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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

General Session – The 2011 Horizon Report

NMC and ELI officially unveiled the 2011 Horizon Report ( during the final session of the day on Monday, February 14th. The key trends/technologies to watch in the next five years or less include:

  • One Year or Less to Adoption
    • E-Books
    • Mobile Technologies
  • Two to Three Years to Adoption
    • Augmented Reality
    • Game-Based Learning
  • Four to Five Years to Adoption
    • Gesture-Based Computing
    • Learning Analytics

While I didn’t really take notes on this session, I did make some mental notes and some connections with other sessions throughout the week. The conference was filled with sessions on the topics of e-books, mobile computing, and analytics.

In terms of the Open content movement, e-books are receiving mixed reviews. One reason for this reaction is that the publishers are emerging as leaders in the ebook field, which truly does not fit into the concept of Openness. The discussion of the cost of e-books was rather prevalent as well. However, the mobile nature of e-books was touted by students in particular as a positive.

Tools like the iAnnotate PDF markup App for the iPad/iPhone were particularly touted by some proponents of e-book like technology allowing students to mark up the text and interact with it in ways that they can or cannot do with a paper version.

It seems like the mobile technology movement has been around since the existence of the first laptop. Seton Hall University presented on the history of the mobility movement there that included the distribution of the first laptops back in the late 80s early 90s. The challenge seems to be around issues of capacity, accessibility, and platform/browser selection or limitations.

Purdue University was highlighted in the General Session presentation presenting a very nice what I would call an aggregator app called Mixable they developed which brings the students together into a social learning network without recreating the wheel. I did not attend any demonstrations of this app so cannot speak to it further.

The university of Notre Dame gave a presentation along with Sprint about the development of Alternate Reality for Higher Education beyond the institutional information apps like bus schedules, building locations, etc.  Alternate Reality is just not there yet and while the development of 4G technology is touted as the breakthrough needed to make Alternate Reality a reality, the devices that can support 4G speed and true access to 4G service is still a limiting factor to its implementation. Of the three types of AR technology that currently exist, only object based AR is considered viable for development at this time. I think the two to three year adoption time on this is still rather optimistic.

Interestingly enough, while Game-Based Computing is listed as a trend in the next two to three years there were no sessions at ELI on the topic. This is an interest of mine, as is AR technology, so I’m hoping to see exciting things coming down the line.

Another interesting trend, though four to five years out is that of Gesture-Based Computing. Most mentioned during the conference is Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Surpassing the movement technology by Nintendo’s Wii, Kinect requires no controllers and used the entire users body as the controller. While most of the gesture-based movement for these games is still gross motor movement, the goal is to reach a point where fine or subtle movements can be detected as well.

As mentioned in another posting, analytics is on the radar for ELI in the present, so its existence on the NMC list for four to five years out is perplexing. As it currently stand the tools that currently exist, particularly those in the LMS are unsuitable to gather the types of statistics necessary to accomplish any type of detailed analysis of student engagement and performance. The lack of standards in data gathering and metrics in addition to the capability of the systems currently in place to gather such data are likely the reasons for the delayed adoption time in the Horizon Report.

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2011 by in ELI 2011.

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