2012 Horizon Report Summary

The product of a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE, the NMC Horizon Report publishes annual findings from a “decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education” (NMC site).

The 2012 report, released in February, named the following emerging technologies:

In One Year or Less:

  • Mobile Apps. While this shouldn’t surprise anyone, I was impressed to hear that Ericsson is projecting that 80% of people worldwide will be using a mobile phone to access the Internet by 2015.
  • Tablet Computing. Distinct from mobile devices because of the larger screens and more advanced gesture-based interfaces, tablets are ideal for sharing media.

In Two to Three Years:

  • Game-Based Learning. Research is happening in every area of game-based learning; role-playing, collaborative problem solving, and simulated experiences are especially recognized for their applicability in multiple disciplines.
  • Learning Analytics. Data collection can help teachers tailor education to individual students.

In Four to Five Years:

  • Gesture-Based Computing. Allowing users to experience virtual activities teaches them to manipulate content intuitively, which changes the way we interact with technology by making it less foreign and artificial.
  • Internet of Things. This term refers to objects that connect the physical world to the world of information. This increases access to data because the objects “know” about a certain kind of information, e.g., cost, age, temperature.

To see the work that produced the report, check out the Horizon Project wiki.

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