01 April 2009

Emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and research

University of Arizona's Jeanne Pfander and Barb Hutchinson alert us to the 2009 Horizon Report that looks into emerging trends and challenges in teaching, learning, research and creative expression in "learning-focused organizations."

Among the key trends identified: "Increasing globalization continues to affect the way we work, collaborate, and communicate. Information technologies are having a significant impact on how people work, play, gain information, and collaborate. Increasingly, those who use technology in ways that expand their global connections are more likely to advance, while those who do not will find themselves on the sidelines. "

Other key trends:
  • "Notions of collective intelligence and mass amateurization are redefining scholarship as we grapple with issues of top-down control and grassroots scholarship. Today’s learners want to be active participants in the learning process – not mere listeners; they have a need to control their environments, and they are used to easy access to the staggering amount of content and knowledge available at their fingertips." 
  • "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."
  • "Mobile phones are benefiting from unprecedented innovation, driven by global competition. New capabilities in terms of hardware and software are turning mobiles into indispensible tools."

Technologies to watch:

  • 1 year time-to-adoption horizon: mobiles; cloud computing;
  • 2-3  year horizon: geo-everything; the personal web;
  • 4-5 year horizon: semantic-aware applications; smart objects


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