Social media is growing at explosive rates. Just take a glance at Gary’s Social Media Count which includes recent statistics from January 2011. Be certain to click on the ‘social’, ‘mobile’, ‘games’,  and ‘heritage’ buttons at the top of the page to get the full impact.

The information from the statistics aligns well with the Horizon Report 2010 and will certainly underpin the new Horizon Report 2011 that will be unveiled on Monday, February 14th. The Horizon Report is a joint publication of the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative which has tracked new and emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and creative expression for the past nine years.

Key trends cited in the 2010 Horizon Report:

  • 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.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  • The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
  • The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more cross-campus collaboration between departments.

Increasingly our mobility requires the access to information anytime anywhere and to remotely access data stored on home computers or stored in clouds.

Critical challenges:

  • The role of the academy — and the way we prepare students for their future lives — is changing.
  • New scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching continue to emerge but appropriate metrics for evaluating them increasingly and far too often lag behind.
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
  • Institutions increasingly focus more narrowly on key goals, as a result of shrinking budgets in the present economic climate.


Technologies to watch:

Mobile computing, open content, electronic books, simple agumented reality, gesture-based computing and visual data analysis – the impact of these are already being felt in the classroom.

We all need to watch for the 2011 Horizon Report on February 14th to see how the key trends, critical challenges and technologies to watch have “leapfrogged” forward.