Horizon Report 2010: A Condensed View

The Horizon Report gives my poor brain some clarity on predicting  emerging technologies in education over the next 5 years.

It’s a long read and well worth it but I’ve summarised it for myself and thought it may be useful to others.

4 Current Trends identified for 2010-2015

Information is everywhere; at the touch of a button or the swipe of an iPod. As educators the challenge is in preparing our students to assimilate this mass amount of information effectively.

We expect to be able to do work, study and learn 24/7. We expect to get help and learn from our social networks too.

Cloud based technologies are being used more frequently for file storage and software utilisation. We can work wherever we want with whatever technology we’ve got.

Student work is becoming more collaborative in nature. To face the world’s problems we will  have to work together. With technology this process becomes less complicated.

4 Critical Challenges identified for 2010-2015

Our roles as educators and the way we prepare our students is changing. Teaching and learning must be adapted to prepare our students for the life ahead of them in a global world with these emerging technology tools. Amen!

Blogging, tagging, tweeting, retweeting and commenting. Schools are not sure how to handle these regarding assessment and evaluation. Understanding needs to be brought up to par.

It’s rare for students and teachers to be taught digital media literacy skills. It’s not yet seen as a key skill and at the minute it’s taught through osmosis and peer teaching.

This one strikes a chord with me. Schools instead of pushing technology aside need to invest time and money into using technology to reach their overall goals. Technology can save money you know?!

6 Emerging Technologies to Watch

Within 12 months:

Mobile Computing– Smartphones, netbooks, iPads. Students have them (or will do). We should be using them but we have to think of the challenges. Privacy, classroom management and access are issues that need to be addressed and policies put into place before widespread implementation in any school.

Open Content– Goes hand in hand with students wanting to be able to learn and study whenever they want to. Schools are increasingly making their course content available for access. Implications? No costs! High accessibility! Freedom of learning!

2 – 3 Years Ahead:

Electronic Books– Man this sounds old school but they are yet to take off big time in schools worldwide. With the recent launch of Kindle, iPod Touch, iPad, Nook etc. the age of the electronic book may finally be just around the corner. Implications? Again low costs, high accessibility, freedom of learning! Did I mention good for mother Earth?

Simple Augmented Reality– At the moment my experiences of augmented reality has been a couple of gimmicky websites. Cool though they are; the educational reasoning behind them is not quite there yet. With the onslaught of mobile technologies augmented reality may just become a major player in education. My small brain sees English Learners with a SmartPhone (okay an iPhone/iPod Touch!) panning the camera around a and up pops up the names(with activities linked) of all the items they focus on.

4 to 5 Years Ahead: 

Gesture Based Computing– Getting those darn illogical input devices out of our society! Getting the technology to work with our corporal masses instead of crippling our hands and bodies typing on QWERTY keyboards! The Wii and the upcoming devices from Playstation and Xbox will pave the way for this type of technology in education.  I think.

Visual Data Analysis – Making data easy to discover and comprehend. Sounds simple! I’m not 100% sure what this is going to look like. More interactive and colorful bar charts!? Seriously, ff it evolves along the way of the data charts at informationisbeautiful.net I’ll be happy. I am looking forward to seeing how this pans out.


This is a broad outline of the areas investigated in the Horizon Report 2010. I freely admit it’s a very vague and broad outline but that was my intention. Download or read the full version here. Do it!

Regarding the next year or two it seems The Horizon Report comes back to two factors determining technology in education:

1. Easy access to information.

2. Ever present access to information.

Two factors I am so on board with! I see it every day I’m afraid. Schools need to think about the unnecessary barriers and obstacles that are thrown in the way of technology in teaching and learning.
It’s not a subject, it’s not something you throw in to a classroom, it’s not a grade on a report card and it’s not only a sub sub-heading on a budget sheet. It’s life and it’s relevant.

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