Archive for January, 2009

The 2009 Horizon report

horizon2009The 2009 edition of the horizon report has just been published. Since I am curious of future trends in learning meeting technology, it is always a pleasure to read. In the report I have co-written, about the future of learning, we surveyed all the Horizon reports from 2004 and onwards, to find some of the trends that prevails. Now it’s interesting to see what they have come up with.


Six chapters as usual, and the same system of relevance, examples and further reading tips. A time-to-adoption-frame as usual, where some trends seem closer in time, and some seem further away.


The main subjects this year are:


Cloud computing


The personal web

Semantic aware applications

Smart objects


Mobiles and cloud computing are already in full use at some campuses. Mobiles continue to develop rapidly and are starting to assume many tasks that were once the exclusive province of portable computers. Cloud computing – large clusters of networked servers are changing the way we think of computers, software and files.


Geo-Everything means easy access to geographical data, which recently required specialist knowledge. Many devices now record their own precise location, and can save data along with media like photographs or can transmit it to web-based applications. This technology for learning is a little further into the future, since this implication is still unfolding.


The personal web springs from the desire to reorganise content in customizable ways with increasing collections of widgets. Free and simple tools are available to form a personal web based environment, that supports ones social-, professional- and learning activities


Semantic aware applications, which find their own context without the need of additional tags, identifiers or other top-down methods. New ways to extract embedded meaning, or shape content are created.


Smart objects, sometimes called the “internet of things” is ordinary physical objects that can connect with other and information. They know something about themselves and something about their environment. The technology is not new, but new applications with more sets of functions are evolving.


To compare with earlier predictions, the mobile phone is something that keeps coming up as a powerful learning tool. In a developed form, the mobile is blurring the boundary between phone and computer (and even other devices I may add). Last years predictions about grassroots-video, collaboration webs and social operating systems are unified in the tern cloud computing.


Key trends they point out in the Horizon report are increasing globalization, the notion of collective intelligence, experience with games as learning tools, visualization tools. And again, the mobile phones.


Now I will read the details, look at the challenges and try to implement this at work. Here it is:


Blogging prevents perspectives?

One huge argument for using internet in learning, is that it is said to widen perspectives, helping people find different stories and learning people to value the greyscales of the world. This seems to be entirely wrong, according to recent events in Sweden. Here, the most widely sold book ever, “Hidden” in English, by Liza Marklund, has been criticized as a fraud. It has claimed to be a true story about domestic violence and a woman’s struggle, but are now met with another book – “Mia, the truth about Hidden”. This new book claims to hold nothing but the truth, and in the intense debate that has followed, the author Monica Antonsson keeps repeating her demands for the truth. A huge blog storm has broken loose with hundreds of thousands of posts by all kinds of bloggers. After a couple of days, this turned into a foxhunt on Liza Marklund, far beyond journalistic dignity, where she is publicly humiliated.

In the middle of all this are the blog community, which has not at all learned to widen their perspectives, valuing the different stories and see the grey scales. All is about chasing the TRUTH, whatever that means. Remarkably often, the bloggers are adult and educated. And after a couple of week, the press got a little bit nuanced. There were possibilities to find perspectives, even outside the actual books.


Sad, if you ask me. And an evidence that the learning perspectives that I promote when talking about blogs, might be wrong. Bloggers might just write as a method of bullying. Bloggers move away from the subjects as they get complex. Afterwards, traces from the battles are left in the form of shallow arguments and insults. Not much to learn from.


Are people too lazy to read the actual stories and think for themselves? A book may be a huge mountain to climb apparently. And is it so hard to se the word truth as merely a marketing strategy from thw authors, wanting to make a bit of cash? Are the need for an objective truth an evidence that we are tired of a complex world?


Here, but only in Swedish news articles, is an excerpt of this storm:

December 11:

December 12:

December 17:

December 19:

December 19:

December 19:

December 30:

January 11:

January 12

January 12:

January 12:
January 12:

January 12:

January 13:

January 13:

January 13:

January 14:

January 15:

January 15:

January 16:

January 16:

January 18:

January 19:

January 20:

About this blog

Starting from a project about foreseeing the future of learning, this blog is an output of thoughts, ideas, comments and research. I am trying to be practical too, providning examples of the different aspects of the subject. My name is Pelle Filipsson and I work as a web pedagog.