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Horizon Report

Launched in 2002, the New Media Consortium (www.nmc.org) has sponsored and produced The Horizon Report. This Report is a ‘best guess’ scenario about what technologies will be affecting and used in higher education.

The guessing part works in what it calls “time to adoption” — that is, when will the technology be used or usable in general. There are three levels: one year (real stuff that’s here now), two to three years (kinda real stuff but may be expensive or not easily accessed) and four to five years (it exists but it’s high level, not easily/readily used or not quite ready for wide use).

The 2011 Horizon Report (available here: http://www.nmc.org/horizon), talks about the following:

  • One Year or less
    • electronic books
    • mobiles
  • Two to Three Years
    • augmented reality
    • game based learning
  • Four to Five Years
    • gesture based learning
    • learning analytics

The ‘stuff” that is here now are electronic books and mobiles. At Genesee, we’re poking at these with a stick to see what might bite.

I’m going to do some poking at the electronic book category over the next bit. No, I’m not going to give you a timeline since I don’t have one in mind. But, over the semester.

I already do a lot of reading on my computer screen. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I write stories in my spare time. Well, I also read other people’s stories. As a result, most of my reading is now on a computer screen.

Now I want to look at the features of reading books organized for handheld devices and what kind of options are there. Do you really need a Kindle to read Amazon books since Amazon advertises that there is a “Kindle for the PC” app. I’ll check those sorts of things out while I’m poking around. I’ll be including the Nook and anything else I can find… so the finding will take some time.

If you have anything in particular you’d like to see, let me know… I’d love to have some input!

One thought on “Horizon Report

  1. Warning, incoming rant only tangentially related to the original post. Reader discretion advised.

    I don’t have anything against technology per se, but so far the electronic media seem both more expensive and less useful, and I hope the college will consider both of those factors when deciding what to incorporate.

    As an example, consider the nursing program’s requirement to purchase a PDA and limited use software. As far as I’m aware, the reasoning behind this is twofold. 1). To simplify the clinical experience by not having to drag around all the resources needed when you’re ostensibly supposed to be taking care of patients and otherwise developing your nursing skills. 2). To prepare the student to incorporate technology into nursing practice (Disclaimer, this is my only my impression. I do not actually know the reasons for the decision, official or otherwise).

    When I was an LPN student not even three years ago, the resources we used were books. The books, though not cheap, were no more expensive than any other college book. They required no special equipment other than (ideally) good lighting to use. They could be passed between students without violating any laws or worrying about DRM. They had no hardware/software conflicts, no technical support issues, and I still use them today.

    The currently recommended PDA runs between $200-300, not inclusive of the (limited) license to use the software, which I understand presently costs another $600 and lasts one and a half to two years.

    In my thinking, the cost to the student alone should have been prohibited seriously considering this, as the requirement for all this equipment with a limit costs more than 6 credit hours of classes, and most likely any student going to a community college is at least partially motivated by the much lower cost of a community college.

    In addition to the cost, the traditional book will typically be usable for a much longer period of time than a PDA. My drug book, for example, was updated annually via paper inserts, and relies on no delicate or expensive electronic components. To further limit the usefulness of the PDA, the hospital where I work prohibits the use of electronic devices such as cell-phones, PDA’s and presumably the Kindle/Nook while on the clock (the Kindle/Nook is not specifically on the prohibited list, but I’m not going to inquire).

    The present PDA requirement is burdensome enough, and impractical enough that I can at least wish for it to be rescinded. Please do not add to the burden of students attempting to be fiscally responsible by requiring the purchase of expensive, short-lived equipment.

    End Rant.

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