2011 Final Topics

2010 Horizon Report Preview pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Challenges

Trends


Trends

  • 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. This multi-year trend was again ranked very highly, indicating its continued influence. Institutions must consider the unique value that each adds to a world in which information is everywhere. In such a world, sense-making and the ability to assess the credibility of information are paramount. Mentoring and preparing students for the world in which they will live, the central role of the university when it achieved its modern form in the 14th century, is again at the forefront. Universities have always been seen as the gold standard for educational credentialing, but emerging certification programs from other sources are eroding the value of that mission daily.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. This highly-ranked trend, noted last year, continues to permeate all aspects of daily living. Life in an increasingly busy world where learners must balance demands from home, work, school, and family poses a host of logistical challenges with which today’s ever more mobile students must cope. A faster approach is often perceived as a better approach, and as such people want easy and timely access not only to the information on the network, but to their social networks that can help them to interpret it and maximize its value. The implications for informal learning are profound, as are the notions of “just-in-time” learning and “found” learning, both ways of maximizing the impact of learning by ensuring it is timely and efficient.
  • The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized. The continuing acceptance and adoption of cloud-based applications and services is changing not only the ways we configure and use software and file storage, but even how we conceptualize those functions. It does not matter where our work is stored; what matters is that our information is accessible no matter where we are or what device we choose to use. Globally, in huge numbers, we are growing used to a model of browser-based software that is device-independent. While some challenges still remain, specifically with notions of privacy and control, the promise of significant cost savings is an important driver in the search for solutions.
  • The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured. This trend is being driven by the increasingly global and cooperative nature of business interactions facilitated by Internet technologies. The days of isolated desk jobs are disappearing, giving way to models in which teams work actively together to address issues too far-reaching or complex for a single worker to resolve alone. While this trend is not widespread, where schools have created a climate in which students, their peers, and their teachers are all working towards the same goals, where research is something open even to first year students, the results have shown tantalizing promise. Over the past few years, the emergence of a raft of new (and often free) tools has made collaboration easier than at any other point in history.