2009 Horizon Report

Horizon09_NZOZ The 2009 Horizon Report (NZ and Australian edition) was released today at the National Broadband Network Symposium at Griffith University.

Again this year I’ve had the privilege of contributing to the development of this report – and again, I feel the value for me has been in the rigor of the thinking and exchanges that took place in deciding what things should be included and what should be left out (and why etc).

This year’s report has the usual list of technologies to watch out for, and the possible impact on education – plus it has some interesting sections on future trends and critical challenges.

The technologies to watch as decided by this year’s panel of contributors are:

One year or less to adoption

  • Mobile internet devices
  • private clouds

Two to three years

  • Open content
  • Virtual, augmented and alternate realities

Four to five years

  • Location-based learning
  • Smart objects and devices

This year’s report provides some excellent background on each of these technologies, and has a list of examples (with links) for you to go and explore further if there are things there you’re not familiar with, or if you simply want to learn more.

The rigor of the debate about what to include and what to leave out inevitably led to a lot of discussion around the complexity of inter-related issues and concerns that come to play with the adoption of technology and trying to anticipate its impact on learning. In this year’s report I’m particularly interested in the summary of the ‘critical challenges’ that emerged from the group’s work – as I believe these are (or should be) of more interest to the future planners in our education system, school leaders etc, than simply trying to second-guess what technologies will emerge.

Here are the challenges that are identified:

  1. Practices for evaluating student work will evolve in response to the changing nature of learning and student preferences for receiving feedback.
  2. Ageing learning environments do not easily allow for embracing the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), or enable the sorts of learning support systems being promoted by modern theorists.
  3. There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy.
  4. There is a growing recognition that new technologies must be adopted and used as an everyday part of classroom activities, but effecting this change is difficult.

These issues are expanded on in brief in the report – and are worth exploring further in staffrooms and professional development meetings as we prepare to enter the second decade of the 21st century!

Download PDF of the report here

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