2010 Horizon Report Key Trends
The annual “Horizon Report“, which details the work of the New Media Consortium’s qualitative research into new and emerging technologies with the potential to impact education, was released last month. The report details four key trends which have been identified as key drivers of technology adoptions for the period 2010-2015. These trends have the potential to make a significant change to the role we see for ourselves as educators.
The first trend noted was:
The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
This to me makes a lot of sense. Traditionally we have viewed ourselves as the source of much of the valuable information needed by our students. There is no way we could ever match the internet for breadth of knowledge and ease of access, however, so educators must now look to redefine themselves as facilitators of learning opportunities, rather than the actual learning opportunity. One skill which the teacher still has the responsibility to teach is the ability to critically analyze the source and content of the information being uncovered by the student. Students still need to be taught the “sense-making” skills, and that now needs to become an educators priority.
The second trend:
People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
Again, this makes sense. Think of the popularity of online courses for educators. Everyone wants the ability to do things on a schedule which suits them. As an educator this trend emphasizes to me the need to embrace web 2.0 applications. Our students need an outlet to write and learn from one another at every opportunity. The skills of the teacher (repeated from trend 1!) will be in facilitating these opportunities. This all ties perfectly into trend three:
The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature
Once again, the teacher as facilitator of these opportunities.
The final trend is a more technically-based observation.
The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized
This development has been explained in some detail by Thomas Bittman of the Gartner Group.
As educators we are responsible for preparing our students for the world beyond school. It is incumbent on us to keep up with these emerging trends and to know our place in the way our students learn. That place is increasingly becoming one of facilitating opportunities and less about standing at the front and imparting knowledge. As the needs of our students change, so must we.