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The Horizon Report series is the most visible outcome of the New Media Consortiums Horizon Project, an ongoing research effort established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within education around the globe. This volume, the 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition, examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative expression within the environment of pre-college education. The hope is that the report is useful to educators worldwide, and the international composition of the Advisory Board reflects the care with which a global perspective was assembled. While there are many local factors affecting the practice of education, there are also issues that transcend regional boundaries, questions we all face in K-12 education, and it was with these in mind that this report was created. The 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition is the second in the K-12 series of reports and is produced by the NMC in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), with the generous support of HP.

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Each edition of the Horizon Report introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use in the educational community within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Each report also presents critical trends and challenges that will affect teaching and learning over the same time frame. To identify these areas, the project has drawn on an ongoing conversation among knowledgeable persons in the fields of business, industry, and education; on published resources, current research, and practice; and on the expertise of both the NMC community and the communities of the members of the Horizon Project’s K-12 Advisory Board, an international body of experts in education, technology, and other fields. The Advisory Board, chosen to broadly represent a range of perspectives in K-12 education, engaged in a discussion around a set of research questions intended to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify a wide array of potential technologies for the report. Over the course of a few weeks, the Advisory Board came to a consensus about the six topics that will appear here. The examples and readings under each topic area are meant to provide practical models as well as access to more detailed information. Wherever possible, an effort was made to highlight the innovative work going on among elementary, middle, and high schools around the world. The precise research methodology employed in producing the report is detailed in a special section that follows the body of the report.

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The reports format is consistent from year to year, opening with a discussion of the trends and challenges identified by the Advisory Board as most critical for the next five years. The format of the main section closely reflects the focus of the Horizon Project itself, centering on the applications of emerging technologies to education and creativity. Each topic is introduced with an overview that describes what it is, followed by a discussion of the particular relevance of the topic to teaching, learning, or creativity. Examples of how the technology is being, or could be applied to those activities are given. Finally, each section closes with an annotated list of suggested readings and additional examples that expand on the discussion in the report and a link to the tagged resources collected during the research process by project staff, the Advisory Board, and others in the growing Horizon Project community.