Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report
Feb 10, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If you don't want to read the entire Horizon Report (Direct link to PDF) then this set of crib notes will do nicely. If you want to dig more deeply, as the Chronicle notes, " the New Media Consortium this year designed the Horizon Project Navigator, a social-media site to offer access to the materials experts looked at in preparing the report and share information related to the identified technology trends."

As usual, in my opinion, the Horizon Report tracks technologies that have become more prevalent in media reports. It is a publicity tracker, not a tech tracker. That's why, for example, you'll never see 'personal server' or 'home server' in the predictions until after production has started and they're appearing in media reports. That's why this year's report features the following: e-books, mobile computing, augmented reality, game-based learning, gesture-based computing, and learning analytics. More from Helge Sherlund, Dean Groom ("This must have been written by educators, not gamers"), Ray Tolley ("It is time education got its head out of the sand and looked at what the big wide world *IS* doing"), Graham Attwell ("We may actually be seeing the zenith of the Kindle"), Jane Hart and Tony Bates ("Only two out of six (mobile learning and learning analytics) are common between us – who do you think is right?"). Total: 1239
[Direct Link] 54807

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

I think the Horizon Report is great. It not only gives a coherent, fairly short and accessible guide to things on the horizon, but the links (especially the use of Delicious) are pretty much gold dust.

The NMC Horizon Navigator is the cherry on the top of a very tasty cake, for me. Yes, it doesn't include OERs but, given they define what they're doing by mainstream = 20% or more, I think they've got a fair reason not too at the moment. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

I'm elaborating for the sake of Dave Cormier who called me out on Twitter:

"It should be noted at the outset that the Horizon Report is not a predictive tool. It is meant, rather, to highlight emerging technologies with considerable potential." (

It's not as if we (yet) live in a deterministic world where technologies have a life of their own. In that case, reports such as the Horizon Report both reflect and help shape how we move things forward.

So, when Stephen talks about it being a 'tech tracker' in a derisory way comparing it to a 'publicity tracker' I'd respond that the two can't really be separated. Technology doesn't exist independently of the people who use it. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

I think there is a considerable difference between what's out there in the world worth looking at, and what gets publicized, and that is why I think it is an error for a report to tend to report on the latter, at the expense of the former. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

There might well be, but by its very nature the Horizon report is at the secondary tier, reporting on what's out there. It's apples and oranges. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

The most reliable prediction around the Horizon Report is that Stephen will not like it. 2011 continues the yearly trend. The trophy is in the mail ;-)

Again you seem to miss that the report does not focus on technologies that are viable (like home servers) but ones that will be used broadly across many organizations in these time frames.

Keep in mind that the Horizon Report is not NMC's opinion, but that of a consensus process of 40+ leaders from around the world (an invitation that had been made to you before). There are plenty of people, like you, Tony Bates, TechCrunch and others who make individual predictions, which are great, but how many of such efforts include inputs from multiple organizations, countries, sectors?

Frankly, it is tiring to hear the whinging about "if it is right"- the whole point which people seem to miss is that it is not put out there as a final answer, the report is intended to paint a broad brush stroke across higher education around the world, and for many places/people/organizations -- they are ahead of or behind or not even on the same curves. Nowhere does it state that these will eb true for everyone, everywhere. It is meant to start conversations, not end them.

You don't agree with the reports findings? Great! We want to know. But please give us something more substantive than a smear.

Sorry if you were expecting The 2011 Horizon Report: The Stephen Downes Edition.

[Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

In response to Alan, I'll run this bit from digital digs by Alex Reid

"Not for nothing, but here's the history of gaming in the Horizon Report:

2004: Educational Gaming 2-3 year window
2005: Educational Gaming 2-3 year window
2006: Educational Gaming 2-3 year window (tick, tick, tick)
2007: Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming 4-5 year window (hmmmm)
2008: Gaming not on the list (say what?)
2009: Gaming not on the list (guess we were wrong about gaming, huh?)
2010: Gaming is now extinct
2011: Game-based learning 2-3 year window"

And when I write that I don't like the process, I'm just being cranky. Yeah.

[Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

That works if you are tracking the titles of topics only- it is the context which is a moving target, but Educational Gaming in 2004 is not the same as the as it was described in 2007 or 2011.

but who am I to try to reason with GOD? bye [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

Stpehen, the link in your post to Jim Groom is I think to Dean Groom - poles apart geographically only. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Crib sheet for 2011 Educase Horizon Report

You're quite right, I've made the correction to Dean Groom. [Comment] [Permalink]

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