Horizon Reports 2008 – 2011

“Schools, office buildings and other worksites are filled with people who have never known a world without videogames, cell phones, and the internet. In the four years between 2006 and 2010, nearly one in five US workers is expected to retire, to be replaced primarily by 18-40 year-olds who grew up with videogames.”  (Trybus)

This was the opening for my reasoning for choosing mobile devices and game-based learning for the corporate policy paper.  I think this is a really important statement and that it is an indicator of why the technologies that are chosen for the Horizon Reports are what they are.

In 2008 the report chose Grassroots Video, Collaboration Webs, Mobile Broadband, Data Mashups, Collective Intelligence, and Social Operating Systems.  Today, in 2011 YouTube, Google Docs, Webinars, iPhones, Flickr, Wikipedia, and Diigo are proof that the 2008 predictions were correct.  For the first 5 features I could connect the technology with the category.  I did not really see evidence of a social operating system but it was in the 4-5 year category so it was not expected until 2012 or 2013 so I guess we’ll see if that comes into reality.

Each year the report chose mobile technologies and for good reason.  Almost everyone has cell phones and a large number of people are turning to mobile devices such as tablets.  The following video is a really informative look at the number of people with access to mobile phones.

“A few of the key take outs from the video is that over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, that’s over 5 billion mobile subscribers, and in places like the US, it’s 9 in 10 people. With children now more likely to own a mobile phone than a book, with 85% of kids owning a phone as to 73% having books!”  (Infographic: Mobile Statistics, Stats & Facts 2011 , 2011)

With data like that educators would be foolish to overlook the learning possibilities that come along with mobile devices.

Some of the other technologies that stood out to me were e-books.  Kindles, Nooks, iPads, there are a lot of mobile devices that allow for reading on the go.  Just yesterday while sitting in the waiting room of my eye doctor I was able to use the Kindle app on my tablet to read more of the New Concepts in Learning book that I bought last week.  Last year’s visit I had a paper-back book.  With Apple’s big leap into education e-readers and the related technology will hopefully change education for the better.  I am especially hoping that the cost of textbooks will decrease with the further advancement of these technologies.  I noticed they were on the list the last several years.  The way these devices and their apps are continually being changed and updated I can see how these will continue to make the list.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to download textbooks directly from the school website for just a few dollars rather than the hundreds most of them cost now.  People would probably be more likely to keep books for reference if the cost could decrease.

I’ve already made my interest in game-based learning known last week so I won’t go down that road again, only to say that the reason I find it so interesting is because it can be used learning in just about any age group and for many different situations.

Finally, the other really exciting technology that made the list for both 2010 and 2011 is the gesture-based computing.  Ok, I have to admit I love CSI, NCIS and those types of shows.  One of the greatest things for me is watching some of the gesture-based computing they do.  Especially on NCIS: LA.  I just think that is so awesome.  We finally broke down and bought our son an Xbox this year to replace the PlayStation 2.  Wow.  The advances since my Nintendo and even the PlayStation 2 are amazing.  But the greatest part of this Xbox was that we got the Kinect to go with it.  With the box also got a game Kinect Adventures to go with it.  That is a really fun game.  We especially like the river rapids where you have to jump and earn coins.  The Kinect can take your movements and makes you the controller.  I am really looking forward to seeing what else can be done with this gesture-based computing in the future.

I can say that I got a lot out of reading the Horizon Reports and I really enjoyed reading about the different technologies chosen to be in the reports.  Not coming from a teacher background I found these to be much more interesting than the Hsu et al. chapter.

Works Cited

Infographic: Mobile Statistics, Stats & Facts 2011 . (2011, April 4). Retrieved February 4, 2012, from DigitalBuzz Blog: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/2011-mobile-statistics-stats-facts-marketing-infographic/

Trybus, J. (n.d.). Game-Based Learning: What it is, Why it Works, and Where it’s Going. Retrieved February 4, 2012, from New Media Institute: http://www.newmedia.org/game-based-learning–what-it-is-why-it-works-and-where-its-going.html

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