies and armed with research reports, a team of experts selected six contenders. The good thing about this report is that it provides insights into practical application models, tagged resources and suggested lists of further readings for each technology itemised. It's well worth your while taking a closer look.

Emerging technologies to watch out for are listed below: 

Near-term horizon (within the next twelve months):
- Electronic books
- Smart phones (enable ubiquitous access to information, social networks, tools for learning and productivity)

Mid-term horizon (within two to three years):
- Augmented reality (layering of information over a view or representation of the normal world)
- Game-based learning (single-player, small-group card and board games, multi-player online games)

Far-term horizon (within four to five years):
- Gesture-based computing (moves the control of computers from a mouse and keyboard to the motions of the body via new input devices)
- Learning analytics (joining of data-gathering tools and analytic techniques to study student engagement, performance, and progress in practice)

A key challenge right across the board is keeping up with the rapid proliferation of information, software tools, and devices. What technology should be trialled, let alone adopted, in a given library? Naturally, audiences and circumstances (financial and otherwise) dictate choice, as well as appropriate staffing that can handle new-technology traffic.

See also below informative, albeit cheesy summary presentation... 

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