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Monday, February 1, 2010

2010 Horizon Report

The 2010 Horizon Report produced in collaboration with the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative is now available for viewing and downloading. This year’s report is the seventh annual report in the series. As with prior reports, this version outlines six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use on campus within three adoption horizons spread over the next one to five years. This year’s list includes:

Within 1 year or less:
- Mobile computing
- Open content

Within 2-3 years:
- Electronic books
- Simple augmented reality

Within 4-5 years:
- Gesture-based computing
- Visual data analysis

The technologies of particular interest to the readers of this blog are also those within the first and second adoption horizons. The report shows that the two trends that are most likely to enter mainstream learning within the year are mobile computing and open content. Mobile technology made last year’s report and this year it is noted that this category becomes more capable and more interesting each year. There are many opportunities for mobile computing because nearly all students carry a mobile device and an increasing number of pilots and experiments are taking place on campuses. The report points out that before we see widespread use there are some concerns that need to be addressed including privacy, classroom management, and access.

Open content could also enter mainstream use within the year. The open content movement has been present for years but has recently begun to rapidly drive change. The report notes, “Today, there is a tremendous variety of open content, and in many parts of the world, open content represents a profound shift in the way students study and learn. Far more than a collection of free online course materials, the open content movement is a response to the rising costs of education, the desire for access to learning in areas where such access is difficult, and an expression of student choice about when and how to learn.”

Electronic books are expected to enter mainstream use within two to three years. The report points out that campuses have been slower to adopt e-books than the general public due to the lack of available academic content, the inability for e-readers to render high quality illustrations, and because e-books were often viewed as ancillary to the printed version. Over the past year, these adoption barriers have become less of a constraint as more electronic versions of academic titles have become available, new technologies have hit the market or are in development, and many publishers have uncoupled the print and digital content. The report notes, “Electronic books are quickly reaching the point where their advantages over the printed book are compelling to almost any observer.”

More information about each technology and the key trends can be found in the full report. Additionally, there is a Horizon Project Wiki that is used as a workspace for the project and contains links to the data, research, and background materials in the report.

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