Each year the Horizon Advisory Board researches, identifies and ranks key trends affecting the practice of teaching, learning, research, and creative expression. The Board reviews current articles, interviews, papers, and new research to discover emerging or continuing trends. The trends are ranked according to how significant an impact they are likely to have on education in the next five years. The top trends highlighted for 2009 are presented below in priority order, as ranked by the Advisory Board.
- 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. With the growing availability of tools to connect learners and scholars all over the world — online collaborative workspaces, social networking tools, mobiles, voice-over-IP, and more — teaching and scholarship are transcending traditional borders more and more all the time.
- The notion of collective intelligence is redefining how we think about ambiguity and imprecision. Collective intelligence may give rise to multiple answers, all equally correct, to problems. The 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. A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that massively multiplayer and other online game experience is extremely common among young people, is rich and varied, and that games offer opportunity for increased social interaction and civic engagement among this group. The success of game-based learning strategies owes to active participation and interaction being at the center of the experience, and signals that current educational methods are not engaging students enough.
- Visualization tools are making information more meaningful and insights more intuitive. As tools of this nature continue to be developed and used, visual literacy will become an increasingly important skill in decoding, encoding, and determining credibility and authenticity of data. Visual literacy must be formally taught, but it is an evolving field even now.
- As more than one billion phones are produced each year, mobile phones are benefiting from unprecedented innovation, driven by global competition. New capabilities in terms of hardware and software are turning mobiles into indispensable tools. Third-party applications, now available on several models of mobile devices, expand their utility even further. This trend, observed in the Horizon Report now for some time, will continue to impact the ways we communicate and view computing and networked resources.
Posted by NMC on January 18, 2009