Wayne gave me a copy of The New Media Consortium/Educause Learning Intitative's Horizon Report about two weeks ago, and I'm going through it again. The report is a yearly product of the Horizon Project, which "seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within higher education." Obviously this is something that we at ECIT care about and something that I'm personally interested in exploring.
I have to admit that I haven't read a lot of strategic reports in my day, so I was a bit taken aback by the identification not only of six "Key Trends"--including such things as "The environment of higher education is changing rapidly" and "Academic review and faculty rewards are increasingly out of sync with new forms of scholarship"--but also six "Critical Challenges" facing higher education over the coming five years: #1, "Assessment of new forms of work continues to present a challenge to educators and peer reviewers"; #4, "There is a skills gap between understanding how to use tools for media creation and how to create meaningful content." I think their identification of these issues is spot on--especially those about how we as educators both teach students to use the new tools they have and how we then evaluate (read, "grade" or "peer review") the products our students and colleagues produce. I do think, however, that they could have cut some of the business speak.
Based on these Trends and Challenges, the report has identified 6 technologies that are on, predictably, the Horizon of higher education:
- User-Created Content
- Social Networking
- Mobile Phones
- Virtual Worlds
- The New Scholarship and Emerging Forms of Publication
- Massively Multiplayer Educational Games