Most of you are probably aware of the release of the new Horizon Report for Higher Education; if not, consider reading it: http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon-report-2012-higher-ed-edition
“The ninth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.”
The report reveals technological metatrends and predicts:
- People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
- The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
- The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured.
- The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
- Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
- There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.
- Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
- Mobile Apps
- Tablet Computing
- Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
- Game-Based Learning
- Learning Analytics
- Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
- Gesture-Based Computing
- Internet of Things
When reading such predictions, I am asking myself how reliable are they. Recently, Martin et al. tried to answer exactly this question in a paper* published in Computers & Education. The authors looked at all reports which have been published since 2004 (they received “more than 500,000 downloads a year and have an estimate readership of about 1 million in 75 countries”). Martin et al. used “bibliometric analysis which technologies were successful and became a regular part of education systems, which ones failed to have the predicted impact and why, and the shape of technology flows in recent years.” The paper includes several very interesting visuals on how technologies most likely to have an impact on education. The authors conclude: “The bibliometric analysis over the predictions highlights that some of the predictions were right, e.g., social networks, user-created content, games, virtual worlds and mobile devices. Other predictions did not have the expected impact, e.g., knowledge Web, learning objects and open content, context-awareness and ubiquitous computing. However, other predictions were successful, although their impact was delayed one or two years, e.g., grassroots videos and collaborative Web.”
Do you think that the Horizon Report trends have an impact on how you evaluate technology for dental education?
* New technology trends in education: Seven years of forecasts and convergence by Sergio Martin, Gabriel Diaz, Elio Sancristobal, Rosario Gil, Manuel Castro, Juan Peire. Computers & Education (2011). Volume: 57, Issue: 3, Pages: 1893-1906