2010 Final Topics

2010 Horizon Report Preview pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

Key Trends


The role of the academy—and the way we prepare students for their future lives—is changing. In a 2007 report, the American Association of Colleges and Universities recommended strongly that emerging technologies be employed by students in order for them to gain experience in "research, experimentation, problem-based learning, and other forms of creative work," particularly in their chosen fields of study. It is incumbent upon the academy to adapt teaching and learning practices to meet the needs of today's learners; to emphasize critical inquiry and mental flexibility, and provide students with necessary tools for those tasks; to connect learners to broad social issues through civic engagement, and to encourage them to apply their learning to solve large-scale complex problems.

New scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching continue to emerge but appropriate metrics for evaluating them increasingly lag behind or fail to appear. Citation-based metrics are no longer indicative of the relative importance of a given piece of scholarly work; new forms of peer review and approval, such as reader ratings, inclusion in and mention by influential blogs, tagging, incoming links, and retweeting, are arising from the natural actions of the global community of educators. These forms of approval are not yet recognized as significant.

Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key 21st century skill, but there is a widening training gap for faculty and teachers. Often not seen as a priority for faculty or teacher training, digital media literacy is nonetheless a critical skill not only for students but for those who work with them. Faculty and instructors are beginning to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that it is not clear exactly how to codify the skills or set standards for their measurement.

Institutions increasingly focus more narrowly on key goals, as a result of shrinking budgets in the present economic climate. Across the board, institutions are looking for ways to control costs while still providing a high quality of service. Schools are challenged by the need to support a steady—or growing—number of students with fewer resources and staff than before. In this atmosphere, it is critical for information and media professionals to emphasize the importance of continuing research into emerging technologies as a means to achieve key institutional goals, such as adequately preparing students to be effective in their fields.