Horizon report 2009 conclusions

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Educause Association recently reported the results of the Horizon Project, “a long-running qualitative research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations”. The document (PDF, 368KB) analyses the context of new education and its relationship with technologies like mobiles, cloud computing, geo-localization, the semantic web applications or smart objects and describes key trends like:


  • Increasing globalization continues to affect the way we work, collaborate, and communicate.
  • The notion of collective intelligence is redefining how we think about ambiguity and imprecision
  • Experience with and affinity for games as learning tools is an increasingly universal characteristic among those entering higher education and the workforce
  • Visualization tools are making information more meaningful and insights more intuitive
  • As more than one billion phones are produced each year, mobile phones are benefiting from unprecedented innovation, driven by global competition.

This issue of Horizon report, which is the sixth annual report in the series, also alerts about critical challenges like:

  • There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy
  • Students are different, but a lot of educational material is not
  • Significant shifts are taking place in the ways scholarship and research are conducted, and there is a need for innovation and leadership at all levels of the academy
  • We are expected, especially in public education, to measure and prove through formal assessment that our students are learning
  • Higher education is facing a growing expectation to make use of and to deliver services, content, and media to mobile devices




Iphone educational apps as shown on the Apple Stores. Photo by Wesley Fryer on Flickr. 

In addition, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya has been collaborating with the New Media Consortium on the translation of the report onto Spanish (PDF, 401KB) and Catalan (PDF, 396KB) languages.

The New Media Consortium, an foundation world wide respected due to its expertise on education and innovation fields, include some names on its council that might be familiar tu us. I’m talking about Susan Metros, whose “Digital literacy in the age on the big picture” intervention at UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Fifth International Seminar video summary we published on this blog some weeks ago.

What seems to be a bit worrying is that, after reading the report challenges and conclusions, the Spanish Government plan (addresses to an article written in Spanish) of stablishing partnerships with editorial, technology and telecommunication services companies (links to a blogpost written in Spanish) in order to digitalize its teaching materials doesn’t seem to fit very much with the main ideas of the Horizon plan.

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