Posts Tagged 'Horizon report'

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:

Evaluating the Horizon Report

In the future project, A good source for what others think about the development in learning, is the Horizon report. A very good work indeed. I have tried to get a historical overview on the reports from 2004 to 2008. Its interesting how some of the ideas have continued and developed. For instance mobile learning. In 2005 it was called “Ubiquitous wireless”, 2006 it was “Phones in their pockets”, 2007 had just “Mobile Phones” and 2008 calls it “mobile broadband”. I think these are all pointing towards the potential and development of the mobile learning. Unfortunately, I have not seen any practical examples that are really good yet.

The social web is one trend that has been proven very true. In 2005, the Horizon report called this “Social networks and knowledge webs”. Then the idea continued as “Social computing” in 2006, “Social networking”, “User created content” and “Massive multiplayer Educational gaming” in 2007, while in 2008 almost all of the trends reported were about the social web, such as “collaboration webs”, “collective intelligence” and “social operating systems”.

 Educational games is one more of the trends that comes back every year. 2005: Augmented reality”, 2006: “Educational gaming” and 2007: “Massive Multiplayer Educational gaming”.

So these three trends will be very interesting to follow. There are pros and cons with them all, so I suppose I have to dig in to find the gems in all subjects.

Grassroots video

From the Horizon report, I take this definition of the video revolution that is ravaging through the Internet right now. It is as easy to publish video as to publish text on the web. It is easy and extremely cheap to record and edit video clips. You know the most popular sites already, and there is more to come: web based editing for instance, as and

The problems as I have identified them, though are the following:
– Poor quality
– Small screens
– The internet restlessness
– Educational infrastructure

A plumberQuality problems and small screens are two sides of the same coin. Due to bandwidth limitations, the quality and size has to be restricted. In learning this may – especially in poor conditions – lead to unuseful material and frustrated students. I have worked in a project with apprentice plumbers, using mobile phones as a primary tool for their learning. But how do a student see the the small details of a sewege pipe in a tiny window with pixelated compression? There are issues to discuss here.

The restlessness that internet users have proven to suffer from, is an issue too. Video is more direct than a text, which may help. But why should a student watch just the videos recommended by the teacher, when there’s car crashes, erotica, Eddie Izzard, Gnarls Barkely and all the entertainment at the same place?

What do I mean with educational infrastructure? Well, this is really a subject of its own. The big problem in this matter is that many shools lack computers, and the existing computers (or technical policy to be more precise) do not allow Flash or other video players to be installed. This means that all ways of using, sharing, uploading and teaching via grassroots video – methodology is lost. Out in the field we try to discuss this matter with scool leaders, technical staff and teachers. But its a slow preocess. The students and the teachers are not trusted.

Anyway. I have started some experiments with grassroots video, to try to find good ways of using it. Soon there will be some results here.

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.