Besides the other important event 😉 , the Horizon Project issued its annual report for 2009 today. According to the report, technologies to watch within the next five years include mobiles, cloud computing, geo-everything, the personal web, semantic-aware applications, and smart objects. Put them all together and you have a vision of ubiquitous computing similar to what Weiser (see also here) envisioned back in 1991 and which has since been used, reused, revised, etc. by scholars such as Bell & Dourish (2005), and Rogers (2006).
This is the third year in a row that mobiles are a part of the Horizon Report, and their importance for education can no longer be ignored, really. However, the key trends I found to be most important have to do with teaching and learning, and research. With regards to teaching and learning the report states (p. 7):
There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy; and Students are different, but a lot of educational material is not.
With regards to research, the report indicates that:
Significant shifts are taking place in the ways scholarship and research are conducted, and there is a need for innovation and leadership at all levels of the academy. A challenge cited as critical now for several years running, academic review and faculty rewards are out of sync with the practice of scholarship. Clear approaches to assessing emerging forms of scholarly practice are needed for tenure and promotion. Students who are living and learning with technologies that generate dynamic forms of content may find the current formalism and structure of scholarship and research to be static and “dead” as a way of collecting, analyzing and sharing results.
Change seems to be the key in all of this.
Just a glimpse at the report and my initial and cursory thoughts….. Definitely worth a read.