Technology Trends in 2011

The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC). The 2010 report identified and described the following areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education in:

One Year or Less (2011)

  • Mobile Computing: The Horizon Report notes that “use of the network-capable devices students are already carrying is already established on many campuses, although before we see widespread use, concerns about privacy, classroom management, and access will need to be addressed.” For sure, the number iPods, iPads, laptops, and smartphones that our students carry continues to increase, and unless properly managed can hinder teaching and learning. But their key conclusion is that “the opportunity is great; virtually all higher education students carry some form of mobile device, and the network that supports their connectivity continues to grow.”
  • Open Content: The Horizon Report describes this trend as “a movement that began nearly a decade ago, when schools like MIT began to make their course content freely available” with their Open Courseware initiative. Many schools have followed suit, posting teaching and learning materials online for their own students and for anyone in the world to use. The authors of the report note that “in many parts of the world, open content represents a profound shift in the way students study and learn.”

Two to Three Years (2012-2013)

  • Electronic Books: The Horizon Report notes “the past twelve months have seen a dramatic upswing in their acceptance and use. Convenient and capable electronic reading devices combine the activities of acquiring, storing, reading, and annotating digital books, making it very easy to collect and carry hundreds of volumes in a space smaller than a single paperback book.” Amazon sells more electronic books than hardback printed books.
  • Simple Augmented Reality: Augmented reality is a term for a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. Examples of AR are the yellow “first down” lines seen in television broadcasts’ football games.

(“Horizon Report” Educause.edu, 2010, <http://www.educause.edu/ELI/2010HorizonReport/195400> )

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