Trends, Challenges and Technologies to watch

Here’s the 2011-Horizon-Report highlighting the trends, critical challenges and important technologies to watch for the next 5 years.

[For those who are new to the Horizon Report, this is an annual report produced by an Advisory Board comprising of an international body of experts in education, technology, business, and other fields who engaged in a discussion based on a set of research questions intended to surface significant trends and challenges to identify a broad array of potential technologies for the report.  This dialog was enriched by a wide range of resources, current research, and practice that drew on the expertise of the NMC community and the communities of the members of the board. … Each edition of the Horizon Report introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use within three adoption horizons over the next five years.”  Past reports available here.]

The following four trends (listed in the order they were ranked by the Advisory Board) have been identified as key drivers of technology adoptions for the period 2010 through 2015:

Trend 1 – The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
Trend 2 – People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
Trend 3 – The world of work is increasingly collaborative, giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured.
Trend 4 – The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.

Again listed in the order of their rated importance, the following have been listed as the critical challenges that are common to institutions and the educational community as a whole:

Challenge 1 – Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
Challenge 2 – Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag behind the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching.
Challenge 3 – Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of the university.
Challenge 4 – Keeping pace with the rapid proliferation of information, software tools, and devices is challenging for students and teachers alike.

Technologies to Watch
On the near-term horizon – Electronic books and Mobiles
On the two to three years horizon – Augmented reality and Game-based learning
On the far-term horizon – Gesture-based computing and Learning analytics

Each and every of the trends, challenges and technologies discussed in the report are very real and already quite pervasive in our daily lives (just look at the number of social media contents that are created each day and the way we are using our mobile phones and tablets, with all the flip-flip here and shake-shake there) and it won’t surprise me at all if the implementation horizon gets even shorter than what was projected.
I can’t help but start to wonder “Will libraries be able to move in tandem with all these new technologies?”

About Rica

Director, Civica Library & Learning ... got teleported from the academic library space to the commercial library space in 2005 ...
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