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”, 2010, <> )

Tool of the Month

Want to synchronize the files on your home computer with your work laptop? It’s easy to do with this free Dropbox tool.  Watch the video, Dropbox Tour,  for a short demonstration of how the tool works.  Click this link to download and install it:  Dropbox

Get up to Speed with Blackboard

Start off the new semester by finding out what’s new in Blackboard!  Resolve to learn and use one new feature this year.

On-site training
All on-site workshops will be held is Science 129. Please RSVP to Al Labonis at

Blackboard 9.1 – Getting Started
This workshop will provide an overview of Bb 9.1 and will cover the “Student View”, Building course navigation and uploading Content and the Control Panel features.  Upon completing the workshop, attendees will be able to perform basic operations in Bb9.1.

January 11           2:00-3:30
January 13           2:00-3:30

Blackboard 9.1 Grade Center
The Blackboard Grade Center is more than just a way to record students’ grades; it is a dynamic and interactive tool.  The Grade Center can record data, monitor student progress and communicate information to students.  Use this valuable tool to help understand student progress and make informed decisions on how to improve educational performance.

January 13           10:00 – 11:30
January 14           10:00 – 11:30

Online Training

Get geared up to use Campus Pack’s social media tools at your institution by attending a free training.  In this one-hour webinar, Learning Objects’ educational technology strategist, Dr. Nancy Rubin will discuss how to implement social media assignments and activities using Campus Pack 4.4 within your LMS.

What: Campus Pack 4 training
When: Several dates scheduled
Cost: No charge

Sign up here!

On Demand Training

Blackboard’s Tutorials for using the Assessment features
This page includes video and PDF tutorials for using Blackboard’s Grade Center, Tests and Surveys, and Assignment features.